What's in a Word | All Blogs


Campaign pain

By Debra Dobbins

Below, Jeff Parker, a cartoonist for Florida Today, comments on the effectiveness of campaign attack ads.

Many folks would argue that such ads and fiction are both untrue. These ads are unlikely to go away, though. The strategy of “going negative” seems entrenched in the war of words that candidates wage to obtain votes.

It is not a big surprise, then, to read that “campaign” comes from the French word campagne, meaning “open country suited to military maneuvers,” according to Webster’s. Webster’s also notes that the word’s meaning has been broadened to refer to a “military expedition.”

In under a month, the war will mercifully end—for this election season, anyway. With luck, the ultimate victors will be voters who have managed to separate facts from fiction before filling out their ballots.


 

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