神秘内容 Loading...
Word for the Wise July 17, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Elbridge Gerry and gerrymander

Today we remember Elbridge Gerry, born on this date in 1744. One of our country's founding fathers, Gerry signed the Declaration of Independence and refused to sign the Constitution until it had a Bill of Rights. He went on to win the governorship of Massachusetts, and when he died suddenly at age 70, Elbridge Gerry was in the middle of a term serving as vice-president to James Madison. (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

Despite these many and varied accomplishments, Elbridge Gerry earned his place in the linguistic books through what one lexicographer described as "a notorious bit of political flim-flam." Here's the story.

In early 1812, then-Governor Gerry signed off on some political redistricting that gave his party a decided advantage. The shape of one newly reconfigured district was so bizarre that a political opponent (rumored to be portraitist Gilbert Stuart) sketched a head, wing, and claws onto one such picture and declared it a salamander. Someone else quickly suggested Gerrymander and the name caught on.

The original redistricting bill was repealed a year later, and Governor Gerry was voted out of the statehouse. But neither the concept nor the word gerrymander has ever disappeared, although the usual pronunciation is now /JEH-ree-man-der/.

Carve out some time to drop us a line.

 
神秘内容 Loading...

你可能对下面的文章也感兴趣:

·Words from William Thackeray
·Words from 1789
·Succor
·Cuckold
·Words from the moon
·Trivia and trivial
·Words from 1984
·Bowdlerize
·Language and bullion
·Words from Marcel Proust

上一篇:Words from William Thackeray  
下一篇:Words from 1789
[返回顶部] [打印本页] [关闭窗口]