conservative; conservatory, adj. These words are to be distinguished. Conservational = of or relating to conservation.
=characterized by a tendency to preserve or keep intact unchanged; believing in
the maintenance of existing political and social institutions. Conservatory (rarely used as an an adjective)
—from Garner’s Modern American Usage, 3rd edition, 2009
conservative for moderate. “A conservative estimate”; “a
conservative forecast”; “a conservative statement,” and so on. These and many
other abuses of the word are of recent growth in the newspapers and “halls of
legislation.” Having been found to have several meanings, conservative seems to
be thought to mean everything.
—from Ambrose Bierce’s Write It Right, 1909
liberal. In l. education the adjective retains a sense that
is almost obsolete, and yet is near enough to some extant sense to make
misunderstanding possible. A liberal education is neither one in which expense
is not spared, nor one in which enlightened methods of teaching prevail, nor
even one that instils broadmindedness; or rather it is not so called because it
is any of these. It is the education that used to be considered the only
fitting one for what used to be called a gentleman (Latin liber a free man), and is opposed on the
one hand to technical or professional or any special training, and on the other
to education that stops short before manhood is reached. The L. Arts of the Middle Ages were Grammar,
Dialectic, Rhetoric, Music, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Astronomy.
—from Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 2nd edition, 1965
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