A mod­ern dic­tio­nary

Where does fresh think­ing come from? Of­ten enough, from fa­mil­iar words and the ideas be­hind them made new. Why does poor think­ing per­sist? Be­cause those words and ideas re­main un­chal­lenged. It is a proxy bat­tle­field. The 6 De­grees Dic­tio­nary, a new pro­jec

The Globe and Mail Metro (Ontario Edition) - - OPINION -

This first it­er­a­tion of 6 De­grees Dic­tio­nary will be pre­sented for con­sid­er­a­tion and con­ver­sa­tion at 6 De­grees Toronto, a global fo­rum on how to build in­clu­sive so­ci­eties Thou­sands of peo­ple from around the world at­tend our an­nual gath­er­ing in or­der to work their way to a new dis­course, and to de­velop a lan­guage we can all share. Join nearly 50 speak­ers from 15 coun­tries in Toronto from Sept 24 to 26. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to 6de­greesto.com.

im­mi­grant/ noun.

[From Latin im­mi­grantem,

“to go into, to move in,” ori­gins in Latin em­i­grantem “to move away,” first used in English in 1794.]

1. An in­di­vid­ual who leaves one coun­try to be­come the cit­i­zen of an­other.

2. A no­ble term de­scrib­ing some­one with the courage, de­ci­sive­ness and con­scious­ness to wish to change their lives by chang­ing their coun­try.

3. An in­di­vid­ual whose qual­i­ties en­rich their new so­ci­ety through pub­lic struc­tures, cul­ture, pol­i­tics and eco­nom­ics.

4. On av­er­age, more com­fort­able with risk than those born in the coun­try.

5. Tends to be more fe­ro­ciously loyal to their new coun­try and its ideas of jus­tice than those born there.

6. An im­mi­grant is to en­gage­ment what a cit­i­zen is to mar­riage.

SEE: be­long­ing; cit­i­zen; mi­grant; mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism



[From 1610s, to mean “act of bring­ing to­gether the parts of a whole,” from French in­té­gra­tion, from Late Latin in­te­gra­tionem “to make whole.”]

1. Prob­a­bly bet­ter than as­sim­i­la­tion, but a poor sec­ond to in­clu­sion.

2. Un­for­tu­nately as­sumed to be a be­nign process by which some­one is in­cor­po­rated into a so­ci­ety.

3. A step, once un­der­stood as the only one nec­es­sary for dom­i­nant groups to deal with oth­ers.

4. As­sumes a list of ad­just­ments that new­com­ers must make to be­come ac­cept­able.

5. Views so­ci­eties as static and brit­tle that will crum­ble upon con­tact with dif­fer­ence.

6. Pro­vokes fear un­der the guise of sta­bil­ity.

7. Dis­cour­ages in­nate hu­man cu­rios­ity.

8. De­nies happy hu­man com­plex­ity. 9. To­tally wrong­headed. SEE: in­clu­sion



[From 1300s, “abil­ity to act or do, au­thor­ity, strength,” from An­gloNor­man French pouair, from Old French povoir, “to be able,” from Latin po­tis “pow­er­ful.”]

1. The pos­ses­sion of con­trol, au­thor­ity or in­flu­ence over oth­ers.

2. An in­con­tro­vert­ible fact, present in all hu­man in­ter­ac­tions.

3. Can be found in right hands and wrong hands alike.

4. His­tor­i­cally housed in states, gov­ern­ments, armies and re­li­gions.

5. Now be­ing chal­lenged by new ac­tors who seek to wield their own power to af­fect their de­sired out­comes out­side these in­sti­tu­tions.

6. For all that, still pre­dom­i­nantly held by white men. SEE: agency; democ­racy



[From Latin mi­grat

“to move, to shift.”]

1. A bird, an­i­mal or but­ter­fly with a reg­u­lar and cir­cu­lar pat­tern of move­ment.

2. In prac­tice, an un­der­paid in­dus­trial or agri­cul­tural worker who is ex­pected to re­turn to their home in the off-sea­son.

