Carl Sandburg famously called "exclusive" the worst word in our language.  It's really just a weasel word for othering - the act of making some humans not as good as the humans we prefer.  "Other" is itself a difficult word. Dictionary.com gives no fewer than thirteen senses of it. Uses for "other" range from counting ("every other" meaning every two) to exclusion. "Other" is also prominent on my list of peeves about the curious dialect of English spoken in the corporate world. When I see "other" as the last item of a list, I read it as "we couldn't be bothered to finish the list".  And yet we're desperate to do it, we find stupid thing after stupid thing to do it over.  Granfalloons all.

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” ― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays


This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F