WASHINGTON—As the leaves begin to turn and another election season draws to a close, the term "presumptive" has once again readied itself for a four-year repose in obscurity and restful slumber. Plucked from the recesses of the English language to serve for the brief but heady interval between the first presidential primaries and the party nominating conventions, the elegant adjective has toiled earnestly these past nine months, scurrying through the lips and pens of journalists the world over, and shall now retire for a spell, far from the public eye. "Go now, you gentle political buzzword," CNN political correspondent John King said. "See you in 2012, when our paths be fit to cross again." King also noted the recent delightful retreat of the word "incumbent," whose haughty three-syllable form plagues our election coverage every two years.
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