I couldn’t help but be struck by Charles M. Blow’s use of “othering” in his column today. He put it in quotes most likely because it isn’t a word, at least not according to the dictionaries I checked. Here’s how he used it in referring to how Republicans treat President Obama: “This lawlessness talk is simply another iteration of the ‘othering’ of this president.” I don’t remember seeing this as a word before but I didn’t have trouble picking up the meaning, which could be one criterion for whether it works as a word. A Google search turned up a lot of references, however. According to Geek Feminism Wiki, “Othering is a process or a rhetorical device in which one group is seen as “us” and another group as “them.” How about it? Should it be a word?
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