Re: Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation

Jonathan W. Hendry (uhendjx@racer)
1 Aug 1996 23:42:14 GMT

Stephen W. Russell ( wrote:

: When I write, I try for tribal names--real ones--and then I whip back and
: forth between Native American and Indian depending upon nothing more
: esoteric than how many syllables sound good in the sentence. That'll
: work in just about everything I have ever read.

It gets exasperating when someone insists on tribal names. There are
legitimate reasons for generalizing. When referring to people who
live on Manhattan Island, one calls them New Yorkers. One need not
list every ethnic group which is represented by an individual on
Manhattan Island. Likewise, one needs a shorthand to refer to the
people who lived here before Europeans arrived, and their descendants.
Just like I used the word 'Europeans' above, rather than listing every
European ethnic group. The fact is that things which are similar tend
to be grouped together for discussion (hence the entire taxonomic
system). Native Americans, of all tribes, have things in common,
if only that they are descended from the people who were in North
America first. This alone is justification for not using tribal names
at times.

On the other hand, sometimes tribal names should be expected. It
depends entirely on the context.

Jonathan W. Hendry Views expressed herein do
Steel Driving Software, Inc. not represent those of Steel Driving Software, Inc. or Lexis-Nexis