Would you call someone a foreigner when back in your home country?
Yesterday I read this article in the China Post, which is short enough to be quoted in full:
[quote]Hsinchu honors foreigner with Certificate of Appreciation
TAIPEI, Taiwan – U.S. citizen Ted Knoy (柯泰德) was awarded with a “Certificate of Appreciation” by Hsinchu City Mayor Hsu Ming-tsai (許明財) in recognition to his educational contributions to the area, yesterday.
Knoy’s contributions to the nation’s education system over the past 23 years won him the recognition. Knoy received his Alien Permanent Residency Certificate (APRC) in 2000, when he became the first foreigner in Hsinchu and first American in Taiwan to receive it.
Upon receiving the certificate, Knoy said, “This recognition is especially important for me personally since, as of November this year, I will have spend most of my life here in Taiwan, after first arriving here as a 24-year-old back in 1989.”
Knoy received his teaching certificate from the Ministry of Education and taught technical writing at both National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University.
As an English editor of several technical and scientific publications in Taiwan, he has edited over 55,000 articles for publication since his arrival in Taiwan.
In addition to authoring 14 books on technical and professional English writing, Ted also served as an associate researcher in Union Chemical Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute between 1994 and 2002.[/quote]
And my first thought was: I wonder if he feels honored being called a foreigner? Anyway, I discussed it with one of my classes last night and my students were all completely miffed as to why anyone might be offended by the word. I well realize it is not the intention of Taiwanese to offend when using this word and the poll is not really about Taiwanese. The question is, would YOU use the word, back home?
I wouldn’t, personally, as it seems too parochial and exclusionary.