“France reopens to foreign travelers next week.” That should be international travelers.

It’s international. Not foreign. Ugh. The corporate media and their outdated language. Have you ever known an airport to be called a “foreign airport?” It’s not called San Francisco Foreign Airport. It’s called San Francisco International Airport because it welcomes internationals; people from all around the world. None of them are “foreign.”

For the thick and dense people (mostly conservatives) who have been brainwashed with the word, “foreign” and refuse to use anything but that: What’s the name of the terminal in airports? It’s called the international terminal, not the foreign terminal. For International Arrivals, not “Foreign Arrivals.”

COVID-19 crisis: Britain starts mandatory self-quarantine for arrivals- The  New Indian Express
International Arrivals at Heathrow Airport, terminal 2 Stock Photo - Alamy

Get it, dense? The word “foreign” is as outdated as the word “Oriental.”

Update: I read the comments under a video about Amsterdam (for the stupid-is-in people in the non-United States that’s in the Nederlands, you know) and some of the commenters were surprisingly using the neutral word “internationals.” I was very pleased to see that. While some others used the outdated and nasty-sounding “foreigners.” Ugh. Of course I don’t expect any governments to change their language because governments typically use outdated language based back generations ago and the conservatives adamantly support that because they refuse to change their outdated language or their behaviour. That would require doing something! So governments refer to “The Foreign Minister” rather than “The International Minister.” End of Update.

It’s internationals. Not “foreigners.” No, I don’t live under any illusions that most people will change their language. They will continue to use any and all outdated and pejorative language they’ve been brainwashed with — including the word “foreign,” — not caring who they offend. But for the thinking people — all 2 of you! — and those who don’t like to willingly offend others, you might consider the following:

Hola a todos. I was pleased to see something good for a change in the language department. I’m a language person and pay attention to these things. Most websites I went on — even corporate sites — were referring to “international students” and not “foreign students” in the story about the orange thug/international bully cancelling the visas of international students who have been studying in the non-United States at universities, colleges and conservatories. Bottom line: The Mob Boss wants as many COVID-19 infected people as possible — although he and his family members still say that COVID-19 is a hoax — so therefore he opposes online learning. Well, he opposes learning, period, based on his own depraved level of willful-ignorance, but that’s for another article. He’s also very anti-migrant which these (mostly) non-white international students are seen as. So it’s another version of being anti-migrant which is intended to appeal to his white supremacist/nazis and mostly all-white cult base. With any institution of higher learning that will be doing distanced-learning or online classes, any international students will have their visas cancelled. I see it as I usually do with him: stupid is in and you can’t fix stupid.

One site I was on referred to “foreign students” in the headline but used “international students” throughout the article. I guess they enjoy being consistent. (sarcasm intended). A network in France that I monitor that tries to come off as “progressive” used the language “foreign students.” How “progressive.” (sarcasm intended).

Then I saw this headline: “A President Biden’s first priority must be restoring foreign confidence in the U.S.” by George F. Will. Ugh. I’d expect conservative George Will to use the word “foreign” there because he’s of the outdated generation most known for using that word. I’d prefer to have read: “A President Biden’s first priority must be restoring international confidence in the U.S.” To me, that sounds more global and far less off-putting. “Foreign” sounds more limited to a certain area of the planet and implies this “us versus them” mentality.

In the non-US, many people pronounce the word “foreign” — it’s a 2 syllable word — as if they’re talking about the plant known as a fern. So you’ll hear some redneck hick — especially the trash in the US Congress — refer to “she’s a fern student.” (Related: Shouldn’t Representatives and Senators have law degrees?)

Except for the conservatives, I’ll assume I don’t need to explain what’s wrong with the word “foreign” or “foreigner.” Do I? Both words have part of their origins from government usage and policies (especially in the non-US), and governments are typically conservative, outdated and traditionalists and enjoy using any conservative, divisive and hateful language they can, not caring the least who they offend. Both words “foreign” and “foreigner” have very derogatory and negative stereotypes and meanings connected with them. The word international(s) has nothing negative connected with it. It’s a neutral word. Such as international languages (not “foreign” languages). “She’s an international.” Not “she’s a foreigner.” There’s nothing “foreign” about her. We know all about her. Foreign implies there’s something unknown, wrong or even off-putting about a person or a region of the Earth, and these days — especially with the Internet — there’s no excuse for such ignorance about anyone regardless of ethnicity and culture. Of course government — again usually being very conservative and traditionalist — will cling to the “foreign” language for decades. They are very slow to change. The same is true for their conservative cultists and the fake-liberals and fake-progressives (who are usually just Establishment Democrats, regardless of what they call themselves). So they refer to “foreign policy” instead of international policy. Some governments have their “foreign minister” rather than their “international minister.” When will the non-US become a bit more modernised and forward-thinking? They refer to a “foreign country” rather than an international country or a country of the world.

Mi amigo/My friend told me he heard Juan González of Democracy Now! refer to “third world.” (roll eyes) Sigh. I wouldn’t expect to hear a Latino — of all people! — to refer to “third world” or “a third world country.” But upon reflection, he is of the older generation that would be most likely to use such outdated language having been brainwashed with it. And much of the outdated, pejorative, sexist and older language that one thought “we” abandoned is roaring back in style as we rush towards the Dark Ages once again. (“Mankind” is having a revival as opposed to humankind which is gender neutral and had a run for a few decades or so following the now-dead feminist movement). It’s just that one might think or hope that this would not be the case for the people who run DemocracyNow! And these people pretend to be “progressives” do they? See what I mean? That’s why it all often seems hopeless to me. When so-called “progressives” can’t even get it right. Then they will line up and vote for the right-wing, corporatist, imperialistic, corrupt and often Republican-enabling “Democratic” Party. Mi amigo said he also heard Amy Goodman refer to “foreigners” rather than internationals. (roll eyes) Geezus. Sounds like she needs some new writers. One hears all that conservative language in the corporate media. Doesn’t DN try to be different than the corporate media? While writing this article I read, “Man cannot win against nature.” Man? Did they intend to be sexist? I don’t think women care to be referred to as “man.” Why could they not use the word “humans” or “people?” Is that too much to ask? Apparently so in these days of rushing backwards in time. And I read that on a major corporate site, or is that now called a “platform.”

As for Juan’s outdated comment: There’s only one world that we all live on. It’s called Planet Earth. So there can’t be a “third world.” Has that never dawned on him? There’s no “second world” either. Do some people never think about what they say? “Third world” is Cold War language. It’s from that outdated era, but I think it’s mainly used today by a certain older generation. Juan is currently 72, and yes that would make sense. That’s the “senior generation” that I was thinking of that’s been brainwashed with that shit, probably decades ago, and they haven’t deprogrammed it since. Poorer countries can be referred to as, well, “poor(er) countries” or as developing nations, or just name the country one is talking about. There’s no need to put them down by speaking about them as if they’re in some non-existent “third world.” Ugh.

But quite frankly, too often the countries I see referred to as “third world” are more developed and advanced in many ways than the non-United States. A former piano student of mine from Argentina told me: “People pejoratively refer to Argentina as a ‘third world country.’ Having lived in both the non-US and Argentina I can say that the real ‘third world country’ is the non-US.” He cited their very forward-thinking health care system as just one example. He resented that outdated “third world” rubbish as much as I do.

Before the orange thug’s policy on cancelling the visas of international students — which he later reversed (does he never think about the many insane things he does before he does them?) — I had wondered about internationals studying in the non-US especially during the COVID-19 pandemic with our soaring infection rate. Who will want to come here to study and possibly get sick? And as of this writing, more young(er) people are getting infected. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related: Political correctness