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? 99 Percent

noun; compounding metonymy
the common person or the common United States citizen; refers to the vast majority of the population in the United States who make up only 1% of America’s wealth distribution
 
The term ‘99 percent,’ which represents all working class or middle class Americans relates metonymically to the statistic that 99% of the population holds only 1% of the country’s wealth while the top 1% holds 99% of the country’s wealth. In this case, one characteristic of the population (the statistic) is used to represent the population as a whole. A specific group of protesters who opposed the unequal distribution of wealth present in the American economy first began to use this term during their protests. The term was created by these protestors to demonstrate the disparity and unfairness of the situation with concrete data, which makes their argument more credible and compelling.
Etymology : a compound of the numeric word ‘99’ and the word ‘percent;’ the number 99 is based on the Arabic numeral system; the word ‘percent’ originated from the Latin word, ‘per centum,’ meaning “by the hundred” (from Online Etymology Dictionary)
Source : The 99 percent will converge on Wall Street to let the 1 percent know just how frustrated they are with living in a world made for someone else.” –from http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/Introduction (September 2011)
Last modified: 3 December 2011


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