In today’s world, it seems that many have forgotten the precise meanings of certain English words. This article aims to provide a concise refresher on key terms and concepts that are often misunderstood. Let’s dive into some commonly confused terms related to nationality, citizenship, and residentship.
Nationality: Your birthplace determines your nationality. It signifies being a citizen of a particular country and remains unchanged throughout your life.
Citizenship: Citizenship refers to the legal status of being a member of a country. While most people acquire citizenship based on their country of birth, some countries have specific criteria, such as reaching a certain age. Additionally, citizenship can be obtained through naturalization or marriage. Unconventional paths to citizenship exist as well, such as acquiring it based on ethnicity. Remarkably, some countries even offer citizenship for sale. Citizenship can be acquired, lost, or revoked.
Residentship: Residentship denotes the status of being a resident in a country. It implies a permanent settlement in a specific location. Although residentship is sometimes confused with citizenship and nationality, one crucial distinction arises in the case of illegal immigrants. Illegals do not possess citizenship but are officially recognized as residents of the country they are unlawfully staying in. Surprisingly, you can even be an illegal immigrant in your own country if you have lost the citizenship of the country you currently reside in.
Advantages of Nationality, Citizenship, and Residentship: Citizenship typically grants access to a passport from the respective country, providing specific advantages based on that country’s policies. For instance, it may include visa-free travel to certain destinations. Citizenship also facilitates border crossings without restrictions, enabling relocation and immigration to other countries when necessary. However, it’s worth noting that some countries offer these advantages not solely based on citizenship but also on nationality and residentship.
Understanding Related Terms: Orphan, Foundling, Ragamuffin, Waif, Street Child, Urchin
Orphan: An orphan is a child who has lost both parents due to death. If a child has lost only one parent or lost their parents through a non-death-related event, they are not considered an orphan.
Foundling: A foundling is a child who has been abandoned by one or both parents. In some cases, a child can be both an orphan and a foundling.
Ragamuffin: A ragamuffin refers to a child, and sometimes an adult, who is poorly clothed. However, it is primarily associated with children.
Waif: A waif represents a homeless child. Generally, individuals referred to as “waifs” are also classified as foundlings.
Street Child: A street child is a child who lives on the streets. Unlike a waif, a street child may not necessarily be homeless. This term often applies to neglected children who either live in orphanages or run away from their homes.
Urchin: An urchin describes a mischievous and roguish child. In most cases, an urchin is also considered a ragamuffin.
Orphanage: An orphanage is a residential facility specifically designed for orphans. However, it is crucial to note that the term “orphanage” is frequently misused. If a facility houses both orphans and foundlings, it should be correctly referred to as a children’s home, not an orphanage.
Children’s Home: A children’s home accommodates children, including both orphans and foundlings.
It is important to recognize that the term “orphan” is highly specific and often misused. Similarly, the term “orphanage” is misapplied when referring to facilities that house foundlings alongside orphans. While some argue for broader interpretations of “orphan” to include those who have not lost both parents, the correct term in such cases remains “foundling.” Likewise, the term “street child” is often too narrowly defined, as it does not exclusively imply homelessness. In cases where a child is not homeless, the more appropriate term would be “waif.” Additionally, a street child may not necessarily be engaged in misbehavior, for which the term “urchin” can be employed.
Why Do These Terminological Problems Exist?
These linguistic confusions arise due to two primary reasons. Firstly, there is an ongoing effort to make languages more inclusive and accessible to all individuals. Secondly, these issues stem from people’s tendency towards laziness and a desire for simplified thinking…
Old version (English refresher)
A small refresher of English words, as apparently many have forgotten what the words exactly mean:
Nationality – Being a national of a country, which is based on the country you were born at. Your nationality will never change throughout your life.
Citizenship – Being a citizen of a country. Citizenship is mostly gotten based on country of birth, though some countries only award citizenship by a certain age, but can also be gotten in other ways, which include by naturalisation and by marriage, There are also more uncommon ways, which include for example by your ethnicity, this highly depends on the country though. Some countries actually even sell citizenship. Citizenship can be gotten, lost, and even taken away.
Residentship – Being a resident of a country. You are a resident when you permanently stay at a certain location, so you have settled down at a certain location. While sometimes confused with citizenship and nationality, residentship has a clear example which makes the difference clear, which is when it comes to illegals, as illegals don’t have citizenship, but are officially regarded as residents of the country they are illegally staying at. You can in fact be an illegal at the country of your own nationality, this in the case you have lost the citizenship of the country you illegally stay at.
(Nationality, Citizenship, and Residentship advantages: Citizenship generally allows getting a passport of the country which you have citizenship at, which equals advantages based on the specific country, like for example free travel to certain other countries without restriction. Citizenship often also allow you to move across borders without any restrictions, including the ability to resettle, immigrate, fast to another country if there’s ever the need. Some countries, however, base these “advantages” not on citizenship, but rather on nationality and residentship.)
Orphan – A child who has lost both parents through death. A child who has lost only one parent, or who has lost his/her parents in another way then death, is not regarded an orphan.
Foundling – A child who lost one or both parents through abandonment. A foundling could be at the same time an orphan.
Ragamuffin – A poorly clothed child. Can also be used for adults, but is generally regarded to name children.
Waif – A homeless child. Generally those who are a “Waif” are also a Foundling.
Street child – A child living at the street. Difference with “Waif” is the fact that a street child has not to be actually homeless. The most well known example when it comes to this difference are children who are neglected (even more) at orphanages and children’s homes and those who run away from their parents at home.
Urchin – A mischievous roguish child. Generally an Urchin is also a Ragamuffin.
Orphanage – A home for orphans. Officially only for orphans, though this word is quite often incorrectly used.
Children’s home – A home for children, both for orphans and foundlings.
(It is important to note that the word “Orphan” is actually a very restricted term, and actually a huge amount of times incorrectly used. The same in that regards is when it comes to orphanages, as at orphanages only orphans live, if there live also foundlings, we are always talking about children’s homes, not orphanages. While some are trying to make the term “orphan” more open, and make it count also for those who not have lost both their parents, and not only for those who lost their parents through death, the correct term remains foundling at that time, not orphan.
In regards to that, the same actually counts to the word “Street Child”, yet, a little bit differently than which is said as above, as people are actually restricting the word “Street child” too much, as a street child doesn’t have to actually be homeless, we are talking about a “waif” in that case, also a street child doesn’t have to be doing anything bad, we are talking more specifically about an “Urchin” in that case.)
Why do these problems regarding terminology actually exist?
Well, quite simple, 2 reasons, the first being the attempts to make languages more open to everyone, and the second is actually laziness of people, and wanting to think less…