3. In com­mon us­age, a la­bel in­tended to ex­clude, marginal­ize, pa­tron­ize and de­hu­man­ize.

4. As in, “When you’re fin­ished pick­ing our straw­ber­ries, go home.”

5. A term that is never self-ap­plied, only im­posed on oth­ers.

6. Not to be con­fused with ex­pats or snow­birds.

7. Used to jus­tify with­hold­ing cit­i­zen rights from im­mi­grants for one or more gen­er­a­tions.

8. Europe’s bo­gey­man. SEE: im­mi­grant; in­te­gra­tion; refugee



[From 1839, to mean “that which is in­cluded,” from 1600s, to mean “act of mak­ing a part of,” from Latin in­clu­sionem “to shut in, to en­close.”]

1. The act of in­clud­ing, the state of be­ing in­cluded, with un­help­ful Latin roots.

2. Ac­tu­ally, the process of creat­ing an au­then­tic space for be­long­ing, re­gard­less of who you are or how long you have been here.

3. Once es­tab­lished, best left to grow on its own and shape it­self.

4. Dead in the wa­ter if re­duced to govern­ment pol­icy.

5. Com­pli­cated by re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions on an un­re­al­is­tic time­line.

6. Es­sen­tial for gaug­ing a so­ci­ety’s fair­ness and spir­i­tual health.

7. Ul­ti­mately, about learn­ing how to live to­gether. SEE: be­long­ing; com­mu­nity; in­te­gra­tion



[From me­dieval Latin agen­tia “ef­fec­tive, pow­er­ful,” from 1650s to mean: “ac­tive op­er­a­tion,” from 1670s to mean: “a mode of ex­ert­ing power or pro­duc­ing ef­fect.”]

1. Ac­tion per­son­i­fied; a grand as­pi­ra­tion of young Western­ers in the early 21st cen­tury.

2. An eth­i­cal be­lief that the mis­dis­tri­bu­tion of power must be cor­rected.

3. The de­ter­mi­na­tion to let si­lenced voices be heard.

4. An abil­ity lim­ited or am­pli­fied by struc­tural fac­tors, in­clud­ing class, age, gen­der, re­li­gion, ed­u­ca­tion and eth­nic­ity.

5. Of­ten bur­dened by high ex­pec­ta­tions.

6. Fre­quently used by frus­trated in­di­vid­u­als driven to fury by po­lit­i­cal or­tho­doxy.

7. Tends to un­der­es­ti­mate the power sit­u­ated in leg­is­la­tures, global in­sti­tu­tions, cor­po­ra­tions and their bu­reau­cra­cies.

8. Claimed, not given. SEE: democ­racy; power



[From An­glo-Nor­man French citezein; based on Latin civ­i­tas “city.”]

1. Athens! The French Rev­o­lu­tion! 2. The source and guar­an­tor of le­git­i­macy of any na­tion-state, democratic or not.

3. Un­der con­stant at­tack and de­nial by those with power, whether pub­lic or pri­vate.

4. Not to be con­fused with a tax­payer.

5. The op­po­site of stake­holder, a Mus­solinian term which re­duces an in­di­vid­ual to mem­ber­ship in an in­ter­est group.

6. Vol­un­teerism is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the en­gaged cit­i­zen, not a sec­tor.

7. The cit­i­zen can­not be a client of govern­ment ser­vices. The cit­i­zen owns the state. SEE: agency; com­mu­nity



[From Old English lan­gian “to go along with, to per­tain to,” from late 14th cen­tury, mean­ing “to be a mem­ber of,” Ger­manic ori­gin.]

1. The fun­da­men­tal hu­man need to be a part of some­thing larger.

2. Once un­der­stood as a ne­ces­sity for sur­vival, now a sign of psy­cho­log­i­cal well-be­ing.

3. Thrives on co-op­er­a­tive shar­ing and bal­anced re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers.

4. A nec­es­sary in­gre­di­ent for so­cial, cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic re­silience.

5. I be­long, there­fore I can. SEE: com­mu­nity; mi­grant; refugee


/ noun.

[From Old French co­mu­nité “com­mu­nity, ev­ery­body,” from Latin com­mu­ni­tatem “so­ci­ety, fel­low­ship,” from com­mu­nis “com­mon, pub­lic, shared by all.”]

