we pigeonhole people

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Senior Member
Limba Arabă
Hi guys ,

" we pigeonhole people "

I Came across the word "pigeonhole " when I was reading this sentence;

I think it's more formal :) ,,

Can I say , "I pigeonhole him as a good teacher" ?

How does it sound ?
  • drjudyo

    New Member
    English-USA midwest
    Here's my input:
    I pegged him as a good teacher. Most good teachers like him get pigeonholed into dead-end jobs. Only bad teachers rise to become school administrators.

    N American slang
    pigeonholed =shoved into a small slot

    I don't think "I pigeonholed him" works.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with Xqby (in the thread linked by SDG is his post 4) about this. His definition might be simplified thus: to pigeonhole is to categorize something according to a narrow range of attributes. For me the person criticized usually is the person who pigeonholes; the suggestion is that they have a quite limited series of categories into which they fit the people they know. Thus they lose the individual characteristics which make people interesting and, sometimes, endearing.

    So here I wouldn't say we pigeonhole people. It's a dangerous generalization and it's to present a very narrow view of human life. I would prefer some people like fitting people into categories, which is much less pejorative to my ear. In the specific case I'd simply say I reckoned he was a good teacher - the formula in the OP suggests that good teachers are all similar, like Tolstoy's happy families.
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