The Word Immigrant.

The word immigrant emerged from the word migrate. Migrate was first used to describe what birds do. Southbank Centre, my home from home, was built by immigrants cheek by jowl with people born here.

Words are not unlike immigrants. They travel long distances to arrive in literature and spoken language. They hold great meaning. The ideas carried within words develop culture. They become part of us and we them. They offer new interpretations of the world.

Should we quarantine all immigrant words, search their pockets for possible explosive material? Maybe some words are though not immigrants housing an immigrant. Shall we raid our sentences, interrogate our paragraphs, imprison large groups of words of latin extraction and question all words with an Indian root just in case they are trying to subvert us?

What is an immigrant to one set of people is an intrepid explorer to another. However you define yourself the act of reading is a celebration of immigration.

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