NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED193127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Pages: 33
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
How Do You Talk About People?
Lee, Irving J.
This monograph discusses prejudice which exists when humans evaluate others. No one sees or hears a man evaluating. One hears or sees only what he says and does. An arbitrary sampling of recent research studies which indicate some of the varieties of mis-evaluation are cited. They reveal that sometimes people show antipathy to people they do not know and that some people say things about others which are just not so. It is one of the curiosities of everyday speech that a person can be making Inference Statements (statements which refer to factors and considerations which are outside the immediate acquaintance of the speaker) when he sounds as though he were talking about something observable. Sometimes people will speak with the force and assurance of the factual when the mood ought more properly reflect a certain tentativeness, an unsureness. The sound of factuality does not establish the factuality of an utterance. Another evaluation oddity which must be noted because it so often shows the departure from the factual is the practice of paying more attention to what a person is called than to the person. It occurs whenever we neglect a man to focus on the way we have named or labelled him. It is one of the commonplaces of studies in semantics that a number of words may refer to the same thing though each may imply strikingly different attitudes to it. A story is told about the way a Greek communist newspaper reported some remarks of Paul Porter, made at a banquet in Macedonia while on an economic mission. He said, "It is indeed a pleasure to be here tonight with you good citizens of Greece. You Greeks and we Americans have very much in common. We like to eat. We like to drink. And we like to sit around and talk." The newspaper said, "Ambassador Porter said that we are just like Americans, gluttons, drunkards, and gossips." (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: B'nai B'rith, New York, NY. Anti-Defamation League.