The ever-changing lexicon

The tables show when words or phrases made their first or last appearance in the pages of The World Today.

The World Today Updated 4 January 2021 Published 12 June 2015 1 minute READ

The ‘Third World’ had a 40-year run before it was challenged by ‘Global South’. ‘American decline’ appeared in 1988, but had to wait four years for ‘China’s rise’ to join it on the global seesaw. ‘Red lines’, which passed into common parlance after Barack Obama used the term in 2012, have been drawn in the sands of the Middle East since 1976. As for the phrases which have passed out of use, that Cold War stalwart, the ‘free world’, took an early bath in 1955. Others have staggered on well after their sell-by date, often making their final appearance in embarrassed quotation marks.

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