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  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I don't think anyone has mentioned 'derelict' yet
    Psst... (Look at post #2)
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #12

    Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In the US, we call them "homeless" as well. I haven't heard the words "hobo" used in my life except in fiction books set in the past when "riding the rails" was considered romantic. We use "bum" for many people, including an athlete who is playing poorly or your Congressman.

    We have a PC phrase too, but I can't think of it either.
    Wow, that's a minor shock to me. I do hear the word "hobo" on American TV from time to time, and I thought it was a pretty common word. I can only think of one person, Craig Ferguson, who uses the word a lot, and he's not a native speaker of American English, but I'd have bet my arm I've heard it from other people, without any reference to the romance of being homeless. I understand I need to rethink that bet.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: What do you call this person?

    Just to clarify, the idea of being homeless because you have become desitute and lost your home has never been romantic. That's just sad. But there is a romantacized notion that there was a time when there were people with no fixed addess, who hopped on trains (illegally) to take them from one spot to another, sitting around campfire at night with others who did the same thing, and while they had no money they had their freedom, etc. Those are the types of people you might refer to as hobos.

    I have never, not once, seen an unfortunate person on the street and heard someone say "We should do something about/for the hobos" or "I was shocked to find a hobo using the bathroom in our office building."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: What do you call this person?

    I'm guilty of having misunderstood the use of the word "hobo" too, in that case. I thought it was an AmE term for homeless people.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #15

    Re: What do you call this person?

    As with everything, usage can be very regional. You might from someone from the deep South or California weighing in tonight saying "I don't know what this Barb person means. That's all we ever call them!"

    However, it does make me remember that "street people" is sometimes heard too.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Psst... (Look at post #2)
    Sorry - I meant 'indigent' (I thought there was one word... but....)

    b

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: What do you call this person?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm guilty of having misunderstood the use of the word "hobo" too, in that case. I thought it was an AmE term for homeless people.
    Me too, reinforced by the song There But for Fortune. When Joan Baez sang 'show me the hobo who sleeps out in the rain' I wrongly assumed (encouraged by my happy-clappy mentors ) that anyone who slept out in the rain was a hobo.

    b

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