Sunday, February 08, 2004

I usually wait a few months before sharing this sort of stuff, but since the case at hand involves someone who--strictly speaking--is not one of my students, I think it's not too bad to write about it.
The other day this guy was asking about the history of a certain place before the U.S. foisted itself upon this territory and its peoples and this is how he posed his question:
"How were things there before we colonialismed it?"
I hear this, and two questions simultaneously pop into my head:
Number 1- "What do you mean 'we', white man?"
and
Number 2- "colonialismed?!"
Of course, I proceeded to ignore the voices in my head and instead gave a measured response that included proper usage of the terms colonialism and colonize.
I should point out that the person who asked the question was a native English speaker at a reputable U.S. university. It's too depressing to think about how and why the education system here is making dummies out of all of us, so I am just going to attribute the above incident (and the countless others just like it) to too much reefer! Yep, that's what it is, the reefer.