An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it.
There's a bit of a weird discussion over in alt.fan.cecil-adams about the supposed statement of Winston Churchill that "if you're not Liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not Conservative when you're 35, you have no brain."
Firstly, there's no evidence that he ever said anything of the sort, but that's not the point.
The point is that my American friends in AFCA believe that "Liberal" and "Conservative" should have lower-case initial letters, and hence refer to people's philosophies rather than their party political affiliations. I say that's rubbish - if Churchill actually had said that, he would definitely have been referring to the parties contending for power at the time.
Your thoughts?

John H
Yorkshire, England
1 2 3
An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it. There's a bit of a weird discussion over in ... have no brain." Firstly, there's no evidence that he ever said anything of the sort, but that's not the point.

I find that quite important, myself.
The point is that my American friends in AFCA believe that "Liberal" and "Conservative" should have lower-case initial letters, and ... had said that, he would definitely have been referring to the parties contending for power at the time. Your thoughts?

I like chasing quotations, but my thought is you're asking us to join in on a mug's game.
You're never going to know how Churchill might have capitalized something he never said. Nor what he might have meant by it.

Now, if someone finds a genuine attribution, you're back in business. Then you can see what he was speaking or writing about at the time. Context.
However, just a little Googling turns up more definite info. (I would rather expect that the Cecil Adams people found these themselves.)

First, I saw this post at Phrase Finder:
There is no record of Churchill ever speaking
these words, and it is highly unlikely that he would have because Churchill himself did precisely the
opposite. He entered politics as a Conservative and was a Conservative at age 25. He switched to the
Liberal Party at age 29 and was a Liberal at age 35. (He returned to the Conservatives at age 49.) Also, his beloved wife, Clementine, was a life-long
Liberal, and Churchill would hardly have delivered such an indirect insult to her.
And here's an even better one. At
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5952/unquote.html
someone found and listed variations of this phrase with different political affiliations inserted being attributed to:

- Wendell L. Willkie
- George Bernard Shaw
- Aristide Briand (1862 - 1932) (French premier and former socialist) - Woodrow Wilson
- Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1896)
- Georges Clemenceau (another French Premier and former socialist) - François Guisot (1787-1874)
- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
It ends by quoting:
A definitive answer arose in the wonderful book "Nice Guys Finish Seventh: False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations" by Ralph Keyes, 1992.
which says
The earliest known version of this observation is attributed to mid-nineteenth century historian and statesman François Guizot:

Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.

Best Donna Richoux
An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it. There's a bit of a weird discussion over in ... not Liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not Conservative when you're 35, you have no brain."

As thus printed, this famous saying is fantastic and stupid, so far as it refers to the two traditional parties that had alternated power in England for 150 years before Churchill went into Parliament.
As attributed to Churchill (and others) the usual form is something like: Someone not a socialist at 25 has no heart: someone still a socialist at 35 has no brain.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
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An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it. There's a bit of a weird discussion over in ... had said that, he would definitely have been referring to the parties contending for power at the time. Your thoughts?

If he said it, then you're probably right. By the time I was born, just after the war started, the Liberal party had faded from the prominence it had during his time. I grew up in a left-wing working-class council house estate and the way I heard it when I was quite young was "If you don't vote Labour (socialist) when you're 20 you have no heart, and if you don't vote Conservative when you're 50 you have no sense."

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Hertfordshire
England
An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it. There's a bit of a weird discussion over in ... had said that, he would definitely have been referring to the parties contending for power at the time. Your thoughts?

Churchill's your countryman, so you'd know better than I, but: I've heard the quote (whoever said it) and always assumed the lower-case meanings.
FWIW.
Maria Conlon
An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with ... said anything of the sort, but that's not the point.

I find that quite important, myself.

Yes, so do I, but it's pretty clear that he probably didn't say it at all. The question is how, if he (or anyone else at whatever time is was supposed to have been said) would have capitalised (or not) the words "Conservative" and "Liberal".
The point is that my American friends in AFCA believe ... the parties contending for power at the time. Your thoughts?

I like chasing quotations, but my thought is you're asking us to join in on a mug's game.

AFCA is all about mugs' games - it's part of the fun. It's also about getting to the truth about anything, no matter how trivial (such as this question).
You're never going to know how Churchill might have capitalized something he never said. Nor what he might have meant ... attribution, you're back in business. Then you can see what he was speaking or writing about at the time. Context.

Well, since this is probably hypothetical, it's difficult to be more than hypothetical about the meanings of the words. In a sense, we're putting those words into Winnie's mouth and trying to divine the meaning of them in that context.
However, just a little Googling turns up more definite info. (I would rather expect that the Cecil Adams people found ... republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.

Ah, that last one is one I hadn't found, and it's a great example of how misattribution can spread and become folklore. Thanks.

The question, though, remains - if W.C had said what he is often claimed to have said, would he have been talking about political affiliations or more general (lower-case) issues?

John H
Yorkshire, England
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
The earliest known version of this observation is attributed to mid-nineteenth century historian and statesman François Guizot: Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.

Should that be capitalised?

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it. There's a bit of a weird discussion over in ... had said that, he would definitely have been referring to the parties contending for power at the time. Your thoughts?

Churchill belonged to so many political parties in his search for power that there is a very good case to be made out for him never having uttered those words. If he had used them he might well have used either, depending on his political party. But I think it was Malcolm Muggerage who said it anyway.
An odd post, but I hope you'll put up with it. There's a bit of a weird discussion over in ... had said that, he would definitely have been referring to the parties contending for power at the time. Your thoughts?

When would he have been saying it? IIRC, the Liberal party was pining for the fjords by the mid 20's, so if it was during the part of his career for which he is best known in LeftPondia, I would assume lowercase.

Aaron Davies
Opinions expressed are solely those of a random number generator. "I don't know if it's real or not but it is a myth." -Jami JoAnne of alt.folklore.urban, showing her grasp on reality.
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