Sunday, January 22, 2012

Second Best

During last week's Republican debate, with a little wordplay Newt Gingrich deftly turned an assault on his character to his advantage.

At one point in the debate, Rick Santorum called Ginrich "grandiose."  

Darn tootin' I'm grandiose, Gringrich responded. That makes me an American. "This is a grandiose country of big people doing big things," he announced.

Gingrich pulled off the coup because he accurately understands the difference between the word's denotation and connotation.

denotation of a word is its primary or literal meaning.  The connotation is the range of secondary, often poetic, meanings.

defines "grandiose" as (1) Characterized by an affectation of grandeur and (2) Impressive because of uncommon largeness.

Gingrich scored a point because he knew the secondary definition of the word.
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