Exclusionary terms [was: Christian]

Thomas Paikeday t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA
Wed Apr 24 01:35:21 UTC 2002

This discussion has been very exhaustive and (to me) quite enlightening.

Personally, I consider u & lc "protestant," "catholic"
(post-enlightenment, as above), "foreigner," "gentile," "heathen" (if
anyone still uses such words routinely, i.e., without the context being
defined), "liberal," "native speaker," "outsider," "pagan," and such
terms somewhat exclusionary. I don't like to be referred to as a
"gentile" (by Jewish speakers, of course, but I do have many Jewish
friends; you can also check my latest dictionaries, _The Penguin
Canadian Dict._, 1990, and _The User's® Webster_, 2000).

Most dictionaries define the noun "Gentile/gentile" as "a person who is
not Jewish" (New Oxf. Amer. Dict.) or, more elaborately, "One who is not
of the Jewish faith or is of a non-Jewish nation" (Amer. Her. Dict.).
For me as a lexicographer, that does not do justice to the actual
meaning which, as far as possible, should be based on usage including
connotations. A dictionary definition also has to be plain to users who
are not familiar with the word they are looking up - sounds logical, I
hope. So I opted for "an outsider, as among Jews and Mormons: _a Jew
married to a gentile_" (2000). How do you like that? Not that I claim to
have the last word.

And here is the latest "native speaker" from The New Oxf. Amer. Dict.:
"a person who has spoken the language in question from earliest
childhood: _native speakers of English._" The phrase must seem
undefinable and metaphysical to the dictionaries that leave it alone,
but it's in heavy use among linguists, anthropologists, et. al. (as on
this List). I got my first taste of it in 1963 when registering at the
Univ. of Mich. grad school of linguistics. Someone shouted to us
registrants: "All native speakers to this side, all the others to the
other side, please."  After a semester, I checked out and immigrated to

My lexicographer friend the late David Guralnik had this to say in a
discussion of  "native speaker": "I am inclined to think that many, if
not most, of the adherents of 'native intuition' are motivated by
unconscious, or even conscious, notions that are elitist, perhaps
racist." I think that's exclusionary par excellence.

Thomas Paikeday
Lexicography, Inc.
Brampton, Ont. L6R 1Z3
Phone: 905-790-7076 (9 am to 9 pm); fax: 905-790-9168

Charles Wells wrote:
> The view that Baptists have had a continuous history since the time of
> Jesus is called the Continuation view or the Successionist view and is
> explicitly rejected by many Baptists, including quite conservative
> ones.  This is discussed quite intelligently in
> http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/9285/PBAPT.HTM
> The Successionist view is expounded (unconvincingly to me) in these two places:
> http://members.aol.com/libcfl/history.htm
> http://www.pbministries.org/History/Goodwin_&_Frazier/churches_03.htm
> People of other main line Protestant denominations deny they are
> Protestant.  Episcopalians (of which I am one) often explicitly deny they
> are Protestant on both historical (not from Luther) and theological
> grounds.  Some Episcopalians refer to themselves as Catholic.  I have heard
> Presbyterians say they are not Protestant too, but I don't remember the
> reasoning.
> On a related subject:  In the fifties, the Evangelical and Reformed Church
> and the Congregationalists merged to form the United Church of Christ.  One
> variety of Campbellite churches have been calling themselves Churches of
> Christ for 150 years or so, and many current members of those churches are
> quite resentful of the UCC for stealing their name.  The UCC is
> demographically middle and upper class and the Churches of Christ have many
> working class and small town people in them.  Not only that but the
> national UCC tends to take moderate or liberal positions (they were the
> first big denomination to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained) and the
> Churches of Christ are quite conservative theologically, although in my
> experience they are not hate-mongers or crooks like many of the more
> notorious conservative church leaders.  I am sure these two types of
> differences add fuel to their resentment.  Even though I am a pointy headed
> liberal, I tend to sympathize with their annoyance.
> I have personally witnessed people confuse the two groups, too.
> --Charles Wells
> >As for "Protestant", there is a long-standing claim that Baptists are NOT
> >Protestants.  The claim is that their variety of Christianity descended
> >from the original practices of Jesus and John the Baptist, and that the
> >Catholic Church went off on a tangent (or in other words, it's the
> >Catholics who were the Protestants.)
> >
> >In my experience most Baptists don't bother claiming this claim, but I
> >still find it odd that the Baylor administration should be unaware of it.
> >
> >      - James A. Landau
> Charles Wells
> professional website: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/math/wells/home.html
> personal website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/index.html
> genealogical website:
> http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/w/e/l/Charles-Wells/
> NE Ohio Sacred Harp website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/sh.htm

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