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Xenophile, Xenophobe

Today's letter is X.
For more X posts,
please click here.

Xenophile: A person who likes foreign people and things.

Xenophobe: A person who is very afraid, for no sane reason, of anything foreign and, in particular, of people of foreign origin.

These two words are right next to each other in the dictionary, at least in mine it is. Anybody else see the irony in that? Xenophobe coming after xenophile, that is.

Seeing the two words together made me think of a few things:

My uncle and aunt lived in California but they couldn't get married there. I don't remember what year it was, but, it was before the state anti-miscegenation law was repealed in 1948. They had to travel to another state to tie the knot. I wonder if going back home was their honeymoon.

When I was in high school, 40 years ago, a friend told me that he didn't think he was going to like me because he had heard some ranchers talk about my brother and me. One of the ranchers had said something like: "Those kids sure know how to hold up their race." My friend thought I was trying to be "white".  That line still cracks me up, as I only raced in gym class.  I still would like to know who those guys were.

A college professor, originally from Australia, excused the grammar errors in my senior paper because English was my second language. For once, I kept my mouth shut and didn't tell her that I only spoke English. But, there was some truth in her assumption. For the first 19 years of my life, I was translating daily in real-time in my head my parents' language to English as they spoke to me so I could understand what they were saying. Too bad, the switch didn't work the other way.

These lines from Shylock's monologue in the Merchant of Venice when he was asked why he would take a pound of flesh from Antonio, the merchant, if he does not pay back a loan. Antonio, remember, hates the Jewish people.
"... If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."
Unlike Shylock, revenge does not interest me. That is being just as crazy as the xenophobe. Yes, it is.

Yesterday, the husband and I, who fortunately were able to get married in California, saw a very funny movie. Paul. I think it was written by a couple of funny, fun-loving xenophiles. You could almost say they were having fun with xenophobes. Be forewarned: It really is a silly movie.


  1. No Xenophobes here! Interesting X Post and Happy Alpha Thurs!

  2. X is a hard one. Good choice of word and a great post. I know what you're talking about. Ugg me squaw. It did bother me when I was little, but no one pays any attention any more. Paul does look like a movie to just eat your pop corn, relax and laugh.

  3. We must have the same Websters...those two X words are listed together in mine, too. Thoughtful and informative post on the Letter X.

  4. We love all things foreign - always interesting and adding variety to our daily lives. Xenophiles rock!


  5. I hate to admit it, but the movie looks kinda fun.

    And I am definitely in the xenophile category. I love to find out about different cultures and places.


  6. Xenophile - I can't get enough of the outside world even if sometimes there are places that do scare me
    Great post!

  7. Paul: "I'm not gonna eat a DEAD bird am I?" Speechless and ROFL.

  8. Well, if it's anything like the trailer I'm sure I'll love it, xeno-whatever.

  9. Awww I want to see that movie now ..! I must say Paul is a great name for an alien

  10. Learned something new today what xenophobes and xenophiles were!

    I want to see "Paul" too. Those two British actors are hilarious!

  11. I am a Xenophile no doubt, lol !
    Interesting post !

  12. Theresa, hale Xenophile, well met! :-)

    Manzi, I wish I could agree about people not making a big deal about others different from them, whatever the difference may be. I like to think it has gotten better, but some days it surely doesn't seem so...Paul, definitely a movie I'd see again.

    JDaniel's4Mom: Like minds. :-)

    Collectin Texas Gal, thank you. :-)

    Maggy, Xenophiles rock, you bet!

    Sue, I could tell that from your poems. :-) If you like British movies and wit, you just may like Paul.

  13. Mari's World, same here. :-)

    widdershins, that Paul is a honey. The husband is a sci fi guy so there were some things he told me later that I missed.

    Alice, the husband and I ready to see it again. I don't know if I'm so crazy about it because I haven't seen a new movie in a very long while.

    Jackie, yep, Paul is a perfect name for him. It's just as unexpected as who the original Paul was.

    Teresa, thank you. :-)

    ryoko861, have you seen any of their other films, separately or together? So far, I've liked them all.

    Gattina, you definitely are. :-)

  14. I learnt many new word form your post today. Cheers!

  15. This was an EXCELLENT "X" post. I hope you get LOTS of comments on it, and I hope someone takes the importance of it with them today.

  16. Whoa! interesting post! Underneath, deep where it counts, we are all truly the same. Variety makes life interesting. Oh, think what the world would be like if there were only one color, or only one type of flower!
    If the world contained only xenophiles, there would be more elbow room in it for all of us.

  17. What a wonderfully informative link for A-T this week.

    I didn't know this...sometimes I swear I live under a rock!

    I've always found myself to be pretty much 'color, religion, creed blind' which has always been a bit of a surprise growing up in segretated rural Ohio as I did.

    Thanks for making me think.


  18. Su-sieee,
    I can reply to your comment on my blog. It's just lines and the letters get jumbled. My computer guru is on vacation. Dang. You ARE a writer. I'm a writer groupie Ha. Just like to hang out with you guys.
    Love and peace,


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