[Ads-l] Racist origins of "Grandfathering"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 18 13:48:29 EST 2020


"Lisa Luten, a district spokeswoman, said that Wake will drop the use of the word "grandfathering" because it's not inclusive.
"We aim to use inclusive language in our communications," Luten said in an email to the News & Observer. "This word is not inclusive. It's really that simple.”

It’s also not inclusive of grandmothers.  I’ve heard (and used) “grandparent(ed) (in)” as the relevant verb (participle), but that clearly doesn’t solve the consideration addressed here.  Is there a proposed substitute? 

--LH, who’s only been able to literally grandfather for 2.5 years, much of them curtailed by the pandemic

> On Dec 18, 2020, at 12:09 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> https://greensboro.com/news/education/wake-schools-will-stop-using-the-term-grandfathering-because-it-has-racist-origins/article_478ba8fc-3664-11eb-9a49-3706dfbe2e2b.html
> 
> News to me.
> 
> OED has 1953 for the relevant sense.
> 
> 4. transitive. North American. To exempt from new legislation or regulations, usually because of some prior condition of previously existing privilege. Frequently with in (also with into, out). Also in extended use.
> 
> 1953   Kentucky Revised Statutes 2190/2   All certificates or permits grandfathered shall be subject to the same limitations and restrictions.
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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