Meaning of HOT BUTTON in English

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Politics) A central issue, concern, or characteristic that motivates people to make a particular choice (among consumer goods, political candidates, social structures, etc.). Etymology: Formed by compounding: the imagery is that of a particular spot or button that must be found and pressed to trigger off the desired responses in the people one wants to influence (an image that had existed before in the figurative sense of panic button, used in the phrase hit the panic button); hot here is used in the combined senses of 'current or fashionable', as in hot news and hot fashions, and 'tricky', as in hot potato. It has been suggested that the term might also refer to the physical buttons on interactive television controls, with which viewers can vote, for example to register their support for an entertainment act or for one of the sides in a debate. History and Usage: The expression hot button originated in the world of marketing in the US in the late seventies, when it was used to refer to the 'upcoming' desires of the buying public that the market would need to satisfy. It acquired a much wider currency when it started to be used in political contexts, though: before the end of the seventies it had been used as a synonym for hot-spot (describing Washington and Los Angeles as political hot buttons), but it was not widely applied to political issues of current concern (what the British might have called political hot potatoes) until the US presidential campaigns of 1984 and 1988. Since then hot button has become a political buzzword in the US, developing an attributive use as well (in hot-button issue etc.) in which it means 'central, influential, crucial'. The news-magazine [Newsweek], in the forefront of popularizers of this phrase, listed Republican hot buttons as the American Civil Liberties Union, abortion and guns. New York Times Magazine 6 Nov. 1988, p. 22 Randall Lewis...discussed the 'hot buttons' essential to catering to baby boom families. New York Times 25 Jan. 1990, section C, p. 6 In the recent Congressional elections, Senator Helms tried to make homosexuality the 'hot button' of his campaign. Gay Times Dec. 1990, p. 11

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.