Never give up on helping Republicans with their English-language skills

Yes, I suffer setback after disappointment, but when I get a release such as this one from SC Rep. Bill Taylor:

Abandon the “Government Plantation”

 Meet Louisiana State Sen. Elbert Guillory

Please join me in Columbia this coming Sunday afternoon as we give a SC  WELCOME to Louisiana State Sen. Elbert Guillory.


Sen. Guillory has became an Internet sensation after bravely voicing his disapproval of the progressive agenda and Liberal policies. Nearly a million people have viewed his video “Why I Am A Republican” in explaining why he switched from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party…

… I don’t rant, rave, or fulminate, in spite of the great insult to the language I love. I simply reply with a neutral, but firm, correction:

FYI, there’s a typo in there. You wrote “Democrat Party” where you meant “Democratic Party.”

This nonsense has been going on for far too long. I seem to recall George Will taking Bob Dole to task for it quite publicly, back in the ’70s, when Dole was going on about “Democrat Wars,”

One of these days, it’s going to get through. The important thing is, never let it just pass. When you hear it, speak up — as I said, calmly but firmly. Surely they will eventually pick up on it.

There are some Republicans out there who want English to be our official, statutory language. Well, if they want people speaking English, they should model the correct behavior…

16 thoughts on “Never give up on helping Republicans with their English-language skills

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Yeah, I see this quite often. Do you think this is being done intentionally, or is this just sloppy? if intentionally, to what end? It is a subtle jab somehow?

    For what it’s worth, I agree. Democrats are members of the Democratic Party. I’m fine with the construction: “John Doe is a life-long Democrat, having voted for members of the Democratic Party since 1976.”

    If I was king for a day and could fix one thing with language, I would require use of the serial comma on pain of being put in the public stocks. Three hours for each offense.

    I’m cruel but fair.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think it’s because Republicans recognize being “democratic” as a good thing, and don’t want to credit their “enemies” with any good qualities. So they say “Democrat Party,” which is so deeply wrong and jarring that it has a ugly feel to it.

      Either that, or they are just totally clueless.

      I think that’s the case with your younger Republicans — those who are, say, 45 or younger — who often simply don’t know any better. To them, it’s just a matter of “This is the way Republicans talk.” I, on the other hand, am old enough to remember when Republicans spoke like native English-speakers…

  2. Rose

    Say, Brad (or anyone) can you recommend a good grammar textbook/workbook for elementary age children? Seriously. They don’t really teach it any more, so I’m planning on adding that to my son’s supplementary lessons at home. We’re already working on cursive handwriting.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Sorry, I can’t. I don’t remember the books I learned grammar from…

      Actually, I think I learned grammar just from reading a lot. I didn’t read textbooks in school; I just aced the tests because I knew what was right, without necessarily being able to recite the rule.

      I’m not being facetious. I actually think that’s the best way to learn.

      I know good writers who are able to TEACH writing (Claudia Brinson does it), but I’ve never thought it was teachable. The best thing you can do to learn to write well, in MY book, is read good stuff — then write like that…

  3. Andrew

    I would love to hear your opinion on The State forbidding Ron Morris from writing and reporting on USC sports.

    Has something like this ever happened before?

    1. Doug Ross

      Spurrier even made it clear that he has a relationship with the Henry Haitz that allowed him to recommend Morris’ replacement. Since The State is basically left with reporting on Gamecock football as its primary niche, I guess this was one last grasp at remaining relevant, They’ve ceded most other reporting to blogs and local television.

  4. Abba

    The general grammatical errors in the release bother me, too, and I see this kind of thing far too often. “Senator Guillory has became . . . ” is terrible; we can only hope that was a typo rather than the result of ignorance. In addition, why do so many folks feel the need to capitalize a standard adjective like “liberal” as Representative Taylor does with “Liberal politics”? The syntax in the next sentence is wrong, too: it actually states that “Nearly a million people” explained why the Louisiana senator switched parties. What? I want to pound my head on my desk.

  5. Brad Warthen Post author

    I got an email reply from Rep. Bill Taylor:

    I am grateful for your neutral, but firm (public) correction. I apologize for a typo that insulted the language you love.

    So I felt kinda bad for embarrassing him. But just a little bit bad. I’m really sick of seeing that aggressively wrong phrase…


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