Synonyms of class in English:
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adjectiveBack to top
Class—meaning socioeconomic status—now carries loads of connotation, but often very little meaning. How does one determine a person's 'class'? Nowadays, millionaires regard themselves as working stiffs or, at best, as middle class. A salaried employee earning $100,000 a year feels poor if all his neighbors make twice that just from their stock portfolios. In other words, there are no clear markers. Should ghetto drug-lords with shiny BMWs be viewed as members of the 'underclass'? Is the owner of a Kwik-E-Mart who pays two college kids to run the register and stock the shelves in the same class as an autoworker at the Ford assembly plant? What if the small-time entrepreneur takes home only $30,000 a year, while the grunt on the line earns $60,000? Nobody, of course, ever admits to being upper class. People with private jets will quietly murmur, after a self-deprecating smile, “Oh, we're just comfortable,” or even “We're getting by.” In summarizing people's economic status, just say what you think: He's rich, she's poor. Better yet, describe the actual conditions of life: The Smiths reside in a tract house that cost $40,000, and they can barely afford the mortgage.Michael Dirda
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