usingtherightwords

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Are They Truly “Homeless”?


This weekend, my wife and I received some bad news: A cousin, as of today, has nowhere to live. If she doesn’t move in with one of her children, she could be on the street.

In a word, homeless.

Or is she?

Consider the plight of another relative. He has spent the better part of the last two years living out of a suitcase as he worked for touring companies of stage shows. Those jobs have ended now, so he’s hanging out with friends.

He, too, is homeless. Or is he?

When we think of a homeless person, we normally think of a person out on the street or living out of a car, with no place to go except for maybe a shelter. But the dictionary defines homeless two ways: “without a home” and “having nowhere to live.”

These are two different definitions. I could say both relatives are homeless because they don’t have homes of their own, but they have places to live. Yet when one thinks about the societal definition of homeless, they aren’t.

So, I repeat, are they truly homeless?

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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February 4, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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