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  1. #1

    Banana Republicans


    I saw the term "banana Republicans" in the context of a
    book by that name, and also a reprint of Thomas Friedman's
    recent NY Times column titled "If I Had One Wish". I mean,
    the article was reprinted under the name 'The banana Republicans".

    The OALD definition of "banana republic" is
    banana republic noun (disapproving, offensive) a poor country with a weak government, that depends on foreign money

    I have a few questions:

    1. Can the term "banana Republicans" be considered a neologism?

    2. What does Friedman mean by "banana repulic" in this paragraph?

    "It is so important that the Republicans lose, because if the
    Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice team can get away with the
    grotesque incompetence they have exhibited in Iraq -- a war
    that was not preordained to fail, but was never given a proper
    chance to succeed -- it makes this country look like a banana republic."

    Does it mean it makes the US look like a country with a weak government
    (from the above definition)?
    Because the other parts don't seem
    applicable (poor country, depends on foreign money).

    3. Is the construction - "the reason .... is because" a correct construction? I thought it should be "the reason .... is that".
    Here is another sentence from the article:
    "But the reason I want the Democrats to win by only one seat in
    both the House and the Senate is because I want them to have
    such a slim margin that they will have to govern from the
    Center -- to look for bipartisan fixes to the country's major issues,
    which is the only way they can be addressed."


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    Re: Banana Republicans

    I suppose it is a kind of neologism, but it is such an obvious one that it doesn't strike me as really meriting the term.

    The US is not dependent on foreign money, but the idea is that the government was useless and corrupt enough to justify the comparison if they are not replaced.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    Re: Banana Republicans

    Quote Originally Posted by englishstudent View Post

    3. Is the construction - "the reason .... is because" a correct construction? I thought it should be "the reason .... is that".
    (Make that :right-on:). This is a bug-bear of mine.

    "A implies B."
    "The reason for A is B."
    Now make B a subordinate clause: "The reason for A is that people don't read enough."

    You could say "A because people don't read enough." This is where the "because" comes from. I see no reason for saying "the reason for A is because B". Of course, that doesn't mean people don't say it. My view is that they are undermining the meaning of reason.



  3. rewboss's Avatar

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    Re: Banana Republicans

    I wouldn't class "banana Republican" as a neologism; it hasn't (to the best of my knowledge) caught on in the general population yet, and at the moment it's just a clever play on words.

  4. #5

    Re: Banana Republicans

    Tdol, Bobk, thank you.

    Rewboss, I had not realized that to (better) qualify
    as neologism a term would have to be more in use.
    Compared to this (banana Republic), terms like
    Reaganomics and voodoo economics, had caught on
    and would probably qualify as neologisms. Thanks.

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