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Fruitless debates

Folks with too much time on their hands these days seem to have a tendency to fill in blank hours exchanging opinions on social media. It’s a catalyst for heated arguments and fruitless debates that in some cases have been aired time and again for years.

pg12One recurrent topic is the origin and correct definition of the term “gringo.” One popular interpretation is that the word first came into use during the Mexican-American War of the 1840’s when invading American troops dressed in green uniforms were scolded to get back across the border with the expression “green go home.” Another version is that foreign soldiers on the march were identified for belting out verses of “Green Grow the Rushes, O.”

The word has evolved through time as term for reference for most any foreigner. Canadians tend to vehemently insist that they are definitely not gringos. Mexican pals asked for clarification usually tell me the term applies to only estadounidenses. But they admit that on first sight it’s practically impossible to distinguish between natives of the USA, Canada and European countries. So we’re all gringos in their eyes.

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