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Ahoi, Mitt

A liberal blogger's common faux pas

Blue Jersey blogger Rosi Efthim poked fun at Mitt Romney's $500-a-plate Parsippany fundraiser, from which Chris Christie's presidential pick hauled home a cool $1.1 million.

Efthim described the former Massachusetts governor, erstwhile front-runner and maker of $10K bets "shaking hands with the GOP hoi polloi."


Like Rosi, I once believed hoi polloi -- a Greek term for "the many" -- to be synonymous with poobahs and potentates.

Until, that is, I was corrected (for life) by a peerless editor whose thoroughly-thumbed usage manuals ruled supreme in the pre-Google era.

"Your hoi polloi aren't who you think they are," he growled, lighting a Newport.


To be fair, Rosi has plenty of company; hoi polloi is often used as a synonym for the upper crust.

This linguistic reversal of fortune is perhaps attributable to the posh sound of the term itself. Or to the 1935 Three Stooges comedy "Hoi Polloi," in which a plutocrat bets he can transform Moe, Larry and Curley into gentlemen.

As a pair of swells argue over the question of nature vs. nurture, the one who insists that environment trumps all makes a wager -- of $10,000.

What ensues is priceless, and peerless: