See the Someone in “Some People”

<img src="some people.jpg" alt="Some people" width="300" height="300">

Who do you think are “some people”? If you do a search for “why do some people” on the internet you get quite a variety of questions; from culture, religion and health to why a person would choose to support a specific sports team. Many of these questions seem to be aimed at trying to find out more about someone else without having to ask them in person and either seeming ignorant or insulting them. Search for “some people” on Twitter, though, and it turns out that most of the time when “some people” are mentioned it is to point out a perceived negative aspect in people different from the one writing the Tweet.

These negative mentions even feed off of a person’s own prejudices without them being aware of it. Often the phrase “some people” is used to refer to a specific group of people deemed to not only be different from you (who is always in the right), but also not as good a person as you are. Take, for example, someone who supports a different sports team than you, is part of a different fandom, or even lives in a different community than you. It is all too easy to turn the supporters of team X into the “some people” who are always drunk and disorderly – thereby implying that you and your fellow supporters are the opposite.

“Some people” seems to have become a way of saying “those people” – a perceived Other – and which can refer to gender, race, religion, nationality, and even taste in shoes. Far too often on the internet, when any number of like-minded trolls targets one person, it spills over into targeting a “some people” group of individuals perceived to be identical (and perceived to be bad, evil, not on the same level, etc.). Need I even mention the recent Gamer Gate here?

However, once you realise that it is extremely difficult to group people together only by what you perceive to be a homogenous trait, you can start to look at the “some people” as individuals. Yes, we all refer to “some people” at times, but the point I am trying to make is that you should realise when you are making a sweeping generalisation and you should always remind yourself that each person you include in that “some people” also stands alone as an individual. Yes, individuals may share interests, tastes, backgrounds, religions, whatever, but that still does not make them identical.

One of the wonders of human life is how extraordinarily different people can be – even if they live next door to each other or are members of the same family. While you refer to individuals as being “some people”, others are placing you into groups of “some people” as well. Perhaps by simply removing a type of “some people” or “those people” mentality we can all move a little closer to accepting each other for who we are and learning to understand the differences. Yes, it is valid to ask someone how on earth they can enjoy watching sport for ten hours straight, but it is also valid for someone to ask me how on earth I can enjoy reading fantasy for ten hours straight – and the answers might even be similar.

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Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature and mythology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim,  or follow her on @CarinMarais.