A Preview of Presidential Headlines

Donald Trump has been in office for just a couple of weeks, but we have already seen a sample of the next four years of headline vocabulary.

A Change in Vocabulary

Trump’s policies are dramatic and for some even traumatic.  But in the headlines there will be less drama and trauma than what we saw with Obama.  Under President Trump we can expect more jump, grump, thump and plump.

The Nature of Headlines

There are a few factors driving the new vocabulary.  The first is the nature of headlines.  Headline writers have a tough job.  They must grab attention.  They need to get a strong point across in a short span of words.  Like anyone pitching an idea or product, they need to to break through the noise.

Their goal is easy to describe, but hard to accomplish – plant a message that will take root in the minds of millions.

An Excellent Headline Name

Fortunately for the headline writers, the Trump name is excellent raw material to work with.  The name is short and pithy so it leaves lots of room to add other headline content.  Trump takes up just five letters, which is half the length of Washington or Eisenhower.

More importantly, the Trump name gives headline writers access to one of the most effective tools for infiltrating minds, resonating rhyme.

The Allure of Rhyme

To headline writers, just as with school children in the playground, rhymes are pretty much irresistible.  And for good reason.  Rhymes possess a unique allure and are extremely memorable.  To the human brain rhyme is sublime.

And rhymes are everywhere.  From Mother Goose and Doctor Seuss, to teens & tweens and the old & bold.

Rhymes reside in common phrases, song & band titles, company & product names, technical terms and ice cream flavors.  Think downtown, razzle dazzle, hanky panky, chrome dome, mellow yellow, U2, Quiet Riot, Coca-Cola, Fitbit, Tutti Fruitti, Piggly Wiggly, 7 Eleven, Grill & Chill, Spruce Goose, Net Jets, hifi, wifi, Chunky Monkey and Chubby Hubby.

A Very Rhymable Name

In the presidential realm, Trump is arguably the most rhymable name ever – even more so than Ford, Hayes and Polk.  Trump provides a lot more rhyming options than Coolidge, Roosevelt or Van Buren.

The next four years will bring a flood of Trump *ump headlines.

Trump Bump

To date the most popular Trump *ump headline is Trump Bump.  It has received prominent play in Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, Fox News and countless other print, broadcast and online media.

Trump Bump most often refers to the general uptick in stock market performance since Election Day.  It is also used in a more specific context to explain advancing share prices for individual companies – mainly in the petroleum and pipeline sectors.

Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island is experiencing a different type of Trump Bump.  The region has seen a surge in tourist traffic since a local radio DJ proclaimed Cape Breton a refuge for Trump-troubled Americans.

More Trump *ump Terminology

Throughout Donald Trump’s term in office, many more Trump *ump phrases are sure to follow in headlines, verbal barbs and political rally cries.  Here’s a preview of what’s likely ahead.

Trump Slump - If the economy falters over the next four years, you can count on Trump's political opponents to label any recession a Trump Slump.

Trump Grump - A term for disgruntled Democrats who still can't believe that the Hillary didn't get to move back into the White House.

Trump Plump - This term describes businesses that rise to new levels of prosperity with higher import tariffs but ultimately fall prey to complacency and fail to cultivate a competitive advantage.

Dump Trump - Dump Trump will be a common chorus among the president’s opponents who want to see him removed from office.

Trump Rump – Commentators could use this term to describe a political phenomenon that dates back to the 1840s.  Every movement attracts both a core group of supporters and fringe followers who often migrate to other camps when it is expedient to do so.  If the Trump bandwagon nose count plummets, the zealots who remain will be known as the Trump Rump.

These are just a few of the Trump *ump possibilities.  Other likely candidates are Trump chump, clump, crump, flump, frump, hump, jump, lump, pump, stump, sump, thump and whump.

If you were writing the next tabloid headline on presidential politics, what *ump would you pair with Trump?