Monday, August 25, 2008

Is this Question Somewhat Stupid, Stupid, Very Stupid...

From one of the online surveys with which I occasionally amuse myself:

Adding to the all-round dumbness of the question ("What is your favorite color, Green or Other?") is the annoying fact that (a) Hispanic and Latino are not universally regarded as the same thing*, and (b) neither Hispanic nor Latino is a race!

Other than that, though, a fine example of the art of the survey.

* This quoted at Wikipedia ("Hispanic and Latino Americans"):

Some authorities of American English maintain a distinction between the terms Hispanic and Latino:

"Though often used interchangeably in American English, Hispanic and Latino are not identical terms, and in certain contexts the choice between them can be significant. Hispanic, from the Latin word for "Spain," has the broader reference, potentially encompassing all Spanish-speaking peoples in both hemispheres and emphasizing the common denominator of language among communities that sometimes have little else in common. Latino—which in Spanish means "Latin" but which as an English word is probably a shortening of the Spanish word latinoamericano—refers more exclusively to persons or communities of Latin American origin. Of the two, only Hispanic can be used in referring to Spain and its history and culture; a native of Spain residing in the United States is a Hispanic, not a Latino, and one cannot substitute Latino in the phrase the Hispanic influence on native Mexican cultures without garbling the meaning. In practice, however, this distinction is of little significance when referring to residents of the United States, most of whom are of Latin American origin and can theoretically be called by either word."[17]

17 "American Heritage Dictionary". Retrieved on 2007-03-18.

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