Back in early 1974, very few people worldwide, apart from American political insiders, knew or cared anything about the Watergate office complex in the Foggy Bottom neighbourhood of Washington, D.C, in the United States of America.
Since the events that forced the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon, it is understandable that the word Watergate has become synonymous with political scandal in the United States.
But 35 years later, why in the world do the pundits think that it is clever to append the suffix “gate” to every scandal, real or perceived, happening anywhere in the U.S.A. or worldwide?
A recent example was the tempest in a teapot over whether Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Protestant, consumed or pocketed the communion host at a Roman Catholic funeral. The scandal quickly was dubbed Wafergate.
More recently, hackers have released some email messages they stole from climate change researchers at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Yup, predictably this is Climategate.
I would like to go on record as being one person who thinks that the novelty wore off several decades ago, that this practice isn’t original and in fact is downright annoying. I appeal to reporters, headline writers, columnists and bloggers worldwide to please give us a break.