Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

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October 14, 2020 13 min
We love to keep up with the current terminology for groups of people. Learn about the origin of Latinx today. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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Episode Transcription

The text below is machine transcribed.

Hey you welcome to short stuff, I'm Josh and there's Chuck, and we are the short stuffers who are going to talk to you about a new term for the Latina community. Latino community see here's the reason for a new term yeah. So I remember when we did our episode on Zout suits yeah.

There was, you know we always try to keep up with the latest correct terminology that people want to be called sure, because people get to decide themselves what they want to be called, and I think, at the time there were references to a word Chicano is that right did we do that di? We say that well, we did, but we also said it in context of that's what they were called at the time: okay, okay and here's the thing depending on who you are where you are and when you are M, these terms have been sort of interchangeable to some people. Some of these terms have been in fashion and then out of fashion, perhaps maybe offensive or not offensive, or maybe pride wrapped around a term that other people might think might be offensive. Yeah and what's interesting is some of those terms of transition through all those things over time and geography too, and to know all that chuck is to really remember, be reminded that you know when you consider entire racial groups, we tend to think of them as like one collective hole that share all the same similarities and have zero differences, and this this is a very important reminder that no different people consider themselves different things even within certain racial groups and then take it, eat one step even further and say: Oh well, that wuld suggest that racial groups are actually a socialand cultural construct, not a biological construct, and then you finally arrived at the right frame of mine to be a human being, that's right, I mean technically, if you really always want to honor a person and do the right thing. You call someone Mexican or Colombian or Hunduren or Guatemalin and get veror Spanish and get very specific with the country that they come from, but we as humans like to put a collective name on groups of people, that's just what we've always done in the s and a lot of this stuff comes from this houseto works article and a historian named Paul Ortes, who is a professor at the University of Florida, which we won't hold against Thim, but he points out that in the s and even before that Chicano was a term of derision yeah.

But then it was kind of adopted and became a term of pride with the rise of a few things: an Mexican student movement, California, the farmworkers movement and people said you know what Chacana Wis a term of pride term of selfrespect and he likened it to African American in the term black, how the term, black or blacks wasn't very favored for a long time and then in the civil rights movement they said. No black is beautiful, that's who we are and that's what we are yeah. I mean like what better way to deflate the power out of a word. That's used against you than to take it on yourself and use it.

As a name of pride I mean that's, that's is wr podcasters right right, which has always been a term of scorn for the outside world, but that's right. We Takin it on with pride, so yeah. So a lot when we were growing up Chuck Hispanic was always the term I mean virtually until just a few years ago. Hispanic, but as time were on it went from you know.

Those are Hispanic. People to those are Hispanic people, and you just kind of got this idea that the term Hispanic had fallen out of favor among Hispanic, the Hispanic community.

I knew that I didn't understand why and apparently it's because Hispanic has been the long standing term for the US Census Bureau to describe people who are who claim origin or an identity that's associated typically with either Spain or Latin America, Spanish speaking countries or th or the Caribbean, something along those lines and when you really start to dig into it and you're like wait a minute. This is the sensus bureaus kind of jumble definition.

Yes, it is which again reinforces the idea that Rachel groups are not homogeneous groups they're made of a bunch of different people.

It just so happens that there's a bunch of different people from a bunch of different backgrounds who claim this kind of thi the same cultural identity.

Yeah and Professor Wertees points out with Hispanic. He said where he lived, he was raised in California and Washington state. He said Hispanic wasn't a popular term because of that because he said the elder and ISS elders in his community would say now. This is the government putting this name on us, but he said in Florida he said Hispanic as a term was embraced by Floridians Right.

So, like I said earlier at the very beginning, it depends on kind of who you are and where you are as to kind of what you prefer, and that brings us to a break and will reveal the new mystery name. That really is 't a mystery, because everyone already knows it by now, right after this okay check, what's the mystery name, this is basically like an episode of the mask singer.

Oh my gosh, do you watch any of those? No I'm just aware of it.

Okay, they get really silly. They play those during football games. That's the only reason I know about them the ads, oh right, yeah, yeah!

So - and I know it's a short stuff, but quickly, there's a new end that I can't remember what it's called, but it's basically, judging whether or not you think a person can sing just by looking at them and how they carry themselves.

That's good! That's great! That's a hat's, a good lesson to teach people that you can judge a book by its cover right and then they hand them a microphone. It's like.

