Dec 20, 2013

Wordology, Nativity

For many people, the word Nativity is only used this time of year as the birth of Christ and other religious connotations for Christmas. Lately the original definition is being used more often in statistical charting. According to a few online dictionaries, nativity means:

1. Birth, especially the place, conditions, or circumstances of being born.
2. Nativity
    a. The birth of Jesus.
    b. A representation, such as a painting, of Jesus just after birth.
    c. Christmas.

Notice that 'Nativity' as capitalized has a religious connotation, while 'nativity' as non-capitalized is the number one definition. Many population and other economic charts use nativity in conjunction with ethnicity. It is a distinction, for instance 'Hispanic' as natural born or foreign born, when showing statistical differences.

Bottom line, before you wonder, there is no conspiracy theory, there is no anti-religious effort put forth. Statisticians are using the word in its original definition to more specifically segment populations by origin of birth.

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