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  #1  
Old 08-08-2013, 08:51 PM
Shmendrik Shmendrik is offline
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"Caucasian"... I don't think that word means what you think it means.

I noticed this amusing passage in a news article describing how the Tsarnaev brothers befriended a white supremacist conspiracy theorist.

Quote:
Rosenberg said Tuesday he doesn't think Larking helped the Tsarnaev brothers, ethnic Chechens from Russia, formulate ideas but may have made them believe others felt as they did.

"(They) were seeing someone who was Caucasian and was born in America who was saying the same things," the attorney said.
Whatever the general merits of using "Caucasian" as a euphemism for "White", it just doesn't work here for some reason.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2013, 09:45 PM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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Well, Chechnian is about as Caucasian as one can get. Did the writer mean they were seeing someone with Chechnian ancestry?
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:50 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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I don't get it. Did they (or their lawyer) not know the difference between "Caucasians" (white folk) and Caucasians (from the Caucasus)?
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:52 PM
Shmendrik Shmendrik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
Well, Chechnian is about as Caucasian as one can get. Did the writer mean they were seeing someone with Chechnian ancestry?
No. He was using Caucasian to mean white, as opposed to Chechnyan.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:41 AM
njtt njtt is online now
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Chechnians aren't white?

Mind you, my daughter used to attend high school with a lot of Armenian (i.e. Armenian American) kids, and she told me that they insist vehemently that they are not Caucasians.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:55 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Njtt, either I'm being whooshed, or you are unaware that Armenia is very much in the Caucasus region -- the part of Asia dominated by the Caucasus Mountains and their foothills to the north and south -- and that this thread is about the confusion which can occur when a speaker is using the term "Caucasion" to mean one thing but the listener understands it to mean something else. Both definitions are valid, but they are very different (though have the same original etymology -- and, IIRC, are linked through some Victorian-era scholar's long-since-debunked idea that "white people" began as a group in that part of Asia).

ETA: Now I see the smiley face. Never mind! That's funny.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 08-09-2013 at 05:57 AM..
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