Sunday, March 4, 2012

Caucasian: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Sunday, March 4, 2012

“Caucasian” is an outdated term originally used to refer to some or all of the people of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Central and South Asia. It was invented by in the early 19th century Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, who felt the Caucasian “race” was best exemplified by people from people living in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia. It is widely misused today as a synonym for “white.” Although the concept of “race” is still widely popular, contemporary scientists have generally rejected the concept as simplistic and misleading.

The term is better avoided except in reference to people actually from the Caucasus.

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