“Hi, Folks.”

How a once-friendly, neighborly word—”folks”—became a quiet sort of insult.

Matter
Published in
5 min readOct 17, 2014

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By Liesl Schillinger
Illustration by Keetra Dean Dixon

Thirty-five years ago, when the late wordsmith William Safire — a former Nixon speechwriter, and the coiner of the phrase “nattering nabobs of negativism” — began writing “On Language,” a New York Times Magazine

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Liesl Schillinger
Matter
Writer for

I'm a writer, translator, and journalism professor, based in NYC, but living in Virginia since the pandemic.