Saturday, August 06, 2005

Say the word, and you'll be free

Scoobie Davis mentions one of my pet peeves, the use by the Radical Right of Democrat as an adjective:

Brad Blog has the goods on the Republican front group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) and its sham report on voter intimidation and how much of the right-wing blogosphere fell for it. What I found most revealing was how transparently phony this GOP front group was; it was if they didn't make an attempt to fake us out. It took me two seconds to do a Google search that shows the group is a front group. Also, the title of the "study" on the group's web site is a dead giveaway: "Democrat [sic] Operatives Far More Involved In Voter Intimidation And Suppression In 2004, Thousands Of Americans Disenfranchised By Vote Fraud On Election Day." For those of you who don't know, a favorite habit of wingnuts is to use the word "Democrat" instead of "Democratic" as a adjective (e.g., Bob Dole's famous "Democrat Wars" comment in 1976). This is just sad.

I previously mentioned this insulting grammatical error here:

Some time ago, the Wingers started using the word “Democrat” as an adjective. I first heard it on Rush, but I don’t really care where it started. It’s become a pejorative term to the Wingers. I remember years ago a friend chided me for listening to that “Democrat radio station” (KPFK, Pacifica station, BTW.)

And now we are doing it too! I hear Randi Rhodes use it everyday, as well as others.

People, please use the words correctly. I know, it’s a minor issue, but like Lakoff says, it’s about framing. And it’s got to be our framing, not the Radical Right’s.

Here’s the definition of democrat, according to Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: dem·o·crat
Pronunciation: 'de-m&-"krat
Function: noun
1 a : an adherent of democracy b : one who practices social equality
2 capitalized : a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.

Here’s the definition of democratic:

Main Entry: dem·o·crat·ic
Pronunciation: "de-m&-'kra-tik
Function: adjective
1 : of, relating to, or favoring democracy
2 often capitalized : of or relating to one of the two major political parties in the U.S. evolving in the early 19th century from the anti-federalists and the Democratic-Republican party and associated in modern times with policies of broad social reform and internationalism
3 : relating to, appealing to, or available to the broad masses of the people

And please note entry #4:

4 : favoring social equality : not snobbish

So thanks, Scoobie. Perhaps we can recapture the language. Maybe even the country.

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