Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Iran changes the meaning of the word velvet

In the context of revolutions, the word velvet has now been turned on its head.
From AP:

In boldly worded statements posted on their Web sites, Khatami accused Iran's leadership of a "velvet coup against the people and democracy..."

The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989 took the word for 2 reasons: Because it was peaceful (soft to the touch) and because Vaclav Havel, one of the leaders of the revolution who would eventually become president, was a big fan of the the punk rock band the Velvet Underground. I like Khatami but he seems to have misinterpreted the connotations of the word velvet in this context, which used to be positive. No longer, I guess.

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