Published: 14th November 2020
US Presidential Elections 2020: Looking at the lingos and chunky musings that followed
Looking at various thought-provoking tweets by the President-elect and hilarious tweets by the Twitterati reacting to the election results was a pleasant experience
Biden in, Trump out. This was the headline in many newspapers and social media posts after the US election 2020 results went public. Democrat Joe Biden winning the US presidential election became clearer after the electronic media showed him winning Pennsylvania state and crossing the mark of 270 electoral college votes needed to become the President of the country.
As part of a research study, I analysed over a hundred tweets to prepare a list of collocations of election terms. Looking at various thought-provoking tweets by the President-elect and hilarious tweets by the Twitterati reacting to the election results was a pleasant experience.
Joe Biden @JoeBiden tweeted, “America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
Kamala Harris @KamalaHarris tweeted, “Now the real work begins. To beat this pandemic. To rebuild our economy. To root out systemic racism in our justice system and society. To combat the climate crisis. To heal the soul of our nation….” Sera Gamble @serathegamble tweeted: “Joe Biden’s victory provides a lesson in resilience…”
The phrases in bold (vote for, keep faith, beat pandemic, rebuild economy, root out racism) are examples of collocations.
A chunk is a group of connected words that are treated as single concepts. Chunks are also called collocations.
Here are collocations of the word election:
• Verb + election: boycott/call/win/lose an election
• Adjective + election: democratic/fresh/fair/mayoral/presidential/national election
• Election + noun: election result/victory
Let’s look at the words that collocate with the word resilience:
• Adjective + resilience: great/remarkable/natural/indomitable resilience
• Verb + resilience: demonstrate/show/display resilience
• Resilience + preposition: resilience to
• His life displayed an indomitable resilience in the face of misfortune.
• The boy’s resilience to the medical treatment is remarkable.
Instead of learning words in isolation, learning them in chunks helps language learners remember the words and use them in proper contexts. Those who have the habit of reading a variety of texts acquire collocations easily.
Voting is as much an emotional act
as it is an intellectual one
– Monica Crowley
(There’s more to come! The column will be continued next week. Watch this space. Get your poll lingo fix!)