Gates and Hashes

In a rant about the Gillian Duffy thing, Mr E complains about a bit of political shorthand:

I’m sure I can’t be the only one, by the way, who is tired of seeing the suffix “-gate” attached to every minor flap or scandal everywhere in the world every day.

I’ll second that. For a “gate” I think the scandal needs, at the very least, a bit of actual illegality and an attempt at cover-up, neither of which were present during Mr Brown’s unfortunate Wednesday.

The tendency to ‘gate’ things stems from the need to refer to a set of contiguous events in one catch-all term. For this, I prefer just using the hashtag within a normal bit of prose. That way, for example #RIPMichaelJackson refers not only to the death of a popstar, but the crowd reaction and media commentary. Same goes for #IranElection and #LeadersDebates.

1 thought on “Gates and Hashes”

  1. Mr E is looking at things from the wrong person’s point of view. “-gate” is for anything which is embarrassing and damaging to a political figure, not for something illegal or covered-up.

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