Talk:white trash

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"of low moral standard"? Is that NPOV correct? \Mike 22:31, 20 July 2005 (UTC)


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How do we handle words like this, which can be used of one person or of many? It doesn't seem to be a count noun with separate singular and plural senses, it seems to be a collective noun... but how do we word a definition such that it covers both "they're white trash" and "he's white trash"? [[trash]] is equally problematically-defined. - -sche (discuss) 03:58, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Isn't uncountable correct? Compare "this book is garbage; these books are garbage". No plural needed. Equinox 15:37, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Uncountable, inherited from trash. It is slightly odd when it is used as singular subject of a sentence: "This white trash can't pay for his own beer." So speakers have a mild tendency to eschew it there, I think. But, that is stylistics, I think. DCDuring TALK 16:44, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Alright, but what should the definition be? Currently, the definition is "White people of low social status". That works for "they are white trash" = "they are white people of low social status", but "he is just white trash" ≠ "he is white people of low social status". - -sche (discuss) 18:51, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you have to define it as singular, but dispense with the a.
A usage note to say that speakers usually avoid using it where it is marked as singular might be appropriate. "A person" and "one person" constitute a bit more than 25% of the occurrences of "person" at COCA. "A white trash" ("one white trash" doesn't occur) constitutes 2% of the occurrences of "white trash". The story with verb agreement is similar, but much longer in the telling. DCDuring TALK 19:42, 29 August 2012 (UTC)