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@artkavanagh @rnv I certainly don’t think it’s always true — but I insist it is true much more often that most of us would like to admit.

(Also, individual word choices are the least important examples of what I’m talking about. If I were to revise my original post to exclude “word” from that list, would you be more inclined to agree that it is at least sometimes true?)

My larger point is that we humans are constantly, obsessively assessing each other to determine our relative degrees of likeness to one another. Skin color and rituals are at the head of a very long line of social and cosmetic characteristics that we all use to gauge the “otherness” of others, often with toxic, violent results. That line also includes all the myriad aspects of human behavior and custom — self-identity of ethnicity and gender, language and speech patterns, dietary choices, clothing, and on and on — that both cleave us and cleave us.

Disdain for how other people speak differs in degree, not in kind, from other chauvinisms. It’s important that we strive to be aware of how our prejudices can influence even our silly grammar peeves. The war against xenophobia is fought even on the smallest of battlefields.

// @jeremycherfas @JeremyWxBaker @jack

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