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  1. #1
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    Default Four-letter words

    Hi,
    They are ESLs and EFLs.
    In (on?) some English language forums, for the sake of brevity, people use acronyms ESLs Ėnonnative English speakers (for whom English is a Second Language) and EFLs Ė learners of English as a foreign language, because these collocations are extremely frequent. Where thereís a demand, thereís a supply.
    I canít trackback where exactly I picked the acronyms.
    I have no idea who was the first to use them.
    A glimpse at what Google returns hasnít given me any clues.
    There are some other acronyms denoting people Ė we can say MPs (members of parliament), PMs (prime ministers).

    In fact itís the continuation of the discussion which stemmed from another thread.
    This link will provide pros and cons.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/24510-3rd-conditionals-2.html
    I donít often see eye to eye with Riverkid, but I find his arguments convincing here.

    A question to native and, particularly, nonnative English speakers and learners of English as aforeign language:
    Do you find the acronyms ESLs and EFLs offensive?
    I wish I could create a poll.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Four-letter words

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    They are ESLs and EFLs.
    In (on?) some English language forums, for the sake of brevity, people use acronyms ESLs Ėnonnative English speakers (for whom English is a Second Language) and EFLs Ė learners of English as a foreign language, because these collocations are extremely frequent. Where thereís a demand, thereís a supply.
    I canít trackback where exactly I picked the acronyms.
    I have no idea who was the first to use them.
    A glimpse at what Google returns hasnít given me any clues.
    There are some other acronyms denoting people Ė we can say MPs (members of parliament), PMs (prime ministers).

    In fact itís the continuation of the discussion which stemmed from another thread.
    This link will provide pros and cons.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/24510-3rd-conditionals-2.html
    I donít often see eye to eye with Riverkid, but I find his arguments convincing here.

    A question to native and, particularly, nonnative English speakers and learners of English as aforeign language:
    Do you find the acronyms ESLs and EFLs offensive?
    I wish I could create a poll.

    Thanks
    No - why would one find them offensive? They are a practical means of saying something quickly and in a way which everyone can understand.

    Some more obscure acronyms are irritating, but that's another matter.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Four-letter words

    I don't think that the terms ESL or EFL are insulting at all. They simply state a truth: one refers to people who speak/are learning English as a second language, for political, social, or cultural reasons, they NEED to know English as well as their first language. Such is the case with immigrants. If they are to live in the U.S. they NEED to know the language. EFL refers to people who learn English as a foreign language, meaning that they are learning it as a requisite for something, but the language is not immediately needed. One such example is Japan. They learn English because it is part of their curriculum, but they don't really need it.

    Personally, I find the use of masking insulting terms more offensive. I hate it when people say "don't use the N word" instead of saying "don't say nigger", or when they say "el es negrito" or "el es un Africanito" [Spanish] instead of "el es negro" or "el es Africano", as if to be black or from Africa was a horrible sin. After all, it's not the word, it's the context and the way it is used.

    P.S. I am a Spanish speaking "spic" who is often confused for a "nigger", so I should know about discrimination.

  4. #4
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Four-letter words

    Even the American media uses the euphemism "the N word" almost all the time. It is rare to see that word actually spelled out anymore.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Four-letter words


  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Four-letter words

    I have nothing against the use of acronyms, but there is a school of thought that is against them, just as many prefer to say 'a person with dyslexia' rather than a 'dyslexic', on the grounds that the use of the adjective as a noun dehumanises the person. I use 'ESL/EFL learners'.

    PS, why can't you post a poll- the option is at the foot of thepage when you start a new thread, though I wouldn't recommend one in this case as the other thread seems fractious enough.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Four-letter words

    Thank you very much indeed, Anglika and Johansen,
    That's a relief. After Casiopea's rebuke I felt as if I were a criminal or a brute.
    As to negrito, africanito, it's a complex issue.
    On the one hand it's ridiculous - if the word m***** is offensive, then m****ito should sound OK?
    On the other hand people are afraid to be accused of rudeness.
    On the whole I agree with you, Johansen. There have been quite a few cases in many social spheres in recent years when politeness has taken grotesque forms - hypercorrection, in fact.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Four-letter words

    Tnx, Tdol,
    I've just seen you.

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