WASHINGTON, September 25, 2012 — There is so much in the media these days about “doubling down,” every pundit’s new favorite phrase.
Writing in the “Free For All” section” of The Washington Post (September 22, “Time to banish ‘doubling down’”), Darrell Knuffke suggests that the media dispense with what he calls “the latest, and silliest, cliché.” He concludes, “It is time to ban the words.”
The way the expression is most often used is this: The media quotes someone, perhaps a political figure, as saying something on Tuesday. Then, if that person says something different the following day, he is described as “flip-flopping.” If, on the other hand, he or she repeats the previous viewpoint, the media reports that the speaker has “doubled down.”
While I cannot disagree with Mr. Knuffke’s observation, I hope that before it’s banned, I may be allowed one last use of it. Let’s send it away with a smile.
What would “Doubling Down” suggest, alphabetically speaking? I got to wondering. Just for fun, I’ll tell you what comes to my mind, in a kind of “letter association.” Feel free to share your ideas in the Comment box below.
UU Dirty Rat
VV Le France
YY O Y
Vance Garnett is a lover of words. His writings have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. Reader’s Digest listed two of his entries in its top-ten of its “Yogiisms” contest, along with its “Picturesque Speech” feature. He was twice quoted in The New York Times Magazine’s “On Language,” as a word-origin source.
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