President Obama loves to call people “folks.” The word makes him sound like he’s a salt-of-the-earth guy, rather than a Nobel laureate with stints atop the masthead of the Harvard Law Review and The New York Times bestseller list. But Obama uses “folks” so frequently that it applies to anyone and everyone--not just the customers at a small-town Iowa diner, but Wall Street bankers, terrorists, Republicans, himself, etc. It’s a Germanic word—anyone ever drive a Volkswagen?--that dates back more than 10 centuries. While the word originally referred to people in the same kin, Obama has broadened its meaning in all kinds of ways, as tracked by The Fiscal Times.
Policy + Politics