VIRGINIA BRIEFING

VIRGINIA BRIEFING

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

GLOBAL LANGUAGE MONITOR REPORT

'Macaca' Is Politically Incorrect Word of the Year

Few knew what the word meant before this year. But "macaca" emerged as the most politically incorrect term of 2006 in a new ranking from a California-based group that tracks such usage.

The Global Language Monitor said the word, which refers to a species of monkeys and is a racial slur in some cultures, "might have changed the political balance of the U.S. Senate."

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) was favored to win reelection but stumbled this summer after he called a volunteer for his Democratic opponent "macaca" in a campaign speech. Allen subsequently apologized to the volunteer, S.R. Sidarth, who is a native Virginian of Indian descent. The senator said he didn't know what the word meant.

Allen lost last month to Democrat James Webb, an outcome that helped tip the Senate to Democrats.

In another footnote to the Virginia campaign, the online magazine Salon on Saturday named Sidarth its person of the year for his role in Allen's loss.

-- Tim Craig

POTOMAC RIVER

Man Is Missing After Boat Capsizes

A man was missing last night after a motorboat capsized in the Potomac River, Fairfax County police said.


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