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Nov 19, 2014
This week's theme
Words borrowed from German

This week's words
gemeinschaft
strafe
gleichschaltung
sitzkrieg
leitmotif

gleichschaltung cartoon

From the book Regionalwährungen by Margrit Kennedy & Bernard A. Lietaer

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gleichschaltung

PRONUNCIATION:
(GLYK-shalt-toong)

MEANING:
noun: The forced standardization of political, economic, and cultural institutions, as in an authoritarian state.

ETYMOLOGY:
From German gleichschalten (to bring into line), from gleich (same) + schalten (to switch, turn). The term was used by the Nazi regime for totalitarian control. Earliest documented use: 1933.

USAGE:
"I think they will see them as a small part of a pattern of the destruction of the independence not only of the medical profession, but of all professions, that is part of the great bureaucratic Gleichschaltung of British society."
Theodore Dalrymple; In Defence of David Southall; The Spectator (London, UK); Sep 6, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. -Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India (1917-1984)

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