Dec 10, 2011


"Squeezed Middle" has been anointed "Word of the Year" for 2012 by the Oxford English Dictionary . Somehow, this phrase beat the likes of #occupy, Arab Spring, and even the crowd-pleasing "bunga bunga".

This also sparked off controversy among linguists, with some claiming it wasn't even a proper word (the linguist Geoff Pullum said it was a "ordinary nominal with a participle functioning as attributive modifier of a noun". Just in case you wondered why).

OED defines it as "the section of society [...] particularly affected by inflation, wage freezes, and cuts in public spending during a time of economic difficulty, consisting principally of those people on low or middle incomes". OED picked it up from an interview by a leading Labour Party politician in the UK.

Which politician?

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