"Democrat party"

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 1 16:52:28 UTC 2008

There's a considerable difference between "Democrat Party" and
"Republic Party."  "Democrat" has a final stressed syllable and
"Republic" doesn't.  The syllable "crat" conforms to the phonotactics
of English taboo vocabulary: short vowel and final voiceless consonant
usually a stop, which turns "Democrat" into an epithet in a way that
can't be done with "Republic."  Among Republican political consultants
it's been a routine form of name-calling for decades.


On Sun, Jun 1, 2008 at 7:59 AM, David Bowie <db.list at pmpkn.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "Democrat party"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From:    RonButters at AOL.COM
> <snip>
>> 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.
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