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Gringal

Apr 15, 2009, 7:56 AM

Post #26 of 45 (7657 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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And then, there is the fact that language changes over time. Groups who are called unlovely names "co-opt" the terms, and by doing so, defuse them. In other cases, the terms simply lose their original meaning. For example, the Rom peoples were called Gypsies, generally meaning low life thieves. To be called a "gypsy" in the U.S. now usually refers to a person who travels often...either by choice or by profession. My spouse was a "corporate gypsy" for years.

In Mexico, the term "gringo", which was truly an insult 40 years ago may have lost its heavy "charge" today.

I have no desire to continue arguing the point with those much more famliar with Mexican propriety and tradition than I will probably ever be. I live in what is commonly known, and called by its' residents, a "gringo enclave" around Lake Chapala. What can one do...go around correcting everybody and make yourself obnoxious? Or just let it be, as a slow moving language shift?

I'm minded of that current popular book the authors' named "Gringos in Paradise". Hmmmm?

I am pleased to have provoked a lively discussion here. Let's have more of them. There aren't many choices in online gabbing in a civilized manner.

Still a gringal, but thinking about the possibilties.....hmmm. Changes can be FUN.


esperanza

Apr 15, 2009, 9:50 AM

Post #27 of 45 (7639 views)

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Re: [Gringal] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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In Reply To
I live in what is commonly known, and called by its' residents, a "gringo enclave" around Lake Chapala. What can one do...go around correcting everybody and make yourself obnoxious? Or just let it be, as a slow moving language shift?

The area where you live is called a 'gringo enclave' by foreigners.

Mexicans often call it 'la sala de espera de Dios'.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Hound Dog

Apr 15, 2009, 10:01 AM

Post #28 of 45 (7639 views)

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Re: [jerezano] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Rex and Jerezano:

Great input and you two have inspired me to tell another story.

Sometimes, when one begins to falsely assess oneself as a worldly person grounded in international moral thought and integrity, one is brought back to earth by reality and that happened to me this morning.

Yeaterday I posted a comment on dining on seafood in Marseilles and, as an aside, I commented that we had dined with a beloved aunt who was then a resident of the Marseilles suburb of La Rose. I mentioned that La Rose had been a charming small town until - and I paraphrase here - the government built massive public housing projects to provide housing for the "blackfeet" who were moving to France from Algeria during Algeria´s violent independence movement in the 1950s and 60s.

Now, I have lived in France and married into a French family and have had an interest in the course of French imperialism and the settlement of Algeria, which was once the land of the Berbers, by the Arabs and Europeans both of whom were unwelcome interlopers at one time. So I presumed myself adequately knowledgable to use the term "blackfoot" to describe European settlers in Algeria that was then considered, by the French at least, a department of France which made all Algerians, whether of European or North African ancestry, French.

Well, my wife taught me a valuable lesson this morning when she informed me that by using the term "blackfoot" I had branded myself a racist and had committed a serious faux pas. So, what does an Alabama boy, even one well traveled, know about these regional sensitivities? I tried to go back to my posting at that point and correct a mistake made inadvertently but it was too late to amend my error so there it is and, perhaps, there it should stay because my error is illustrative of what we are discussing - Rex most eruditely - regarding slang based on identifying any minority group whether racially, economically or politically motivated.

What makes my error even more comical is that I innocently inferred that the industrious and opportunistic (in a positive sense) Europeans who became refugees to France during the turmoil of the Algerian independence movement had somehow contributed to the urban squalor I observed in La Rose which was about as far from the truth as one could venture. Therefore, I committed a grievious error by communicating poorly.

This it seems to me, fortifies Rex´ comment that the use of slang with which one is not adequately familiar in describing any single group of people is always akin to treading on thin ice.

The fact that the common use of "gringo" in Zacatecas and the view among Chiapanecos that the word "gringo" is an inexcusable affront to people who might be so identified is evidence that we should all be careful indeed about using using words with which we are only marginally familiar when describing others from other cultural backgrounds.

Enough said. I´ll never use that phrase "blackfoot" again that´s for sure and I regret having used it in the first place. My error was made in all innocence but the intelligent thing to have done was, as my wife told me in extremely plain words today, to not mess with people you do not know when you are in places you do not truly understand.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 15, 2009, 10:12 AM)


Georgia


Apr 15, 2009, 10:21 AM

Post #29 of 45 (7633 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Good grief! Hound Dog, I am ashamed of you. I thought you came down here, as I did, in part to escape being politically correct, or even correct at all!!! I enjoy political incorrectnes, painting my house whatever color I damn well please, and pretending I'm deaf when the conversation doesn't suit me. I'm old enough to say what I please although I do admit to avoiding hurtful comments. But to call oneself gringo doesn't offend the listener, so, it has my stamp of approval. Let people think what they want to .... they will anyway!!


bournemouth

Apr 15, 2009, 10:24 AM

Post #30 of 45 (7631 views)

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Re: [Georgia] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Amen Georgia!


