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Jul 21, 2016
This week’s theme
Words related to politics and elections

This week’s words
shermanesque
carpetbagger
logrolling
dog whistle
suffrage

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

dog whistle

PRONUNCIATION:
(DOG [h]wis-uhl)

MEANING:
noun: A coded message that appears innocuous to the general public, but that has an additional interpretation meant to appeal to the target audience, for example, to racists.
adjective: Relating to such a message.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the allusion to a dog whistle whose high-pitched sound is inaudible to humans but can be heard by dogs. Earliest documented use: 1995.

NOTES:
An example of a dog whistle is the use of the term “family values”. The term sounds harmless, but homophobic politicians use it to convey their opposition to equal rights for everyone. See more examples here.

USAGE:
“In the early 1970s, ‘African American’ and ‘welfare’ were used interchangeably and it was a well-established hallmark of dog-whistle politics, which allowed speakers to appeal to racist beliefs without using openly racist terms.”
Michael D’Antonio; Is Donald Trump Racist? Here’s What the Record Shows; Fortune (New York); Jun 7, 2016.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. -Ernest Hemingway, author, journalist, Nobel laureate (21 Jul 1899-1961)

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