At a campaign rally in Grand Rapids this past Monday evening, Donald Trump called out Hillary Clinton as a loser. Trump reached back to 2008 for this item in his bill of particulars: “She was favored to win and she got schlonged.”
In the video excerpting his remarks below, Trump appears to be searching for the perfectly appropriate word. Le mot juste, as they say in French. Perhaps he was translating from what would be the equivalent English vulgarism into the Yiddish neologism.
Ben Zimmer traces the linguistic history of the word here. At the Washington Examiner, Daniel Chaitin reviews “‘Schlonged’-gate.” At the Daily Caller, Derek Hunter records that “Trump doubled down on ‘schlong,’ veteran journalists back him up.” At the Washington Times, Charles Hurt takes it deep. He explicates the usage as A subliminally sinister attack on Clinton.”
Twitter enforces brevity in the exploration of the many sides of a controversy such as this one. You can check out Twitter’s deliberations over the merits here.
What would CNN and do without Trump? CNN has become the Trump News Network insofar as Trump can be pummeled into 50 shades of lemon, or Lemon. Don Lemon enlarged on CNN’s investigation into the “schlonged” affair yesterday. When conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter sought to put the controversy in the context of ancient history (i.e., the Clinton administration), however, Lemon called out the “safe word” to his producer and prematurely ejected from the segment (transcript and video at the link). CNN has its limits.
This is one subject that could be enlarged indefinitely. I’m arbitrarily giving Jim Geraghty the last word. Jim asks “How far can Trump go on shock value alone?”