These and Those
Source: AFMentor.com and multiple
I was sitting in a briefing one day and started to wonder who really are “those” people?
Where every I go, I hear its those people. Its those people who are causing problems, winning awards, stretching the rules, being successful.
But who are they? Are they those who are different than the group, me, us? Are those people; in a better standing? Are those people a class onto themselves? And that class is only recognized by those people whom are not in it?
A lot of it depends on the connotation. Try to talk to some about a group of people different from you. Is the group those people? If so, would it make those people a minority or a majority? Is there prejudice or bias affecting these or those people?
Is it those people whom are different, or those people who there isn’t any want of ownership?
Maybe its just the definition of the words. I started looking at the definitions provided from Oxford Dictionaries, and I left with something to think about….
• pronoun & determiner (pl. these) 1 used to identify a specific person or thing close at hand or being indicated or experienced. 2 referring to the nearer of two things close to the speaker. 3 referring to a specific thing or situation just mentioned. 4 as determiner used with periods of time related to the present.
• pronoun & determiner (pl. those) 1 used to identify a specific person or thing observed or heard by the speaker. 2 referring to the more distant of two things near to the speaker. 3 referring to a specific thing previously mentioned or known. 4 used in singling out someone or something with a particular feature. 5 as pronoun (pl. that) used instead of which, who, when, etc. to introduce a defining clause.
What is the difference between these and those? The Oxford view of the "differences of these/those are the plural forms of this/that, and behave in the same way. As a determiner this is used to identify a specific person or thing close at hand or being experienced. As a determiner that refers to the more distant of two things near to the speaker, or to a specific thing previously mentioned. "
So in thinking about it, are those airmen different than you or me? Or are airmen, "Airmen"? Maybe I am splitting hairs, but in a number of educational environments and briefing, I remember talking a lot of those “Airmen”. When in the truth of it, we really ought to have been talking about our "Airmen", these "Airmen". These Airmen, all from different walks of life and experiences are still close to the very fundamentals of our service. Its funny, how one letter; an “o” or an “e” can keep people at arms length or invite them into a circle of acceptance.
Pay attention to those around you… What feeling do you get? Feel free to comment back on this. I am curious if it is only me.