Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Don't be a luddy-duddy! Don't be a mooncalf! Don't be a jabbernowl! You're not those, are you?

One of my personal pet peeves is this inane use of the noun "Democrat" to refer to the adjective "democratic." The New Yorker explains how this was intentionally wedged into the English language, or at least political discourse, by conservative mouth-breathers.

There's no great mystery about the motives behind this deliberate misnaming. "Democrat Party" is a slur, or intended to be, a handy way to express contempt. Aesthetic judgments are subjective, of course, but "Democrat Party" is jarring verging on ugly. It fairly screams "rat." At a slightly higher level of sophistication, it's an attempt to deny the enemy the positive connotations of its chosen appellation.

Digby caught a good example in John Boehner's speech on "civility" at the opening of the new congress last week. It's not just bad grammar, it's impolite-

You see, it actually isn't very civil at all to change the name of someone's else's political party against their will. In fact, it's universally considered rude and cretinous not to call people by the names and designations by which they wish to be called.

It may seem small but it's part of the Orwellian assault on language that conservative strategists have been implementing for years. Democratic politicians do us all a disservice when they let it slide in the name of comity. Boehner's remarks should've been followed by a rhetorical bitch-slap from a Democrat calling him on the hypocrisy of calling for civility while playing rude semantic games. It's going to take that level of awareness to put enough of a focus on the embarrass embarass republics, sorry republicans, into changing their ways.


Don Snabulus said...

If leaving letters out is okay, I am sure the Pubic party won't mind if the same is done to them.

Dean Wormer said...


Anonymous said...

It's been the Democrat party since the beginning. Calling those idiots Democratic is a joke There is nothing Democratic about it, especially in recent years. You Mr. Wormer (bummer last name)are a jabberknowl

frailnail said...

Mr. Wormer, I believe you may have a low personal pet peeve threshold.