Today’s post is from Bill.
I’ve been bothered lately by the appearance of a new facial expression, at least it’s new to me. I don’t recall ever seeing it on a human face until the last few years and never on a normal person in real life. In this expression, the lips are pressed tightly together and the mouth is bent down sharply at the corners. But I wouldn’t call it a frown– there’s no participation in the expression by the eyes or the eyebrows or any other part of the physiognomy.
You will have guessed by now that I’m describing Senator Mitch McConnell and he is certainly the primary practitioner of that facial gesture, although I’ve also seen it on various other politicians who have been caught embarrassing themselves. I’ve tried to make the expression myself and it isn’t that easy to maintain. It seems to be Senator McConnell’s default expression, so maybe we don’t need a specific name for that look when it happens on his face, but when it is adopted by other public figures, how should we describe it to someone? I suppose we could say, “He (or She) McConnelled”, but that’s too much McConnell for me.
Still, without an apt descriptive word for it, our ability to communicate is hobbled. I don’t think that expression is going away anytime soon.
So what should we call it?