I call Spanish-speaking people in
America Hispanics. Am I right in this, or wrong? (Hi, Donna!)

I'm pretty sure Beaners is out, but is calling them Latinos considered rude?

Charles Riggs
Email address: chriggs>at>eircom>dot>com
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I call Spanish-speaking people in America Hispanics. Am I right in this, or wrong? (Hi, Donna!) I'm pretty sure Beaners is out, but is calling them Latinos considered rude?

Au contraire. Some academics and pressure-groups think that 'Hispanic' is demeaning and 'Latino' is empowering. I posted a link to a professor's long (attempted) explanation of why this is so a few months ago.

Mickwick
I call Spanish-speaking people in America Hispanics. Am I right ... Beaners is out, but is calling them Latinos considered rude?

Au contraire. Some academics and pressure-groups think that 'Hispanic' is demeaning and 'Latino' is empowering. I posted a link to a professor's long (attempted) explanation of why this is so a few months ago.

I remember too well when there were groups in the states bordering Mexico insisting on "Chicano/Chicana" as empowering, while others were just as loudly calling those terms demeaning and insulting.

What's a poor Anglo to do? Well, the right-wing crowd has it easy; they just call them werbacks. And the apathetic just ignore it all.

Martin Ambuhl
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I call Spanish-speaking people in America Hispanics. Am I right in this, or wrong? (Hi, Donna!) I'm pretty sure Beaners is out, but is calling them Latinos considered rude?

If you were still living in the US, both would be good enough. Now you're in the wide world, you want to call them Latin Americans to be understood.
Charles Riggs filted:
I call Spanish-speaking people in America Hispanics. Am I right in this, or wrong? (Hi, Donna!) I'm pretty sure Beaners is out, but is calling them Latinos considered rude?

There's even less agreement on this, e'en among those to whom the terms are supposed to apply, than there is on Black/Negro/African-American...about all I can say to help you is that there are people to whom one term applies and not another:
(1) "Hispanic" means someone whose ancestry prominently features Spain, whether the individual is from Barcelona, Rio de Janiero, Laredo, or Duluth...it matters not whether that person can speak any more of the Spanish language than is heard in the average Taco Bell commercial..
(2) "Latino" refers to those whose families come from the Spanish-speaking countries of the New World...you'll not use this term to refer to a Spaniard, nor to a Surinamese, but you can use it to describe a migrant farm-worker in the central valley of California (place of birth is not itself a determining factor)..
(3) "Chicano" is a tricky one...I think* it only applies to someone living in the United States but of Mexican ancestry...I've never heard it used for anyone actually *in Mexico (apart from an occasional tourist)...and if they trace their roots to anywhere else in Latin America, you don't use it; it most emphatically doesn't sit well with a Guatemalan or Nicaraguan..

(4) "Mexican"...best to play it safe with this term...use it only if you know that the person you're applying it to is actually a citizen of Mexico...and steer clear of "Mexican-American" altogether...some will use it to mean an American whose parents were Mexican, others for a recent immigrant now living in the US, still others for anyone who "lives the culture" of Mexico but not for a fully assimilated person, and each will insist that applying it to anyone else is wrong and offensive..
(5) "Wetback" should only be used if you were in DeMolay, in the company of at least a dozen others likewise, drunk on beer, and wearing cowboy boots..r
What's a poor Anglo to do? Well, the right-wing crowd has it easy; they just call them werbacks.

I don't think so. (Oh, okay. I know what word you mean.)
..And the apathetic just ignore it all.

Sure. "Ignoring" comes with being apathetic. (But who cares, right?)

Anyway: The terms "Latinos" and "Hispanics" are mainly governmentese catch-alls. The actual people are either Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Columbians, Hatians, etc. Sticking with their citizenship seems better than trying to break everyone down into ethnic origins, even in broad terms.
IMO.
Maria Conlon
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(5) "Wetback" should only be used if you were in DeMolay, in the company of at least a dozen others likewise, drunk on beer, and wearing cowboy boots..r

For anyone who wonders:
http://www.demolay.org/home/index.shtml
I think the Masons founded DeMolay. Not sure.
Maria Conlon
Haitians aren't Latino/Hispanic.
"Citizenship" doesn't quite work as a term to use when speaking of such matters because the children born in the US of Latino parents are American citizens: they would be Mexican-Americans, Columbian-Americans, etc. Furthermore, all Puerto Ricans are American citizens (so you wouldn't say *"Puerto-Rican Americans"). Then there will inevitably be Latinos whose parents came from two different Spanish-speaking countries. What would a man whose father came from Mexico and whose mother came from Columbia call himself? (My guess is that if the subject were to come up, he would say "My father is from Mexico and my mother is from Columbia.")

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Maria Conlon wrote

Anyway: The terms "Latinos" and "Hispanics" are mainly governmentese catch-alls. ... break everyone down into ethnic origins, even in broad terms.

Haitians aren't Latino/Hispanic.

Yes. West African, I think. I was thinking of the name of the nation (and spelled "Haitians" wrong, by the way, despite the fact that I know a few). Then there's the fact that Haiti is on the island of Hispaniola. It gets confusing.
"Citizenship" doesn't quite work as a term to use when speaking of such matters because the children born in the ... if the subject were to come up, he would say "My father is from Mexico and my mother is fromColumbia.")

I won't argue with what you're saying, Ray. I was trying to simplify the situation by using citizenship, but you're right: that won't work either.
It's true that Puerto Rico and Guam (don't forget Guam) are U.S. territories, but I'm not sure that the title "American" is used for them by others or even by themselves. To and among themselves, I think they are Puerto Ricans and Guamians, and not "Americans." We could possibly compare that to people saying they are Minnesotans, Michiganders(1) or Tennesseans, etc., but I doubt that it is exactly the same.

So what's the answer?
(1) I refuse to use the lame "Michiganians."
Maria Conlon
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