Do you know the meaning of the idiom October Surprise?
In this blog we will try to answer the question What is the meaning of the idiom October Surprise?
I decided to write this blog on Monday morning October 3rd 2016, the idea popped into my head while I was listening to the news on BBC Radio 4.
During the news, the BBC reported that WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange had decided not release a set of documents on Tuesday 4th October.
During the new bulletin the newsreader used the phrase “October Surprise” and that, gave me the idea for this article.
The news report did not give any reason why WikiLeaks would not release the documents on Tuesday 4th.
The English idiom “October Surprise” is a new idiom in the English language, it first appeared in 1972 during the United States election campaign between Richard Nixon and George McGovern.
Nixon was the president of the United States at the time and McGovern was his challenger.
During his previous four years as president Nixon had promised to end the war in Vietnam, but had not done so.
Many people in American though if they elected McGovern he would end the war, and it looked like he would win the election.
However on 26th October, just 12 days before Election Day, Nixon and his National Security advisor, Henry Kissinger, had a surprise press conference and announced that the end of the war was very near. This announcement allowed Nixon to win the election.
The war in Vietnam ended in 1975.
The next time the idiom “October Surprise” was used was in 1980 in the election between President Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Regan.
One of the main election issues at that time was what would happen to the Americans who were held hostage in Iran.
Regan was worried that if Carter managed to get the hostages released before the election then Carter would be re-elected.
However in the last days of October the Iranian government announced that the hostages would not be released until after the election.
Regan was elected president, and on the day he took office the hostages were released by Iran.
This “October Surprise” is also known as the October Conspiracy, because many people think that Regan agreed with the Iranians to keep the hostages so that Carter would lose the election.
In more recent times, “October Surprise” have been;
- During the 2000 election campaign the announcement that George W Bush had been arrested for drunk driving in 1976, this was supposed to harm Bush’s changes, its seems it didn’t.
- During the 2004 election campaign the announcement by Saudi Arabia in October that oil prices were to be cut, this was supposed to help Bush, and it seems it did.
- During the 2008 election the announcement in late October the Barak Obama’s aunt was living in the United States as an illegal immigrant, was supposed to harm Obama’s chances, but it seems it didn’t.
- During the 2016 election campaign, Donal Trumps tax return was released showing he legally paid no tax for 20 years, at the time of writing this blog it is unclear if this will have an effect on the election.
As you can see from the pattern of events listed above an “October Surprise” is an announcement deliberately created to influence the outcome of the American presidential election.
It is called the“October Surprise” because the United States Presidential election is always held in early November.
By releasing the surprise in October it is hoped that the event will persuade people make up their mind one way or the other.
The surprise can be used both negatively against one candidate and positively for another candidate.
The idiom “October Surprise” is now used in the English speaking world to describe any surprise announcement shortly before an election, regardless of when the election is.
“Ahead of next week’s general election on May 15th the Prime Minister has today announced that income tax will be cut to 0.5% for all workers, the leader of the opposition called this announcement an “October Surprise” in early May”
Now you know what the Idiom “October Surprise” means you should practice it with others on our language exchange website.
What is language exchange?
Language exchange is where two or more people with different native languages come together to chat and practice their second language.
For example an English speaker, who wants to practice Spanish, can meet a Spanish speaker who wants to practice English.
They agree a time, topics and which language to start in, they then have a chat, correcting each other’s mistakes as they go along.
What is an online language exchange?
If you are not in city where you can easily find native speakers of the second language you want to improve, then the best thing is to meet online.
There are many language exchange apps that hook you up with just about anybody regardless of your learning preferences; you can even look for random strangers to practice your language exchange with on skype or facetime.
Here at Smart Language Solutions we don’t think that is the best way to improve.
That is why when you create your profile on our website you will fill out details that will allow you to find chat matches that like the same things as you, who are in your age range as you, and who are not looking for inappropriate contact.
Remember when you language exchange with Smart Language Solutions, your personal details remain private, and you can block anyone you don’t want to chat to, allowing you to focus on improving your second language the way you want too.
Smart Language Solutions, the language exchange site where hopefully you won’t find any nasty October Surprise!
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Text and meme Tutor Feargal
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