Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Word Of The Week

ressac

As per normal, I was watching the news just after the parliamentary elections this past week and the newscaster used yet another word that I swear I've never heard before. And, as per normal, I've probably heard the word a thousand times and it just didn't register until now.

Since the first round of elections two weeks ago, the right-wing ruling party was expected to bolster its majority in the National Assembly by historic proportions. Then they jumped the gun and (in my opinion) showed their true colors by prematurely announcing a proposal to shift part of the costs of the national health care system from employers to consumers by lowering business taxes and raising sales taxes. Ooops.

The left-wing opposition seized on that. The issue resonated with the voters and the predicted "blue wave" of right-wing victories petered out. In fact, the right wing lost a significant number of seats in parliament and the left wing gained - even though the right still holds a majority. The newscaster said that the "blue wave" encountered un ressac. This noun comes from the Spanish resaca. It describes what happens when a wave hits an obstacle (like a wall) and bounces back on itself and is thereby counteracted or significantly weakened, also known as backwash.

I think the UMP (the majority party) got a bit cocky and experienced its first shot of reality after a heady victory in last month's presidential election. Un ressac indeed.

Image from : http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Civil-and-Environmental-Engineering/
1-138JFall-2004/CourseHome/index.htm

1 comment:

Pour your heart out! I'm listening.