AMERICA'S National Public Radio has just started a new blog on race, and the title is a term from linguistics: Code-Switch. We've touched on code-switching before. Linguists typically use it to mean the instant and frequent switching between two distinct languages, like Spanish and English among many Puerto Rican New Yorkers. But Gene Demby, in explaining the new blog's name, says
we're looking at code-switching a little more broadly: many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities — sometimes within a single interaction.