Are they do they sing, crappy or not right yeah, then, when they sing crappy, it suddenly turns into the Gong, show I'm sure right, great idea, great idea, all right. So that brings us to the mystery word, which is and there's a few ways you can pronounce it depending on who you are Latinx is what I've always said.

You can also say Latinex or Latinics.

It seems like - and I think Webster Marian Webster says La tenx right so you're either basically saying it as one word or two words, Paul or t says it is two words like Latin and then the letter x, Latin X. that's what I always said: yeah, that's hat what I've always said to and then somebody I don't know who pointed it out that it was that now you, while other people pronounce it like Latinec or something like that, rather than Litino or Letina Letinex, and then that's the exclination yeah, the I mean the whole point of all. This is that it's meant to be a gender neutral, totally inclusive word for people who identify as Latino Latina Hispanic Chicano. Even, however, you identify that this. Is this big encompassing word.

There was a pew survey that was done. That said, traditionally, or at least now, most people like you were saying, prefer to be identified as Guatemalan or as Brazilian or as Hatian, wherever you're from that hat, that your nation of origin is your, you know, that's that's how you identify with, but there is a growing group, especially younger American, born English speaking people who identify as what the Senses Bureau would call Hispanic that are adopting this term latimex or Latin X to be to make it more inclusive, which I think is cool yeah and as Ortese puts it, he said he kind of sees it as a bridge building turnm to kind of unite people, and you know it's up to the individual what they prefer to be called. If you ask me, I definitely see how referring to someone's country of origin can be a nice specificity, but I also see the value and people coming together as a whole. In saying you know we're a big worldwide community and we are latenics right and that's meant to apparently Litino was also.

It was very widely used. Hispanic Latino.

That was like a transition word for sure, from from Hispanic to Latinex or Latin ex Latino definitely made that that kind of bridged those two together but apparently Latino, came to be widely associated, specifically with people who, whose country of origin is Mexico right and there's plenty of people from other parts of central and South America who say well, I'm not from Mexico, so that one doesn't really apply to me, which is why Latinex is: Is that bridge building term for a lot of people? For the time being, though, it's got a lot of ground to cover before it becomes widely used again according to Pew Right Yeah. I think they did a survey just this year, actually just says August, so very recently, that is it still two thousand and twenty actually, who knows, I think, O thousand and twenty is now eternal damnnation year, so it will be going on forever, all right, so yeah the answers. Yes yeah. It's been twenty twenty for seven years now, and this survey said that about twenty three percent of Hispanics have even heard the term that surprised me and only three percent use it.

That kind of surprised me to maybe it's the circles I run in, but I've heard it a lot more than that. Well, I think one of the reasons why it seems like there's more people whowould adopt s because the people who do use it tend to be the most vocal on like social media. The most present, the most yeah they're younger, like they're out there a lot more than say, like their parents or grandparents, or even older, siblings, yeah they're out there for sure. So it would they have a much larger voice proportion. They have a disproportionately large voice. How about that?

What I've seen is.

Some people are like well, no, I prefer Litino or I prefer Litina some people say well, no, I'm totally down with the gender neutral thing, but Latinex that, like exus kind of flies in the face of Spanish as a tongue.

So why don't we go with Latina and e with the accent? Is it what's the accent called I don't know, but with an accent over it?

Yeah you've seen it before I have so Li Tima is gender neutral, but it's also much more Spanish sounding wis from the Spanish tongue. So maybe go with that and I think everybody who's already on board. Lat next has just just be quiet.

We're GOIN, like Latin NEC ex, is cool yeah, it's totally cool for sure its definitely got a cool term, but I remember also when we did our keins in your episode. We were exclusively saying Latin X. I believe, and some people wrote in and said: Hey you know not. Everybody is down with that in the Latino community or Latina community, and it was good to be reminded of that that, yes, when you're talking about entire groups of people just remember they don't all agree on everything.

No matter whether they're white, black Latinex, Hispanic Asian, doesn't matter they're all very different people and we're all different when it comes down to it, we're all individuals - and maybe that means we can all get along a little better.

Yes, and at the very least we can defer to them for goodness sakes yeah when you meet somebody who you would say. Oh this person is of letnex heritage. You could leave it to them by saying it's really great to meet someone of Yeahtheyll e, let them fill in he in the box exactly so there you go, go forth and think about things. A little more and stop pigeon holding everybody. Okay, okay, Short stuff mhen is out Stuff You Should Know, is a production of iheart radios house stuff works for more podcast to my heart, radio IUS it the iHeartRadio, AP, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite, shows

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