diverse => 'ethnically different'

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Thu Jan 20 15:30:29 UTC 2011

On 1/20/11 12:05 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:37:23 -0500
> From:    Victor Steinbok<aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: diverse =>  'ethnically different'
> 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.

And here don't we have a similar instance of simple, understandable,
semantic shift? Both in the "co-ed" example and in the use of "minority"
or "diverse"?

---Amy West

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

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