From political disasters to weather-related catastrophes, phrases were coined and entered into the American lexicon that we could simply do without. Here are five that we’d like to forget:
1) "Legitimate rape." Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin drew fire and coined a new phrase for 2012. Akin claimed in a television interview that a woman's body is capable of preventing pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape"—suggesting there was no need to allow abortions in the case of “rape” as is currently the law. The term became a meme for the Republican “war on women” that framed the 2012 national elections. Akin did not win the Missouri Senate election. Clearly, the voters that they could do without Mr. Akin, and his "legitimate rape" claim.
2) "Frankenstorm." Hurricane Sandy rammed the Northeast just before Halloween. It was dubbed a “Frankenstorm” as it was the combination of a hurricane merged with the strong cold front. We clearly would have been just fine without Sandy, and the term "Frankenstorm."
3) "Pink Slime" is a meat filler that’s been around for decades. But in 2012, a former meat inspector with the USDA coined the term "pink slime" and when Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver hosted an eye-opening segment about "pink slime" on ABC's "Food Revolution" a tsunami of backlash occurred which forced fast food chains to discontinue using the filler in their food.
4) "The 47%" Mitt Romney was secretly taped by a member of the catering staff a private during a fundraiser dinner where he was quoted as saying there were 47% of the U.S. population that were dependent on the government and “who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." It is a phrase that has now entered the American lexicon—“those 47%” and may have lost Romney the presidential election. Now, Romney's off the political stage, but "The 47%" phrase lingers on.
5) “Fiscal cliff” is the popular shorthand term used to describe the conundrum that the U.S. government is facing at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect. It is an entirely self-imposed crisis created by the U.S. government, and could have significant impact on the financial health of the entire country, and has direct impact on millions of Americans who are threatened with higher taxes, higher prices of consumer goods, and the loss of many government assistance programs. Yes, this is a term we could definitley have done without in 2012.