[Ads-l] "illegal immigrant" as politically incorrect

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 30 22:02:23 UTC 2015

It is said, by the sort of tendentious, mystical semantic reinterpretation
we are familiar with, that no person can be actually be "illegal."

Because it is perfectly legal, and more than legal, to be a person,
immigrant or otherwise.

So "illegal immigrant" is a coarse insult to the humanity of the

As is "alien," because aliens are from space.


On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 10:43 AM, Amy West <medievalist at w-sts.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "illegal immigrant" as politically incorrect
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 11/28/15 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> > Date:    Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:05:53 -0800
> > From:    "James A. Landau"<JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> > Subject: "illegal immigrant" as politically incorrect
> >
> > I somehow got on the mailing list for a group called "DefineAmerican".
> >
> > This group has been trying to get people to stop using the term "illegal
> immigrant".  Specifically they have been targeting CNN. In their words:
> <snip>
> >
> > I have no idea how big or important DefineAmerican is, and I have not
> heard anyone else object to the term "illegal immigrant" (although the
> above text implies the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is also
> behind this campaign).
> Well, I had a student remark on another student's use of the term in
> class during peer review a couple weeks ago. These are adult (30+ & 50+
> years old, respectively) students.
> ---Amy West
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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