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CNN's Richard Blystone: Rankled by 'rancor'

blystone

Musing from London on the lingo of America's post-election battle, CNN Senior Correspondent Richard Blystone becomes a rancor ranker.

LONDON (CNN) -- U.S. Vice President Gore concedes the presidency, saying "partisan rancor must be put aside."

President Clinton admonishes Americans to rally behind George W. Bush "without rancor."

For weeks now, politicians and pundits have been wringing their hands over America's post-election National Rancor.

And while it is comforting from this side of the pond to see rancor officially banished -- in my Pocket Oxford Dictionary it's listed under "rancid," spelled "rancour," and defined as "inveterate bitterness" -- these astute men and women have put their fingers on something:

In Western society, rancor is ever so much commoner than the more celebrated rage.

Consider:

  •  Road rancor -- what you feel when somebody in an expensive car zips by you in a long queue of traffic and nips into place way ahead of you and it's too late to yell anything.

  •  Air rancor -- when you find out that the person sitting next to you paid half what you did for a plane ticket.

  •  Banker rancor -- when your deposit is credited 10 minutes after your last check is debited, and you get whacked for bouncing a check.

  •  Riposte rancor -- when that devastating snappy retort occurs to you an hour after you could have used it.

Doubtless some readers of CNN.com have better examples, but the fact remains: Banish away, you political leaders -- this underused buzzword will have its day.



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