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ReyGraves

Folx vs folks

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ReyGraves

I’ve seen “folx” around in some tumblr posts when a person is referring to lgbtq+ people. 

 

However, I thought “folks” was already gender inclusive? Why did folx develop then?

 

(Or is it just a “tumblr word” that doesn’t/shouldn’t hold (much) weight?) 

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Taylor Lilith

I use folx because it is less keystrokes and the way a keyboard works for me the x is easier to type than a k and an s.  It takes two hands.  Two whole hands lol.

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CBC

I've never heard of 'folx', and because I'm a 30-something adult with decent English skills and not a 16-year-old Tumblr kid with a need to be special and different, I have no intention of using it.

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Enzic

I never seen folx being used.

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Life Of Tass

Never heard of folx either. Speaking as a non-native English speaker, I don't really see a need for it, as "folks" is already gender inclusive. My best guess is that folx is either used for aesthetic reasons or that it's used as a sort of warning for everybody that isn't lgbtq+ saying "this doesn't concern you"

 

Disclaimer: I'm not a tumblr user myself, so take my second assumption with a pinch of salt.

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Gloomy

I’ve never heard of it either. I’m not sure how replacing the ks with an x would make it more gender inclusive.

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Roidgy

its Ebonics, babey!!

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Taylor Lilith
1 minute ago, Roidgy said:

its Ebonics, babey!!

If this is true, I will be adding a ks in the future.  Thank you @Roidgy.

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ReyGraves
10 minutes ago, Roidgy said:

its Ebonics, babey!!

I did what I suppose I could’ve done from the beginning and googled it. But I haven’t found anything that says folx comes from Ebonics. I found something that says that “In particular, LGBTQ communities of color have embraced the term "folx" to emphasize that a binary gender system is a product of colonization and oppression of indigenous peoples.[7][8] According to linguistics professor and blogger Lal Zimman, the "x" suggests solidarity with marginalized communities and represents "the everyday people".” (Wikipedia) (And uh, I do not understand what this quote is saying. How does folx emphasize that the binary system....?)

 

There doesnt really seem to be a solid answer as to why folx was invented/used. Some say it’s to avoid the “gender association” with “dudes” and “guys”. And follows things like Latinx. 

 

Others say for aesthetic reasons. 

 

To me then that means anyone can use it without fear that they’re culturally appropriating it. @Taylor Lilith

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yellew

I think "folx" is just slang /an alternate spelling. Kinda like "tho" or "sux" or "rox"

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Anthracite_Impreza

I cannot cope with deliberate misspelling, stop it.

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Roidgy
3 hours ago, ReyGraves said:

 LGBTQ communities of color have embraced the term "folx"

thats non-black speak for "its ebonics, babey!"

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Liz62

Came to get educated, found racism instead. 

 

Language changes. It's surprising to me how many of you have internalized colonizer mentality. Take this opportunity to learn, instead of coming up with dismissive racist ideas about language.

 

Insisting there is only one correct way means that you don't understand Black English, which is not actually English, but a distinct language with different grammar and usage (West African in origin), with the same lexicon as English. You don't get to tell Black people that their language is wrong and inferior. And they don't need your approval to speak it.

 

Being LGBTQIA does not absolve you of your internalized oppression. You know what an ally should look like. Do your work, people.

 

 

 

 

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InquisitivePhilosopher

@Liz62 Hi. I'm sorry you came across this thread. As someone who's grown up mostly attending schools and living in neighborhoods with a high percentage of people of color, I wasn't happy about the responses in this thread, either. I figured that, since AVEN's Census shows that most members are in their teens and 20s, it might just be due to youth being unaware and unfamiliar with people of color, especially if they haven't grown up in areas with them or knowing any.

 

I know it doesn't seem very welcoming for a new member to come across something like this. Please know that not all members write things like this. There threads with older LGBT+ people and threads with POC in the Intersectionality Forum, if you're interested. There are also threads where members discuss books with ace characters that they've read, such as "Let's Talk About Love" (featuring an ace, black female).

 

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/174688-thoughts-on-asexuality-and-the-black-community/

 

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/78085-asexual-people-of-color/

 

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/146676-black-asexuals/?tab=comments#comment-1061359468

 

ETA: Just in case the tone of my post my be misinterpreted, due to other posts, I didn't mean this in an indignant, dismissive way, only to encourage the OP into not letting a few posts sour their first impression and turn them away from this site, especially as there are other POC here.

 

 

 

 

 

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greynonomous

So, I think it's actually an interesting word if you think about it and its purpose.

 

Folx does the following, it forces cisnormative non minorites to stop and ask themselves 'wait a tic... Am I included in this?'

 

That subtle indignation and whiff of potential exclusion (really just the fact that white cisnormative is not just default in this case) is kind of a small taste of how people of color and non cis people navigate the world ALL the time.

