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When we use words either verbally spoken, using sign language, or written down, we are communicating.  Now that isn't really any news to any of us. We are literate, right? If you weren't, you surely would not be checking out my blog (although I have been getting better at using photographs and videos) So anyways--off the little tangent.

My point is: words written, said out loud, and communicated are important for us to understand one another. It is vital. Having really good command of language oftentimes translates into success in life. I wouldn't say it equates entirely with being wealthy, no, but it brings a sense of control over your destiny and relationships. Being understood by your fellow man creates a sense of satisfaction and that is what I mean by success.

Developing a good working vocabulary can affect your likelihood of being misunderstood, too. If you use really great words that are antiquated, yet fantastic, you might make some people angry when you only meant to give a compliment. Yet on the other hand, if you use words with specificity in mind as well as people being able to comprehend them you will get your point across efficiently and eloquently.

I would like to share with you what I learned about a phrase that someone communicated to me the other day. This is a special sort of phrase that might cause offense, so I want everyone to know that I do not direct it at anyone--at all. I just felt compelled to research the etymology so I could more fully comprehend what was being communicated to me.

The Online Etymology Dictionary:
white trash Look up white trash at Dictionary.com
1831, originally Southern U.S. black slang.
The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, whom they designate as 'poor white trash.' [Fanny Kemble, journal, Jan. 6, 1833]

White trash versus cracker, hillbilly, Okie, and redneck

In common usage "white trash" overlaps in meaning with cracker (regarding Georgia and Florida), hillbilly (regarding Appalachia), Okie (regarding Oklahoma origins), and redneck.[2] The main difference is that "redneck," "cracker", "Okie", and "hillbilly" emphasize that a person is poor and uneducated and comes from the backwoods with little awareness of the modern world, while "white trash" emphasizes the person's moral failings.[3]

Cambridge Dictionaries Online:

white trash noun

Click to hear the US pronunciation of this word [U] US offensive


white people who are poor and badly educated
(Definition of white trash noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
 After conducting this research project, I have concluded that my research on the topic is still non-conclusive. I am not a white servant, though I could be considered one at times. I try very hard to be an individual of high morals, though I fail once in awhile, and I am certain someone at some point in time would deem me as not having their morals; therefore, I would most certainly be failing in the morals category in their eyes. And last but not least, I am a decently educated woman. I was raised by a woman who corrected my English incessantly. I know how to play the piano "a little" (I fit right into being accomplished by Jane Austen standards on that point). I have sung in choirs, played in bands, took AP courses throughout high school, received an Associates Degree, and currently attend a major university, which happens to be difficult to get into by the way. Now I would not say I am a super brain or anything, yet this information displays clearly that I am not badly educated. The point of being poor is debatable though.

So there we are.

White trash is a mean thing to call anyone. It is especially unkind when speaking of anyone who actually fits the descriptions given. Jokes about poor, uneducated white people are laughed at all the time. I don't think they are funny though. I am sure that it makes at least a few people feel their ignorance and that just isn't good.

Have you ever felt your ignorance? I have and it isn't a nice way to feel. It chips away at your belief in your self-worth and you aren't comfortable in your own skin for awhile.

This goes for any racial slur. Just don't do it.

1 comment:

  1. I have referenced the article "Swearing and Sugar: a deadly combination". Hint: read number 3.


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