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Word Watch


I’ve got a language item in Impromptus today, but I did not include this — should have: Lately, every article, column, or tidbit I read has the word “double-down” in it. This word is enjoying a remarkable vogue. Every once in a while, a word like this catches on. Years ago, it was the term “kabuki dance.” Everything in Washington was a “kabuki dance” — any kind of process, or engagement, or working out of things.

I’m not sure I had ever heard the term “double-down” until a couple of weeks ago: Has to do with gambling, I know. Also, I noticed something in Washington when I was a student: Nothing happens “in the future” or “later”; it’s “down the road.” (There was a lot of “kicking the can down the road,” too.)

Anyway, lexical fashion is an interesting subject, at least to some of us.


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