Hound Dog

Apr 15, 2009, 10:44 AM

Post #31 of 45 (7629 views)

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Re: [Georgia] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Good grief! Hound Dog, I am ashamed of you. I thought you came down here, as I did, in part to escape being politically correct, or even correct at all!!! I enjoy political incorrectnes, painting my house whatever color I damn well please, and pretending I'm deaf when the conversation doesn't suit me. I'm old enough to say what I please although I do admit to avoiding hurtful comments. But to call oneself gringo doesn't offend the listener, so, it has my stamp of approval. Let people think what they want to .... they will anyway!!

Georgia Darlin - are you and Bournemouth and Gringal teaming up on me?

For once I try to be nice and what do I get? Reprimands! I´ve already got one mujer who is constantly on my case do I need three more?

Damn Gringas!

I´ll try to continue to amuse with marginally acceptable humor but my ticket to this site includes an admonishment that I at least pretend to be civil.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 15, 2009, 10:51 AM)


Papirex


Apr 15, 2009, 10:54 AM

Post #32 of 45 (7622 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Well said Bob, and thanks. You are correct to point out that people would be well advised not to use descriptive nouns in another language that they don't fully understand. I remember one night in Anchorage when Doris was working as a professional singer in Mexican restaurants, she was chatting with a young Mexican guy between sets.


As I looked over at them, Doris spun around and walked away from him in mid-conversation. I asked her later why she did that and she told me “He insulted me, he called me a Chilango.” That is an insulting appellation to call any educated person from México City. The poor guy was from Zacatecas and he probably didn't know he had committed a faux pas.


I should probably mention that in México the words education, or educated are often used as synonyms for manners, or well mannered. A foreign person is probably better off not using Spanish words until they fully understand all of the subtleties of them. Don't use unfamiliar words just to try to fit in, you might appear to be a square peg in a round hole if you do.


Jerezano is right, words and names often do have different meanings in different areas. Know where you're at if you use some of them.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Georgia


Apr 15, 2009, 11:13 AM

Post #33 of 45 (7615 views)

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Re: [Papirex] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Yet, in spite of the "chilango" offense, that's the term you'll see in DF newspapers when referring to their own. I know chilangos who refer to themselves as chilangos It all depends on who says what to whom and in what tone.

When my son came to the US, on the school bus he was called an offensive name which did not apply to his own ethnicity, but to another's. My son's reaction? "That kid is too stupid to call a spic a spic." (not sure of the spelling of that "offensive" word). We howled. The same little miscreant also insulted my son for being adopted. Son's response: "At least I was chosen, you were just an accident."

Hey, sometimes you just have to have a thick skin and take it from where it comes.


Georgia


Apr 15, 2009, 11:27 AM

Post #34 of 45 (7610 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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PS: Don't be too nice Hound Dog ............ it has been boring here without you.


Gringal

Apr 15, 2009, 12:09 PM

Post #35 of 45 (7600 views)

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Re: [esperanza] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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They call it that in other places as well. Not exactly original.

As my dear old mum used to say...if you stand around long enough, you'll get old. We are all in the waiting line. Just a matter of when we reach the head of it.

Some people get to cut in early. If I hadn't been offered that opportunity, I'd be living somewhere else. it doesn't much matter where you live...it's how you greet the day. I like "gracias".


(This post was edited by Gringal on Apr 15, 2009, 12:16 PM)


Hound Dog

Apr 15, 2009, 1:34 PM

Post #36 of 45 (7585 views)

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Re: [Papirex] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Well said Bob, and thanks. You are correct to point out that people would be well advised not to use descriptive nouns in another language that they don't fully understand. I remember one night in Anchorage when Doris was working as a professional singer in Mexican restaurants, she was chatting with a young Mexican guy between sets.


As I looked over at them, Doris spun around and walked away from him in mid-conversation. I asked her later why she did that and she told me “He insulted me, he called me a Chilango.” That is an insulting appellation to call any educated person from México City. The poor guy was from Zacatecas and he probably didn't know he had
committed a faux pas.

