Seminar paper from the year 2017 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,0, University of Heidelberg, language: English, abstract: Fake news, Kate's Law, Bad Hombres - Donald Trump often took two simple words everyone knows, combined and tweeted them to create political earthquakes. Despite "the Donald's" opponents frequently sneering at the reality star's teenage vocabulary, they failed to grasp the impact of his newly crafted words, and especially, of his compounds. To a greater extent than any other candidate, the former real estate mogul coined new compounds to convey his political agenda. For instance, the enormous popularity of "fake news" discredited the supposedly biased mainstream media so effectively that Donald Trump became virtually immune to bad press. Hence, I will explore in this essay how clever campaign compounds decided the 2016 US presidential race. The paper is split in an introduction to compounding and a review of the most important compounds of the 2016 US presidential race. The introduction starts by giving an overview over the structural, sociopragmatic and cognitive perspective on compounding. A closer look at the semantic structure of compounds and an evaluation on typical compounds follows. The introduction to compounding closes with a general explanation on the creation, consolidation and establishment of complex lexemes. The section Campaign Compounds covers some of the most important compounds of the presidential race: Nicknames, Kate's Law, Bad Hombres, Two Corinthians and the crowning jewel of them all, Fake News. Since established databanks, namely the Oxford English Dictionary online, the MLA International Bibliography, the Bibliography and the American National Biography online, had little to no hits on those entries, I relied heavily on newspaper articles published online in order to get some idea of the current spread of compounds, and I also conducted a small survey amongst students from Heidelberg and Durham. The entire survey is attached in the appendix, but the most important stats are: asked for the first three words associated with the 2016 US election campaign, 26,6% mentioned at least one compound. "Fake news" led with 20% followed by "Crooked Hillary" with 10%. In general, those numbers were significantly higher for students from Heidelberg.
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