The “squeezed middle”

Russell Brown has his own Word of the Year contest. The UK has Oxford Dictionary choosing theirs.

Phil Goff nicked the idea from Ed Miliband in the UK, it was naff there and it was naff here. But in the UK Oxford Dictionary has named “squeezed middle” as their word of the year.

Andrew Sullivan highlights what Geoffrey K. Pullum says against “squeezed middle,” routinely used by the UK Labour Party, and of course by NZ labour and Phil Goff:

[M]y real objection is not to the feebleness and blatantly political origin of this phrase (which ordinary people are simply not using), but to the fact that it is fully compositional: squeezed just means “squeezed”, and middle just means “middle”, and if you put the two together you have the literal meaning. It is ridiculous to think of putting this in a dictionary — as opposed to a collection of political phraseology and cliché.

I wonder how long before we see a speech from David Shearer bleating about the “squeezed middle”?


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

64%