LINGUIST List 8.1110

Wed Jul 30 1997

Disc: "Democratic"

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. Patrick C. Ryan, Re: 8.1107, Qs: Lang. Games, "Democratic," Word Change

Message 1: Re: 8.1107, Qs: Lang. Games, "Democratic," Word Change

Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 00:20:56 +0000
From: Patrick C. Ryan <>
Subject: Re: 8.1107, Qs: Lang. Games, "Democratic," Word Change

Dear Mr. Ungar:

Is US Congress incorrect? Any noun can modify another noun.

But the heart of your question is that employment of Democratic makes
most people associate feelings deriving from the political process:
democratic elections, etc. Most Republicans would hardly utter an
unfavorable word about "democracy" though its origins are hardly as

Democrat calls forth associations with figures in the Democratic
party, many of whom are personally unlikable or do not enjoy
reputations for integrity or ethics. So the Republican strategy is
actually quite clever. Particularly in view of the fact that the
Republic Party would call forth the same positive associations since
our electorate is blissfully unaware of the significant differences
between the two forms of government.

The Democrats used to try to do something similar with "party of
Nixon", "party of Hoover" but since educational decline in this
country, how many high school graduates know who Hoover or Nixon were?

It is a dilemma for propagandists!

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