Pronounced: RUSS-tih-kate, verb

Notes: You may know this word; I keep seeing “rust” and go down the wrong path

Yesterday’s phrase

The phrase dog whistle, as a noun, refers to “a coded message that appears innocuous to the general publish, but that has an additional interpretation meant to appeal to the target audience”. As an adjective, it means “relating to such a message”.

First usage

Our phrase came into usage in the 1900s

Background / Comments

I detest our phrase, and almost didn’t use it. However, it was a phrase I didn’t know, and just because I dislike it is no reason not to use it. First, though, the background: our phrase refers to the whistle that dogs can hear but humans cannot, and thus, by extension, a message that only certain initiated people truly ‘hear’. I think the reason I dislike our phrase is that all of the examples I have seen are just a way to paint political opponents as “racist” or “<something>-phobic” in order to avoid having a legitimate debate on the issue. For example, it could be claimed that the phrase ‘border protection’ is a ‘dog whistle’ used to appeal to racists. That way, the real issues involved with porous borders can be ignored.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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