diverse = 'ethnically different'

Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Wed Jan 19 17:08:45 UTC 2011

Again, it seems more accurate to say that "diverse" does not MEAN 'non-white' in the contexts that Leslie indicates, but that we INFER that that is the intended sense in which it is to be interpreted, based on the context. On the other hand,

"This museum is very diverse" probably indicates just that the museum has a wide variety of artistic works. 
"This agenda is very diverse" indicates most likely a wide variety of subjects to be taken up. 
"This menu/winelist/dessert offering is very diverse" indicates a wide variety of potables.
"Christianity is very diverse" will not be taken to refer to ethnicity but to patterns of belief.

If a dictionary had to define "diverse" according to all the inferable senses of "diverse," it would be as big as China.

On Jan 19, 2011, at 12:05 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 1/19/2011 10:01 AM, Leslie Decker wrote:
>> In primary and secondary education circles, diverse often has the meaning
>> 'non-white' or 'of non-Northern/Western European descent.' You'll often hear
>> things like, "This school is very diverse,"  when it's 95% Hispanic (and 99%
>> of those Hispanics are Mexican).
> The previous is dumb, but for the following:
>> I once had a lecturer in Education classes at grad school who not only made
>> statements as in the above, but used to say things like 'people who are
>> diverse' or 'people of diverse ethnicity.'
> Isn't this what the OED calls (perhaps sexist-ly):
> 1.b.  Without the. With pl. concord.In this sense people has in
> colloquial use taken the place of men in 'men say', etc. (see man n.1 1b).  ?
> Or:
> 6.  The body of men, women, and children comprising a particular
> nation, community, ethnic group, etc. Cf. folk n. 1.Sometimes viewed
> as a single unit, sometimes simply as a collective of individuals.
> (b) With pl. concord. A nation, regarded as a collection of individuals. ?
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list