Rex:

In 1966 I was living in Dachau Concentration Camp outside of Munich and working there as a civilian for the U.S. Army in the quartermaster laundry in a camp that had been converted to a NATO base after WW11. I was dating this Jewish girl from New York City at the time who was visiting Bavaria and we were hanging out in Schwabing on weekends and one Saturday night she asked me where I lived. I replied Dachau since that is where, by God, I was living at the time in an old nazi barracks and the concentration camp is on the outskirts of a very ancient and quite attractive town known as Dachau oddly enough and she dropped me like a hot potato for no discernable reason that I could fathom since I was really quite attracted to her and had as my primary goal the charming of this woman. A few weeks later I saw her at a bar in Munich and said hello and she said to me that she had no use for anyone with my disgusting sense of humor and then informed me that my response that I was living in Dachau was not in the least bit funny and I was a jerk for attempting to get a laugh at her expense.

I and several other American young folks were making a modest living ($1.00USD an hour) sorting GI dirty laundry which was a disgusting way to earn a living and we were working with these older German women who were at least twice as fast and efficient as we were and those women worked 12 hours a day as opposed to our eight hours and made about the equivalent of $0.25USCents per hour but nobody at all gave a damn about that.


chinagringo


Apr 15, 2009, 6:27 PM

Post #37 of 45 (7545 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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I was "given" my handle or posting name by a young Immigration Official at the airport in Guadalajara. Upon examining my U.S. State Department issued Birth Certificate and seeing that I was born in Shanghai, China - He exclaimed: "AH cheenagringo"! At that point, I decided it would be a great handle for the Internet and also figured I would probably never have a conflict with another using the same. I have been using it for close to 9 years and it does start conversations! So what if it has the term "GRINGO" in it!

If we cannot laugh at ourselves - then we have no business laughing at others!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Gringal

Apr 15, 2009, 6:42 PM

Post #38 of 45 (7539 views)

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chinagringo


Apr 15, 2009, 6:53 PM

Post #39 of 45 (7534 views)

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Re: [Gringal] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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I might have taken offense to "CHINKGRINGO", "SLANTEYEDGRINGO" or "SLOPEHEAD GRINGO"!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Ustlach


Apr 15, 2009, 11:14 PM

Post #40 of 45 (7507 views)

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Re: [esperanza] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Well, damn. Now I am going to have to abandon yet another account name/userid. I got in trouble using my real name, and now I am to understand that calling myself the Gringo in Sonora might be offensive. (I know my userid was never the issue; I am just being silly...although I will change my userid, just in case.)

But, I do hasten to add, that I want to learn. I very much respect Esperanza and her wealth of experience in this country and culture, and I truly do take it to heart everything she has written here, as well as others.

I get really upset with African-Americans, Black Americans, who refer to themselves using the N-word. It grates on me severly, and I would not want my ignorant (uneducated/inexperienced) use of the G-word to have a similar effect on the Mexicans I talk to.

Esperanza says I have embarrassed them and myself, and that is not acceptable to me.

So thanks to you, Esperanza, for setting me straight (as straight as it is possible to set me). I am banning the word from my vocabulary.


jennifer rose

Apr 16, 2009, 7:50 AM

Post #41 of 45 (7488 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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I can't resist weighing in on this thread. I live in Mexico full-time, I'm a Mexican citizen, and I'm a U.S. citizen. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using the appellation "gringo."

Those who desire to refer to themselves and others as "gringo" have my complete and total permission to do so. And those who've got a problem with calling a spade a spade should feel equally free to impose such restraints upon their own speech as they want.


Rolly


Apr 16, 2009, 8:35 AM

Post #42 of 45 (7478 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Thank you, Jennifer. I agree completely.

Last evening my student/friend Nery stopped by. We talked about "gringo." He assured me that in this part of México, it is not a bad word. He said it once was, but attitudes have changed and so has the meaning of gringo. Of course, when gringo is proceeded certain adjectives, the story changes.

Rolly Pirate


Gringal

Apr 16, 2009, 8:48 AM

Post #43 of 45 (7473 views)

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Re: [Rolly] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Obviously I agree, Jennifer.

The devil, as always, is in the adjectives.


La Isla


Apr 16, 2009, 9:26 AM

Post #44 of 45 (7465 views)

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Re: [Gringal] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Last night I asked my Mexican friend and neighbor Luis if using the work "gringo/a" was a no-no in the D.F. He told me that it was usually just a way to refer to someone from the US, without any negative connotation attached. In some cases, it could even be a positive thing to say, for instance, if he said that he had an "amiga gringa" (like me!), it was something to be proud of.


bournemouth

Apr 16, 2009, 11:10 AM

Post #45 of 45 (7452 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

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Yea - some common sense - thank you. The times, they have changed and the sentiment about the name "gringo/a" has too.
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