 

If you are a person of color in a crowd and hear someone on a stage say 'there are some good folks round here' in a southern drawl, you are going to have a moment where you wonder for a sec if that includes you. You're going to dissect that because 'good folks/bad folks' was used too much with bias to receive white vs non white demographics. These days it usually even does include you, but it doesn't change the fact that it isn't presumed in the back of your head.

 

So having someone that usually never has to do this while navigating their day, be forced to go through the mental exercise whenever they read 'folx' of "wait, is that a typo? No... Oh it started from lgbtqa+ and allies... am I included or not? Crud... If I feel like I'm excluded, does that mean my brain doesn't think I'm an ally? Why do they get a word to describe them that is simpler than the (growing) acronym of LGBTQ+?! AH why do we need this word?!"

 

My speller hates it... Buuuuut... This type of mycrotrolling by using an almost identical word that is describing the exact same group of people, and it only change is the fact that it breaks the reader's ability to just imagine a group of generic white cishetero stand-ins, and forces readers to think about all the TYPES of different humans that actually ARE being included... Yeah, I think it's actually kind of elegant in a way.

 

I likely won't use it myself most of the time cause I'm set in my ways buuuuut.... It's elegant and this thread proves it works, cause it forced this conversation just with a slight spelling change... Which is the point.

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Homer

"Found on Dumblr..."

 

That's all you need to know, really.

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Sally
11 hours ago, Liz62 said:

Came to get educated, found racism instead. 

 

Language changes. It's surprising to me how many of you have internalized colonizer mentality. Take this opportunity to learn, instead of coming up with dismissive racist ideas about language.

 

Insisting there is only one correct way means that you don't understand Black English, which is not actually English, but a distinct language with different grammar and usage (West African in origin), with the same lexicon as English. You don't get to tell Black people that their language is wrong and inferior. And they don't need your approval to speak it.

 

Being LGBTQIA does not absolve you of your internalized oppression. You know what an ally should look like. Do your work, people.

 

You're making a lot of automatic rather nasty assumptions about us -- especially since this is your first post.   Maybe you could be around AVEN a little longer before you bawl everyone out.   

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Homer

That's all, folgz.

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InquisitivePhilosopher
5 hours ago, Sally said:

You're making a lot of automatic rather nasty assumptions about us -- especially since this is your first post.   Maybe you could be around AVEN a little longer before you bawl everyone out.   

I didn't really interpret the post as making an assumption about all people on AVEN, only that they came across this thread, were attempting to speak up and call out the few, offensive comments that were making fun of how some black people speak, informing them that what was being said wasn't nice. They do have the right to feel hurt by the comments they just came across; historically, there have been problems with racism in LGBT+ groups (e.g. gay whites excluding gay POC), so it's understandable that it might give them the impression that the site isn't friendly towards POC, especially since it wasn't called out on, before.

 

It is kind of odd and doesn't make sense to criticize the fact that some black people use slang, when young people of all races, including white people, use slang and have made up their own abbreviations in texting, on the internet, etc.

 

I was only trying to encourage the OP to stick around and not let a few posts turn them away, in case they were thinking that that's how most people on the site are and to let them know that there are other POC, here.

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Anthracite_Impreza

I don't like the assumption that everyone should "just know" folx has anything to do with black slang; I most certainly didn't. I grew up, and still live in, a 95% white, little village in the middle of the English countryside, not a diverse American city. To me "folx" is just like "sox", "u r" and "m8" - text speak that irritates me. To immediately assume a racist reason suggests that @Liz62 thinks we all have the same education and background as they do (which is of course, not true), and also making as many assumptions about us as they think we are of them.

 

I don't immediately assume someone's a transphobe if they use the word transsexual - they probably aren't aware it's a problematic term so I will gently educate them as such, rather than have a go.

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greynonomous
4 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

I don't like the assumption that everyone should "just know" folx has anything to do with black slang; I most certainly didn't. I grew up, and still live in, a 95% white, little village in the middle of the English countryside, not a diverse American city. To me "folx" is just like "sox", "u r" and "m8" - text speak that irritates me. To immediately assume a racist reason suggests that @Liz62 thinks we all have the same education and background as they do (which is of course, not true), and also making as many assumptions about us as they think we are of them.

 

I don't immediately assume someone's a transphobe if they use the word transsexual - they probably aren't aware it's a problematic term so I will gently educate them as such, rather than have a go.

... I think it was how quickly it went down after the posted 'its Ebonics!' and replies thereof, not blanket comment to original poster or to everyone just curious about the term.

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Anthracite_Impreza
2 minutes ago, greynonomous said:

... I think it was how quickly it went down after the posted 'its Ebonics!' and replies thereof, not blanket comment to original poster or to everyone just curious about the term.

