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'Going Trump': A New Term For Over-The-Top Lying

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Bernard Starr       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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Presidential Election 2016:Goodbye Truth
(Image by Bernard Starr)
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The English language is always in flux; new expressions and words are added throughout history. The Oxford English Dictionary recently unveiled 500 new words illustrating how the language has changed over the last century. And innovation introduces terms for things that previously didn't exist like fax, e-mail, and sexting.

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Sometimes a single event is so extraordinary that only a new term can describe it. That's what happened in 1986 when a postal worker killed 14 co-workers in a gruesome rampage that shocked the nation. The term "going postal" soon became a common expression for "losing it." Now it's applied to many different explosive behaviors such as road rage, domestic violence, an employee going on a social media rant against other workers and customers, and a celebrity meltdown on a film set.

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The 2016 presidential election demands a new term for lying. It's no surprise that politicians lie. In fact, the word politician has pretty much become a synonym for liar. But in this presidential campaign and its aftermath, Donald Trump has told an unprecedented amount of lies.Worse than the volume of Trump's lies, writes Paul Waldman in the The American Prospect, was that despite being corrected "in many cases he went on telling a lie long after it had been debunked."

The term lying doesn't capture what we have witnessed in his performances during the presidential campaign and continue to witness, even before he takes office.

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One dramatic example is Trump's boast that he won the presidency by a landslide, when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5. million votes---a number greater than the populations of 91 countries of the 233 listed by the United Nations.

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Bernard Starr, PhD, is a psychologist and Professor Emeritus at CUNY (Brooklyn College). His latest book is "Jesus, Jews, And Anti-Semitism In Art:How Renaissance Art Erased Jesus' Jewish Identity & How Today's Artists Are Restoring (more...)

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