Tea Partiers Killing Tea Sales

Term causing confusion for innocent beverage purveyors
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2010 9:06 AM CST
Vince Schuck of Newfane, Vt., wears a hat festooned with tea bags during a rally at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., Wednesday, April 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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(Newser) – The Tea Party movement is leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of people who sell actual tea. “When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I can sell them some tea,’” one distributor tells the Chicago Tribune. “Then I realized that probably wasn’t going to happen.” Instead the movement is dominating tea-related searches on Google and clouding the word’s popular associations.

One linguist says that if the movement remains successful, it’ll likely change the meaning of “tea party” in the American lexicon—much as the gay rights movement changed the meaning of “gay.” The phenomenon’s also created more than a little confusion. Last year, the editor of Tea: A Magazine was invited to a tea party meeting in Connecticut. He arrived with a stack of magazines—including one with President Obama on the cover.

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