Shared Language in Pathos Politics: “Huge” and “Angry”

Sanders and Trup photos

I heard a radio story on NPR this morning where the reporter Tamara Keith noted some surprising similarities between Donald Trump (capitalist) and Bernie Sanders (socialist). The language both men use to appeal to their very different set of constituents is the same.

They both use the word “angry”…and that word appeals to either end of the political spectrum. Many pundits have called attention to the anger of the people in this election season.  According to the online etymology dictionary:

angry (adj.) Look up angry at Dictionary.comlate 14c., from anger (n.) + -y (2). Originally “full of trouble, vexatious;” sense of “enraged, irate” also is from late 14c. The Old Norse adjective wasongrfullr “sorrowful,” and Middle English had angerful “anxious, eager” (mid-13c.).

They both use the word “huge”…and pronounce it with very distinctive  New York accents. The meaning of huge:

huge (adj.)Look up huge at Dictionary.commid-12c., apparently a shortening of Old French ahuge, ahoge “extremely large, enormous; mighty, powerful,” itself of uncertain origin.

Both words appear more aligned to arguments geared for pathos, as Aristotle noted:   “awakening emotion (pathos) in the audience so as to induce them to make the judgment desired.”

Full of trouble, anxious combined with mighty, powerful … a combination that is making this election season hard to predict (or “before” (see pre-) + dicere “to say”).