I don’t expect many people to understand or agree with this article because most people have been brainwashed for decades — generations? — with the word “foreign.” And “foreign” continues to be used half the time whereas international is used other times. Predictably, from my experience, the fake-progressives and fake-liberals of today agree with the conservatives and vehemently defend the use of the word “foreign.” Well I’ve learned you can’t fix stupid, so bother trying, and people call themselves anything these days.
“Foreign” travelers? No, they are international travelers. Just like international airports are not called foreign airports. Inside airports, the terminal is called “International Arrivals” not “Foreign Arrivals.” Why continue such outdated language such as “foreign?” I’m well aware that historically (conservative) governments have and continue to use the word “foreign” when referring to internationals. Such as the “Foreign Minister” which should be replaced with the “International Minister” which sounds much more global. It seems to me it’s time to update our language — although I live under no illusions what I’m suggesting will happen any time soon — and replace the pejorative “foreign” word with international as the world’s airports have done and many international student exchange programmes have done. Many student exchange programmes are no longer called “Foreign Exchange Student Programme” but rather International Exchange Student Programme.” They understand that the word “foreign” is as bad as the outdated and pejorative phrase “Third World.” There’s only one world that we all live on, so how can there be a “third world?” (roll eyes). Recently I was talking with a dental student and he told me, “I’m an international student…” I started to say but didn’t: I’m glad you didn’t refer to yourself as a “foreign student” because that would make me cringe.
The word “foreign” conjures up thoughts of “us versus them” as in “those fer’ners over there don’t belong in our country” and that type of nonsense. Whereas the word international is an emotionally-neutral word that does not conjure up nationalistic and other types of related “us versus them” thoughts. Chau.—el barrio rosa
I guess not everyone at npr has read their own articles because I think it was Terry Gross of npr’s Fresh Air, who I heard refer to “third world countries” in 2021. Ugh. I also heard — of all people! — Juan González of DemocracyNow! say the same thing. Astounding really considering he’s Latino. With Juan, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised since he’s 73 as of this writing. It does often seem to be an older/outdated generation that is so steeped and stuck in using outdated, pejorative language, and at their age they’re not about to change. NPR might want to write an article on the correct pronunciation of international words. I heard them pronounce Univisión as if it’s an English world. It’s not. Surely the español-language speaking employees within npr cringed if they heard that. For those who don’t know, Univisión is NOT pronounced “You-nah-vision.” (roll eyes).