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The Language Point, Again



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An e-mail:

I posed the “flip-flop” question to Martha Brockenbrough, the president of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG). Here is what she said:
You will love this, I think. Flip-flopper has been in use for more than 100 years. Here’s what the OED says it means in this context:
A person, esp. a politician, who (habitually) changes his or her opinion or position.
In quot. 1894: spec. = FLOPPER n. 2.
1894 Chicago Daily Tribune 27 Mar. 8/5 That incomparable political flip-flopper..was rewarded for his last flop with a fat diplomatic position. 1915 Los Angeles Times 24 Jan. 8/3 [He is] running President Whiffen a close race as the Council ‘flip-flopper’. He has changed his mind again on the subject of the salaries ordinance. 1980 Economist (Nexis) 19 July 13 Mr Carter may be a flip-flopper and Mr Reagan a clip-clopper but one of them is going to be president for the next four years. 2005 Philadelphia Mag. (Nexis) Oct., I hate to be a flip-flopper, but..I have to say that my 1999 words strike me today as ridiculous.
So, it’s not changing back to the original; it just means changing positions.
So it appears that you are, indeed, correct.

Have a great day!



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