1. A group of in­di­vid­u­als with shared com­mon­al­ity.

2. A self-de­clared body with col­lec­tive re­li­gious, po­lit­i­cal, pro­fes­sional, so­cial or even na­tional af­fil­i­a­tions.

3. A way to be­long.

4. The ex­pe­ri­ence of empowerment, le­git­i­ma­tion, sol­i­dar­ity and se­cu­rity.

5. Gone wrong, a force of at­om­iza­tion, largely un­in­ten­tional.

6. A term so overused it has trig­gered skep­ti­cism about its in­ten­tions. SEE: be­long­ing; cit­i­zen



[From French réfugié “gone in search of refuge;” From refuge.]

1. Some­one who flees their home to save their life.

2. Not sim­ply per­se­cuted by oth­ers, as the le­gal def­i­ni­tions in­sist.

3. Vic­tim of ev­ery­thing from war and prej­u­dice to drought and eco­nomic col­lapse.

4. As in, a vic­tim of calamity, hu­man or na­ture-made. It could be you.

5. Or an iden­ti­fied en­emy of the state, for ex­am­ple, some­one who speaks up. It could be you.

6. In both cases, an at­tempt by those with power to de­hu­man­ize those with­out. It could be you.

7. Re­quires courage.

8. More pop­u­lar than asy­lum seek­ers. Refugees may ap­peal to ev­ery­one’s fear of suffering, but an asy­lum seeker is a refugee look­ing for a place to live next door to you.

9. One who es­capes de­spair, walks across the Sa­hara, is abused, raped, beaten, used as slave labour and fi­nally risks their life on a boat only to be cat­e­go­rized by Euro­peans as eco­nomic mi­grants. A form of per­se­cu­tion.

10. You don’t want to be one. SEE: im­mi­grant; in­te­gra­tion; mi­grant – John Ralston Saul



[From Latin mul­tus “much, many” + cul­tura “grow­ing, cul­ti­va­tion.”]

1. An In­dige­nous con­cept that bal­ances dif­fer­ence with be­long­ing.

2. A pol­icy de­vised to ex­plain how peo­ple from cul­tur­ally dis­tinct and di­verse back­grounds can live to­gether.

3. A Cana­dian in­ven­tion sup­port­ing

– in the­ory at least – no­tions of equal rights, recog­ni­tion and op­por­tu­nity for all, re­gard­less of their roots.

4. An ex­am­ple of how con­fused and bliss­fully op­ti­mistic pol­icy-mak­ing can be­come a strength.

5. Mis­un­der­stood, to put it po­litely, by Euro­peans and Amer­i­cans. And some Cana­di­ans.

6. On pa­per, the op­po­site of in­ter­cul­tur­al­isme. In prac­tice, iden­ti­cal.

7. An im­por­tant step on the road to plu­ral­ism and in­clu­sion.

8. A rare un­apolo­getic Cana­dian mic drop.

SEE: cit­i­zen; com­mu­nity; democ­racy; in­clu­sion

– Adri­enne Clark­son



[From French démocratie, from Me­dieval Latin democra­tia, from Greek demokra­tia “pop­u­lar govern­ment,” from demos “com­mon peo­ple” + kratos “rule, strength, power.”]

1. In trou­ble in 2018.

2. An ex­pres­sion of the cit­i­zen as the source of le­git­i­macy of the state.

3. An idea that has steadily ex­panded to en­fran­chise all adults, in­clud­ing women, peo­ple of colour and In­dige­nous peo­ples.

4. A sys­tem once naively de­clared to be the end­point of hu­man­ity’s po­lit­i­cal evo­lu­tion.

5. Not as parochial as many be­lieve, with roots in many places not named Greece.

6. For some, merged and ac­quired by pri­vate in­ter­ests over the past half-cen­tury.

7. For oth­ers, pace Churchill, the least bad of all sys­tems.

8. A form of govern­ment built on cred­i­ble in­sti­tu­tions but de­pen­dent on en­gaged ci­ti­zens. One re­quires the other.

SEE: agency; cit­i­zen; power; mi­grant – Charles Fo­ran and Scott Young

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