“Democrat” is a Noun
Martin Benvenuto writes:
Could you please settle a discussion concerning Democrat vs. Democratic. It is my contention that Democratic is not the plural of Democrat. Is this correct?
Democrat is a noun. Democratic is an adjective. The plural of democrat is democrats.
This question put me in mind of the incorrect way that the noun democrat is often used in place the adjective democratic.
As I usually do when beginning a post on usage, I looked for random examples of the error I wished to illustrate. I was surprised to come upon this information in a Wikipedia article:
“Democrat Party” is a political epithet used in the United States instead of “Democratic Party” when talking about the Democratic Party. The term has been principally used by conservative commentators and members of the Republican Party in party platforms, partisan speeches and press releases since the 1930s. The explicit goal is to dissociate the name of the rival party from the concept of democracy.
That was a new one on me. I’d thought the error was committed because writers and speakers didn’t understand that, while the word Republican can be either a noun or an adjective, Democrat has distinctive noun and adjective forms.
a republican form of government
the Republican party
the Republican National Committee
Republicans with strong principles.
a democratic form of government
the Democratic party
the Democratic National Committee
Democrats with strong principles.
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