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[Comments] (3) : OK, this one takes some explaining. Almost 10 years ago Newt Gingrich wrote an article for his PAC that contained big lists of positive and negative buzzwords for use in political discussion. The point, as is usually the case in politics, was to put attitudes directly into people's heads by piggybacking on peoples' idea of language as a means of communication.

Of course you don't really need the list. Once you've read and written enough political speech the buzzwords just flow from your fingers as you type. But all sorts of irrelevant, non-buzzwords flow from your fingers as well. How can you be sure people see the buzzwords?

Enter the Eater of Meaning. Since political writing contains little meaning to begin with, this eater works a little differently from the others. It simply highlights the buzzwords (green for positive buzzwords, red for negative buzzwords), and leaves everything else alone, letting your readership see the tone of the document at a glance and be appropriately alarmed, reassured, or inspired. Kind of the way Onion articles work, come to think of it. I don't have a good Eater-themed name for it yet; any suggestions?

Examples: #1, #2, vs. a control site in case you think I'm kidding. The list of buzzwords is kind of dated, but on the whole it holds up well. Enjoy.

Update: Danny calls this "'They Live' style shades for political hotwords", which is an excellent summary but which is not Eater-related. My eating metaphor has backed me into a corner while simultaneously painting that corner!

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Posted by Sumana at Wed Aug 18 2004 21:04

Call it "Daub pork barrels with red and green ketchup."

Posted by Nick Moffitt at Thu Aug 19 2004 01:32

Call it "Our moral, passionate, and humane crusade against children and truth."

Only then can you eliminate good-time in prison.

Posted by Kristofer Straub at Fri Aug 20 2004 20:02

I have an enhancement which you may disagree with or find unnecessary. I was thinking about a way to weigh each word, because a word like "help" might have a greater positive impact than say, the word "they" has a negative impact. What if the words on opposite sides of a buzzword were made a lighter (darker if black text) shade of that color, you dig? Like a halo. Sort of like your purple mapping of America during the 2000 election.

The only reason I suggest it is because I think it makes it easier to look at the whole thing as one visual block and discern its general color trend, than having to visually pick out the more discretized single words hither and thither. What do you think, sirs?

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