How many does it take to be "diverse"?

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Tue Feb 19 04:19:36 UTC 2008

>Amusing: "diverse" now basically means "colored," then.

In the US, probably so. In Canada, "multiculturalism" refers to a
really wide variety of cultures, including very white people from
non-WASP cultures (e.g., my wife's parents, from the Baltics); a
person up here could get away with being "diverse" without being
"coloured". My sense (fostered by a half-decade in Boston and by the
incredible amount of US TV and culture one gets up here) is that in
the US "multiculturalism" is somewhat more chiaroscuro. Not that
there aren't also, for example, Estonians in the US, just that the
focus of "diversity" is somewhat more on the visible racial
distinctions. This seems to be what you (Benjamin) are also saying.
Or am I mistaken?

Ciao, James.

The American Dialect Society -

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