After Hurricane Katrina, "refugee" became a dirty word. Its "pejoration," as the linguists called it, was swift. Displaced Gulf Coast residents, and those who claimed to speak for them, said the word implied that New Orleanians were not Americans. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Washington lawmakers, the N.A.A.C.P. and ultimately even President Bush objected to its use, and it quickly became incorrect.
But on a recent afternoon in Houston, Linda Jeffers, a tall New Orleanian in a broad-brimmed straw hat, told a roomful of evacuees that she wished she were a refugee....
Full Article, New York Times
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