diverse => 'ethnically different'

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 19 17:37:23 UTC 2011

This really reeks of use/misuse distinction or, at least, the assumption
of "non-standard" usage. But we already have a parallel in "coed".
Certainly, "coed" means something that involves an educational
opportunity for both sexes--whether it's an entire school, a college
dorm or something else. But "coed" is often used to indicate women only
and has been nouned in that sense--when some Neanderthal refers to a
"sexy coed" he certainly does not imply any sense of androgeny. Are you
going to say that when used in that context that it "does not MEAN"
women[-only] but that "we INFER that that is the intended sense"? Or do
you simply imply that there is a difference between the two because
"coed" has been around much longer with its dual meanings?


On 1/19/2011 12:03 PM, Ronald Butters wrote:
> 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 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). 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.'

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