"Democrat party"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sat May 31 18:12:12 UTC 2008

There is no reason why all group names should follow the same paradigm. We 
have Baptists and Catholics and Presbyterians and Mormons (or is it LDS-ers?). 
Should that be Baptistians or Catholicists or Presbyters or Mormonians (or is 
it LDS-ists)?

I agree with Larry, not only is it not a simple matter of "analogy," it is 
also the case that it is simply impolite and childish to use terms of reference 
that the vast majority of the members of the referred-to group do not wish to 
have used. "Democrat Party" is akin to name-calling--about as puerile as 
"Repub-bull-ick Party would be."

In a message dated 5/31/08 12:32:45 PM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:

> At 7:27 AM -0400 5/31/08, David Bowie wrote:
> >From:    Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> >
> >>Have noticed within the past few weeks that Fox News journalists now
> >>regularly employ this designation.
> >
> >>How fair and balanced of them!
> >
> >It's always seemed to me to be a simple case of analogy: a Republican is
> >member of the Republican Party, a a Libertarian is a member of the
> >Libertarian Party, a Communist is a member of the Communist Party, so a
> >Democrat must be a member of the Democrat Party.
> >
> Is it really that simple?  What the analogy fails to account for is
> the fact that the first three are essentially adjectives when
> lower-cased as ordinary words rather than proper names.  We speak of
> republican/libertarian/communist ideas, traditions, goals, etc., but
> we speak of democratic (not democrat) ideas, traditions, goals, etc.
> I think we would also ask "How Republican is s/he?" and "How
> Democratic is s/he?" rather than "How Democrat?"  Another standard
> test for adjectives is occurrence in the "seems/remains ___", and I
> think we get this pattern:
> After the midterm elections, the majority remained
> Republican/Democratic/??Democrat.
> Your family seems basically Republican/Democratic/??Democrat to me.
> This isn't to dispute the possibility of a noun-noun compound
> "Democrat party" of the Fox kind, just to argue that the analogy is
> imperfect.  Plus, there's the history, with Nixon, Dole et al.
> sneering at "Democrat wars" (WWI, WWII, etc.), or with the use by
> Ailes, Rove, and other fair and balanced Foxniks.  To be sure, there
> is a well-established tradition of sneering at opposing parties,
> movements, or politicos by using names or nicknames they reject,
> whether it's "Know-Nothing", "Mugwump", "Women's Libber", "Commie",
> "neo-Nazi", "left-liberal", "nervous nellies", "appeasers", or
> "Trotskyite" (as opposed to "Trotskyist"), but in the old days
> television networks and the mainstream press would be reluctant to
> employ these labels.  I've never heard of a Democrat who employed, or
> welcomed the use of,"Democrat party" (although no doubt this does
> exist).
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch "Cooking with 
Tyler Florence" on AOL Food.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list