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A brief history of the term ‘president-elect’ in the United States

By Mark Satta, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Wayne State University
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On Jan. 20, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States. Until then, he is president-elect of the United States.

But what exactly does it mean to be president-elect of the United States?

As a lawyer and philosopher who studies word meaning, I have researched the meaning and history of the term “president-elect” using publicly available resources like the Corpus of Historical American English – a searchable database of over 400…


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