Linguistic nationalism' is a term frequently employed to describe forms of nationalistic politics structured around issues of linguistic distinctiveness and exclusiveness. Although widely used, the term is arbitrary in the sense that the selective nature of nationalism makes it possible for a variety of factors constituting national communities to come into play; in consequence, the defining features of nationalism vary: they may be linguistic, religious, cultural, political or civic. From the 1920s onwards, Hatzidaki's language politics underwent a significant transformation. Well into the 1930s, the elderly professor of linguistics remained faithful to his linguistic and political agenda until he finally withdrew from public life and died in 1941. Hatzidaki's work and activities provide ample material for analysing the complex network of language, ideology and power in twentieth-century Greece. Both language and linguistics as a discipline developed within a particular political context that contributed to the formation of a bourgeois public sphere, also to conservative politics, in twentieth-century Greece.