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  1. #11
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: introduce one's race

    "Race" is thought of in Western terms (or at least American terms) as being one of three broad divisions: Caucasian, Negro, or Mongoloid.

    "Chinese" is not a "race." It is a nationality and an ethnicity.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: introduce one's race

    However, you do have to bear in mind that the terminology means different things to different people. To 5jj and I, nationality refers to the passport you hold (or the country which would grant you a passport if you chose to apply for one). When I started to work at an international airport some 21 years ago, I discovered that this understanding was not the same for everyone. I dealt with a particular form which almost all arriving passengers had to fill in and which had a question simply marked "Nationality". Most passengers from Western Europe and from the Antipodes completed it with what was required, ie "British/Irish/Swiss/Swedish/Hungarian" etc. A large number of people holding USA passports, completed it with "Caucasian", "Hispanic", "Afro-American", "Asian".
    When I first started the job, I would query these answers and say to those people "Sorry, we asked for your nationality" but they would always say that that was what they had given on the form. In the UK though, those answers would have been the answer to the question "What race/ethnicity are you?" - a question we absolutely never ask.
    When told that the answer we were expecting was "American" or "USA", we were told "Then you should have asked us for our "Citizenship".
    We had the same kind of issues with people from the Far East. The answers we were trying to elicit were, for example "Chinese", "Singaporean", "Taiwanese" etc, but the passenger completed the "Nationality" question sometimes with "Oriental", "Eastern", or "Asian".

    For the 18 years I was in that job, we pushed for the wording to be changed to "Passport Held" or something similar but seemingly legally that didn't do it. It had to be nationality, even if some people didn't understand what was meant by that in the UK.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #13
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: introduce one's race

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    However, you do have to bear in mind that the terminology means different things to different people. To 5jj and I, nationality refers to the passport you hold (or the country which would grant you a passport if you chose to apply for one). When I started to work at an international airport some 21 years ago, I discovered that this understanding was not the same for everyone. I dealt with a particular form which almost all arriving passengers had to fill in and which had a question simply marked "Nationality". Most passengers from Western Europe and from the Antipodes completed it with what was required, ie "British/Irish/Swiss/Swedish/Hungarian" etc. A large number of people holding USA passports, completed it with "Caucasian", "Hispanic", "Afro-American", "Asian".
    When I first started the job, I would query these answers and say to those people "Sorry, we asked for your nationality" but they would always say that that was what they had given on the form. In the UK though, those answers would have been the answer to the question "What race/ethnicity are you?" - a question we absolutely never ask.
    When told that the answer we were expecting was "American" or "USA", we were told "Then you should have asked us for our "Citizenship".
    We had the same kind of issues with people from the Far East. The answers we were trying to elicit were, for example "Chinese", "Singaporean", "Taiwanese" etc, but the passenger completed the "Nationality" question sometimes with "Oriental", "Eastern", or "Asian".

    For the 18 years I was in that job, we pushed for the wording to be changed to "Passport Held" or something similar but seemingly legally that didn't do it. It had to be nationality, even if some people didn't understand what was meant by that in the UK.
    Thanks for the word "Antipodes." I've never seen it used like that.

    I would expect some white American citizens to put down something like "German-Polish" to describe the origin of their family's ancestors if asked for a "nationality."

  4. #14
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: introduce one's race

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Thanks for the word "Antipodes." I've never seen it used like that.
    It's not uncommon for us speakers of BrE. For us, New Zealand is roughly on the other side of the world, and we can extend that area to Australia (most of us believe that New Zealand is nearly as close to Australia as England is to France). For most of you Transponders, the Antipodes would be just the Indian Ocean.
    Last edited by 5jj; 15-Nov-2012 at 22:55.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #15
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: introduce one's race

    The common conception here is that, if you dig straight down, you'll eventually come up in China.

    Geography is not one of our strong suits.

    Check this out!

    If you dig straight down, where will you end up?

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