Language is an organic and evolving entity, and like any organism it must constantly shed dead-weight to make room for new growth. The election has claimed several casualties, and a number of phrases are now dead, frozen in time, forever pointing back to 2012. Here’s eight of them. RIP:
1. “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” This well-known phrase will now be forever associated with Romney – who claimed it early in the race for the White House.
2. “I don’t want to kill Big Bird; I love Big Bird.” Again – Romney has firmly put his stamp on this phrase. People are going to have to find another way to frame their perfectly innocent intentions when found hanging around the back of Muppet Studios with a shotgun and a bag of birdseed.
3.“You didn’t build that.” Can’t say this any more. Even if you once watched them try to assemble a flat-packed Ikea coffee table and it’s really obvious that they didn’t.
4. “Binders full of women.” If you literally have binders full of women you will no longer be able to boast about it without calling to mind this moment:
5. “47 per cent.” The statistic that can no longer speak its name.
6. “This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.” If you’re ever trying to explain the phenomenon that is Donald Trump, remember that this cracking piece of psychological analysis is the property of Obama. Crediting required.
7. “I’m tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.” Abigael Evans, four, has made this useful phrase her own:
8. And any phrase, really, that’s addressed to an empty chair. We all have to stop doing that now.