Editing for Grammarphobes: Adventures in Punditry
Here are some words I have heard thrown around by television political pundits and the comedians who mock them. I thought it might be handy to list their definitions as a continuation of Wednesday’s vocabulary post.
Again, all definitions are taken from Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary and Dictionary.com.
This word means “government by the wealthy” or a “controlling class of the wealthy.” It also can mean a group of people exercising power or influence by virtue of its wealth.
Slightly different from plutocracy, an oligarchy is a government in which a small group exercises control and has all of the power. Government by the few rather than the majority. Webster adds this small group usually wields their power for selfish and corrupt purposes.
Capitalism is “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods or investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control, by prices and production and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.”
A capitalist is defined as one who has capital, especially invested in business or a very wealthy person.
Socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective governmental ownership and administration of these means of production and distribution of goods” by the community as a whole.
A socialist is one who advocates the practices of socialism. This is not to be confused with socialites, who usually are unaware these words exist.
Communism is “the governmental system which advocates the elimination of private property and in which all good are common and available as needed.”
A communist is an advocate of communism. Although sometimes it describes someone one who is a revolutionary or engaged in subversive activities, that usage is not correct.
And Now, To Lighten Things Up a Bit...
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