4. It's a 'Ponzi Scheme'! Okay, this is a relatively new one, but the phrase has already overstayed its welcome. Five years ago, if you had asked someone what a Ponzi Scheme was, the only connection they could have made would have something to do with Henry Winkler and Happy Days!
Thanks to the convicted investor, Bernie Madolf, the phrase became more of a known quantity. The phrase most likely would have lulled back to obscurity had Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry not intervened. He called America's Social Security program a giant Ponzi Scheme -- however, he isn't the first person to have used the phrase. In fact, the tactic worked well for Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who made the same reference as Perry in his successful bid to unseat longtime Democrat, Russ Feingold.1
Prepare to hear this phrase for at least the next six months.
3. Any reference to a politician being 'treasonous'. I understand that politicians become engulfed in heated debates with their political opponents. I understand they critique elected officials of the other major political party. However, cranking up the rhetoric by calling the actions of any American treasonous is vile, disgusting and a gross misstatement that doesn't reflect the seriousness of the term.
The current political climate has reached an intolerant level. A Pennsylvania state legislator referred to a recent executive order by President Obama as 'treasonous' and 'deceitful' because it defied the Constitution's clause in Article IV pertaining to the federal government protecting from invasion.2 Really?
Perhaps this legislator should review the Constitution for the definition of treason, which happens to be the only crime defined in the entire document. According to Article III, Section 3 states:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."The fact that treason is the only crime specifically elaborated upon in the Constitution should relate the seriousness of such an accusation. Yet, the term is thrown around with little concern, as are most words today.
Other recent usages of the term? Rick Perry (again) referred to actions by Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, as 'almost treasonous. Let me make this more interesting for you. Go to Google, and run a search on treason and either 'Obama' or George Bush' and see what comes up.
2. Anything with the suffix "-gate". When a scandal hits the news, it's always 'something-gate'. Recent examples:
"Contragate" - Usually known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, where arms were illegally sold to Iran with proceeds directed to funding a rebellion in Nicaragua. (1985-1987)
"Whitewatergate" - Former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary were implicated in shady real estate dealings. He still won the election. (1992-1994)
"Monicagate" - Clinton again in the news, with lurid details of his affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. (1998-1999)
"Spygate" - Professional football sees the New York Jets and New England Patriots squabble over supposed spying on defensive signals. (2007)
"Tigergate" - Golfer Tiger Woods caught cheating on his wife. (2009)
"Weinergate" - Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner sends risque photos via Twitter to various women, resulting in his subsequent resignation. (2011)
By this point, you have the idea. So, let's put this issue to rest -- only one '-gate' exists and that's the original: Watergate! Let the phrase die
1. Calling anyone a Nazi / Hitler. You would imagine that the regularity these phrases are used, Americans would come up with a few new words. However, we still love to hang this moniker of what is widely regarded as the most evil man of the 20th century (or his political party) on anyone who simply doesn't agree with our views.
Regardless of what you believe about Democrats, Republicans, or the Tea Party, none of them have produced a leader who insisted on any of the following agenda items: concentration camps, genocide, eugenics, Antisemitism, racial supremacy, or an obsession with the occult.
1Camia, Catalina. "'Ponzi scheme' line worked in Wis. Senate race," USA Today, September 8, 2011.
2Foster, Brittany. "Metcalfe: Obama 'Treasonous' on Immigration," PoliticsPA