This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sunday Rest: selectorate. Word Not To Use Today.

Look, if you must use the word selectorate - though I do wish you wouldn't - then at least use it properly.

Do you mean the nominal selectorate or the real selectorate? Or, let's face it, do you mean the winning coalition? 

(I realise most of you will have lost the will to live by this point, so do feel free to go off and do something more interesting, like cleaning the kitchen floor.)

Just in case there's anyone still here, the nominal selectorate are all the people who can vote; the real selectorate are all the people who do vote; and the winning coalition are the people who vote for candidates who get elected.

I suppose selectorate is quite a neat zippy word, but it would have been much more useful if it hadn't been given two very closely connected meanings.

We might even have known what we were talking about, then.

Word Not To Use Today: selectorate. This word is a mash-up of select and electorate. Selectorate theory was outlined in 2003 in The Logic of Political Science by Mesquita, Smith, Siverson and Morrow.

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