Linguistic tipping points – Double down bust


I hate the term “tipping point”, but it is everywhere.

Years and years ago, when I sometimes went to a local casino, one of the blackjack dealers, an older guy named “Ted”, liked to say, in a gravelly voice, almost unintelligibly, “Double down bust.”

I have noticed, particularly during the US presidential campaigns that are overwhelming international media at the moment, that there is an unfortunate spike in the use of the term “double down”. This gambling term, which means to double one’s bet or risk, has enjoyed much greater mainstream application as candidate Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on his positions but has often “doubled down” on factually inaccurate information. The use of this term has spread throughout the media, though, and I rarely hear a news story now that is not putting this expression into play.

Needless to say, I don’t like it – especially because everyone is using it. If it were just one guy’s (or one network’s) signature phrase, it might not bother me this way. There is no controlling the way expressions and language spread like wildfire, but certain expressions just do nothing for me.

(I won’t even get into the naming of the dubious KFC Double Down sandwich (“the bun” being replaced by two slabs of chicken), which strikes me as doubling down on clogged arteries.)

4 thoughts on “Linguistic tipping points – Double down bust

  1. nico1pendragon

    There will most likely be an expat 'tipping the term at the coffee house as a sign of artificial intelligence.My students might even mention it if I tell them to watch English news. So now I have some extra ammo in my teaching guns…Thanx ~@

  2. wolfeel

    If you watch any major news outlets (the CNNs and Al Jazeeras of the world) you will hear the abuse of "double down" soon. Of course if you are off to Vietnam, maybe you can avoid it altogether!

  3. nico1pendragon

    Double down does sound very depressing and luckily no one in sweet south Africa has caught wind of the expression but it will most definitely come to pass. So sad.I do get to use tipping point often though, it mostly involves small children and that is scary and funny at the same time…

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