Thursday, April 29, 2010

Paying down?

David Cameron tonight referred to people "paying down" their mortgages. I'm used to this phrase because I live in Canada. In North America to pay down your mortgage is to pay it off.

Gordon Brown, on the other hand, used his favourite Americanism, that he has been using for a few weeks now -- "middle class" as a replacement for the tired phrase "hard working families" which itself started as a euphemism for "working class". In Canada the nearest equivalent to the Labour Party is the NDP, but it is very "old Labour", whose politicians like to be filmed with rolled up shirt sleeves speaking to mass meetings from soap-boxes, so it is bemusing to hear them talk about the hard pressed "middle class".

It seems one effect of having US presidential style debates, with imported USA tutors, is going to be the importation of new North American vocabulary.

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