“First World” is an Outdated Term

One of my many pet peeves is hearing the term “First World” throw around incorrectly. I think it is because I was an International Relations major that I give a damn. I cringe when I hear it used incorrectly, but now I am cringing a lot more.

Here’s the entry for  First World in Wikipedia:

The concept of the  First World  first originated during the  Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the  United States.

Recently there is an internet meme going around called “First World Problems,” which is about about whining by the affluent. Now the term is taking on a whole new life.

Here’s an example:  http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/first-world-problems

Here is a site about “White Whine”:  http://whitewhine.com/

The general ignorance of the term “First World” is probably due to the fact that it is a relic of the Cold War. However, it chaffs me even more to hear people refer to Asian countries like China and Taiwan as third world. I even read a popular baby book refer to countries that practice co-sleeping (as practiced in Hong Kong and Japan) as a practice from third world countries! Seriously, even the dictionary.com definitions for First World, Second World, and Third World are all screwy.

ARGH!

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