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What's in a name?

The Language Guy starts an interesting discussion about our use of the word 'refugee'. Personally, I don't entirely agree that 'refugee' is increasingly acquiring racial or negative connotations. But it's certainly weird and rather worrying that Bush has described people displaced by Hurricane Katrina as 'not refugees' but 'Americans'... (Aside from the prejudice implied by such a statement, it's also curiously ironic in a country settled by people from all over the world.) But there he goes again...
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posted by Anonymous Pavlos at 12:06 am

I was thrown by it too, when it came out on the news. I don't know if it's merely an unfortunate accident of linguistic evolution, like what happened to the word "natives" or a sinister effort to create new divisions, like the use of the word "migrants".    



posted by Blogger uknaija at 2:37 pm

We need to reclaim words like refugee, immigrant, asylum seekers. They are not words of abuse, most people in these situations have had to put up with a lot more than the average person could, so to me, these words indicate strength, resilience and fortitude, which are all positive attributes    



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