Call it a trend. With every presidential debate, emerges an unlikely breakout star --and we're not talking about the candidates.
In the first face off between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, Big Bird came out on top after Romney vowed to axe the lovable character in his quest to end government funding for public broadcasting.
"I'm sorry, Jim. I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS," Romney told debate moderator Jim Lehrer. "I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too. But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it."
During the vice presidential showdown between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, it was the resurgence of a word not often used, that stole the show.
"That's a bunch of malarkey!" Biden lashed out at Ryan as the two debated over foreign policy.
Malarkey, whose origin goes back to 1929, is defined by Merriam-Webster as meaningless talk. That meaningless talk snowballed into the talk of the week where one blogger declared it should be the "word we need to hear more often."
On Tuesday night, an everyday office supply -- slightly misused -- sent the inter-web universe into a tizzy. When speaking about his recent mission to recruit women for his cabinet, Romney said, "I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."Yep, the Governor was hit with whole "binders full of women." The odd phrase struck a chord with viewers who were quick to launch Twitter accounts, a Facebook page, a Tumblr and countless memes.Sure, it's funny if you're a fan of that type of humor, but is it relevant? Don't ask Google.
A search for the now-infamous phrase clocked in 147 million results, while a much more important issue "Romney's 5-Point Plan," amassed 50 million fewer results.
Do these linguistic flubs or peculiar references really warrant the attention they get, or are Americans just so easily distracted? Where, in a world where a war, unemployment and high gas prices are rampant, talking about a muppet and a binder are just so much more interesting.
Or should we say its just the malarkey that's interesting.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times