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    Word of the week: right-wing

    28 February 2020

    Definition

    Supporters of conservative opinion or those opposing extensive political reform.

    Derivation

    The term originated from the seating arrangements of the conservative and reactionary political groups in the French Assemblée Nationale, during the French revolution. In modern times, ‘right-wing’ has become a useful term to identify things, people and ideas that should be avoided.

    We can attach ‘right-wing’ to anything that we fear or disagree with, signalling to others that they should show caution. For example, a comedian who makes jokes that don’t follow the conventional pattern, can be simply labelled ‘right-wing’. This enables others to consider each joke, and assess its contribution towards social progress, before making the conscious decision to either laugh or express disapproval.

    Thus, the danger of spontaneous laughter at jokes which could be considered to be outside the official consensus, is avoided. ‘Right-wing’ is a flexible term that can be applied to newspaper articles with which you disagree; people whom you disapprove of and things which you hold in revulsion. Helpfully, it obviates the need to explain the reasons for your disapproval or the requirement to propose a reasoned alternative perspective.

    ‘Right-wing’ is a handy alternative, when the use of ‘bastard’ is inappropriate, for example, when you are describing someone, who is acting selfishly, to a child. However, adjoining the two terms into ‘right-wing bastard’, can be a handy way to castigate someone as truly evil. The term is best deployed with the use of a megaphone, or if one isn’t available at the time, use a facial expression that displays utter contempt or absolute disgust.

    Use:

    “What you’ve just said makes me physically sick – you’re so right-wing”.