Excerpt from first draft, “Writing the Political Other”

1) Get the words right.

I’m reading a story, and one character says he’s active in the Minnesota Democrat Party.  Unless this is alternate history, I would find something else to read.  To begin with, “Democrat Party” started as a Republican dysphemism for the Democratic Party.  A Democrat might use it; but the more active in the party, the less likely.

And it’s vanishingly unlikely that he’d say “Minnesota Democratic Party,” either.  In Minnesota, it’s the DFL.  (There was a merger between the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties in 1944.  I can’t detect any trace of the latter in today’s party, but the name does remain.)

Thanks to the proliferation of political blogs, you can get a reasonable idea of which words members of a political movement use.  Be aware that there are almost certainly splits within any movement with more than five members, and these may be reflected in their words.

2 Responses to “Excerpt from first draft, “Writing the Political Other””

  1. Excerpt from first draft, “Writing the Political Other” | Politics in America Says:

    […] jr wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt1) Get the words right. I’m reading a story, and one character says he’s active in the Minnesota Democrat Party.  Unless this is alternate history, I would find something else to read.  To begin with, “Democrat Party” started as a Republican dysphemism for the Democratic Party.  A Democrat might use it; but the more active in the party, the less likely. And it’s vanishingly unlikely that he’d say “Minnesota Democratic Party,” either.  In Minnesota, it’s the DFL.  (There was a merger between the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties in 1944.  I can’t detect any trace of the latter in today’s party, but the name does remain.) Thanks to the proliferation of political blogs, you can get a reasonable idea of which words members of a political movement use.  Be aware that there are almost certainly splits within any movement with more than five members, and these may be reflected in their words. […]

  2. Smutch Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Smutch.

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