Monday, February 04, 2013

Must not call Democrats Democrats

Deliberately misusing the noun form of a group’s name as an adjective is another too-cute way of giving offense while pretending to do nothing of the kind. Jewish food and Jewish doctor mean the same thing as Jew food and Jew doctor, but one version is intended to sting. This is the same schoolyard device many members of the GOP continue to use, with their endless variations on the term “Democrat party” instead of Democratic party, including George W. Bush‘s reference to the “Democrat majority,” and Bob Dole’s deathless “Democrat wars.”

Just why such a construction should be offensive at all is unclear—aside from the fact that it fails to honor the right any group should have to determine what it’s called. Zimmer thinks it may have something to do with the way the terms clang against the ear. “There’s a stress clash,” he says. “If you have two stressed syllables next to each other instead of having a non-stressed one between them it’s just harsher.” The -ish and -ic suffixes in effect serve as shock absorbers.



Dean said...

Democratic describes a society in which the people all have a say in their nation's affairs or particular party that subscribes to that principle.

A Democrat is an individual member of that party. That individual may or may not agree with the basic tenet of their party.

Given that the present administration seems bent on denying citizens not of their party the right to have a say in the affairs of this nation one cannot say they are Democratic, only that they are members of that party.

Thus it is the Democrat party. A group of people that take the name, but not the principles, of the true Democratic party.

Perhaps in a later post we can discuss the polar opposite of the Democrat party - the Tea Party.

Anonymous said...

It is certainly not the "Democratic" party. There is nothing "democratic" about that political party. Most democrats would actually be horrified if they actually took the time to find out what the liberal controlled party is promoting. The problem is that it takes too much work to think for yourself. It's much easier to swallow the drivel the president spews.