The last thing abandoned by a party is its phraseology, because among political parties, as elsewhere, the vulgar make the language, and the vulgar abandon more easily the ideas that have been instilled into it than the words that it has learnt.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
France Before the Consulate, ch. 1 “How the Republic was ready to accept a master” (1862)

Alt. trans.:

  • "The last thing a political party gives up is its vocabulary. This is because, in party politics as in other matters, it is the crowd who dictates the language, and the crowd relinquishes the ideas it has been given more readily than the words it has learned."
  • The last thing that a party abandons is its language."
Added on 10-Feb-11 | Last updated 10-Feb-11
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