I don't even know what that means, I wasn't paying attention to anyone else's posts. Fairly sure this is very much an American thing; on this side of the pond we don't have this massive divide. 

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InquisitivePhilosopher
1 hour ago, greynonomous said:

... I think it was how quickly it went down after the posted 'its Ebonics!' and replies thereof, not blanket comment to original poster or to everyone just curious about the term.

Yes. I'm sure it was that part. When white people say things like that, thinking it's a funny joke, it upsets black people because it sounds as though it's demeaning them behind their back, among other white people. It's especially hurtful when it's from white people who don't live around or haven't ever talked to black people. I've heard racist comments like that, where I live, and it's upsetting because the people who say them are basing their racist "jokes" on negative stereotypes of black people that aren't true among all POC. If they'd actually grown up around black people, they'd know that.

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greynonomous
2 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

I don't even know what that means, I wasn't paying attention to anyone else's posts. Fairly sure this is very much an American thing; on this side of the pond we don't have this massive divide. 

Nah on that side of the pond something a biiiit similar (though still not the same) as the combination of accent, slang and lingo that evolved in northern England port cities that is considered low class when heard (cockney I think it's called?)

 

British are actually more sensitive to accents as a barometer of social status from everything I've seen, which is why lots of people literally change their accents between social situation, like workplace conversation vs socially, and at home.

 

African American Vernacular English (the academically correct label. Ebonics is a dated and controversial term) is distinct enough from British or American English, even beyond the case of regional dialects in the US (excluding non-english based creole languages).

 

For a long time, and even today, speaking in 'Ebonics' is something that is seen as not desirable, or speaking English 'incorrectly'. It gives the connotation that only the black community would use this word, and it's not an attempt to add to 'real english'.

 

Just because it was coined by black LGBTQ+ activists online doesn't mean it was intended as a word for African American Vernacular. To be honest it feels like it was more relevant for the community with their LGBTQ+ hat, not the Race related hat.

 

With that knowledge, I'd invite you to re-read the thread replies carefully again to see the issue here.

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Feys&Florets

I want to gently remind people that this is the internet and we got people from all walks of life, not just the middle of United States of America. I personally have never heard the terms 'folx' or 'ebonics' before this thread. I had to google those.

 

Please, don't jump the gun and accuse racism. AVEN is one of the most accepting communities I've ever found on the internet. It can't be expected for every person to know Amercian slang when the people come from a strikingly different culture, country and/or historical background.

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abandoned acc

i wonder how many of the posters in this thread who were demeaning OP and mouthing off about "Tumblr Kids"(most of which are in their 20s by now) are firmly in the "old man yells at cloud" (it's a meme look it up) phase of life? who cares how it started people use it and thats all that matters, and before you get in a huff about grammar no one cares. like @Liz62says language changes it evolves with every new person who speaks it if it didn't we all be talking like a badly translated shakespeare play, get off your high horse and let people speak and write the way they want of else you start sounding like a particular group of germans

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Feys&Florets
4 minutes ago, Rylan Gray said:

get off your high horse and let people speak and write the way they want of else you start sounding like a particular group of germans

That's a bit much, isn't it? Associating people with Nazi? Really?

 

I can speak the pidgin of my home language, but I don't go around expecting everyone to learn it. I'm not going to get upset if someone doesn't know the dialect, and I wouldn't use it in a business or professional environment. Proper language has its place. Should I be upset because people don't speak my pidgin dialect and don't understand the nuance historical impact it carries? 

 

Language changes, and English is a mess. There's nothing wrong with that. If there's nothing wrong with people wanting to use fancy new words, there's nothing wrong with people wanting traditional elegant versions of English.

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wirewalker

I use "folks", when I say it. It's always been one of my favorite gender-neutral terms for a group, and to me has the added connotation of folk music and folk singing, which I'm very fond of. I know people who use "folx", though.

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Nowhere Girl
On 9/13/2018 at 10:15 PM, ReyGraves said:

There doesnt really seem to be a solid answer as to why folx was invented/used. Some say it’s to avoid the “gender association” with “dudes” and “guys”.

"Folks" already does it. However, I absolutely dislike the use of "guys" to mean "people". Nope, sorry, I'm not a guy.

On 9/13/2018 at 10:15 PM, ReyGraves said:

And follows things like Latinx. 

But is it the same? I thought that "Latinx" was created just because the person in question could be a Latino, or Latina, or maybe a non-binary person... "Folks" is already gender-neutral.

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Sally

I really don't care if people -- anyone -- use folx instead of folks.  But I don't want to be scolded, as one poster did, for not knowing it's association.  If you want to use a word that has a particular association, do so with the recognition that not every will understand that association.  To accuse those unknowing people of racism is way out of line.  

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