"Democrat party"

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Sun Jun 1 11:59:09 UTC 2008

From:    RonButters at AOL.COM


> 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."

I challenge the "vast majority" claim.

Vast majority of national Democratic Party figures, maybe. But the vast
majority of Democrats? I suspect "don't know/don't care" would be the
plurality (at least) response, were a poll taken.

You brought up religious group names--the Mormon/LDS thing may be nicely
parallel. In my experience, no US Mormons/LDS[1] find others' use of LDS
impolite, but a fair number find others' use of Mormon impolite while
many other US Mormons/LDS see no impoliteness in it at all. (I suspect
this is regionally differentiated, but i can't be certain.) My best
guess is that Democrat as a party label is, for Democrats, like Mormon
is for Mormons/LDS.

This isn't to say that Fox News types are using Democrat as a party
label innocently--i think they're happily needling the sort of people
that the use of the term needles--i'm just saying that i don't think it
actually makes a difference to most hearers.

[1] LDS is both singulars and plural, and a reference to both the church
and its members. Now *there*'s multitasking for you!

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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

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