Source of Indian Anecdote/christian

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Sat Apr 20 16:21:35 UTC 2002

On Sat, 20 Apr 2002, Paul M. Johnson wrote:

#Here in rural Arkansas, if you asked someone what religion they were; you'd
#be told they are a Christian.  Very rarely will you here someone refer to
#themselves as a Baptist, Methodist or whatever.

I recall reading -- decades ago, and I can't remember where or when, but
probably while studying linguistics -- of a small US Christian sect
(church, brotherhood, pick a term) that had a peculiar use of the
definite article. A member who was going to be traveling said that in
one city he'd be "staying with the Christians", meaning that he would be
a house guest of fellow members of this group, and in another city he
would be "staying with Christians", i.e., a house guest of Christians
who were not members of this group. IIRC, when the linguist who he was
talking to pointed this out to him, the church member had not been aware
of making this distinction but agreed that that was how they used it.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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