I need for someone to tell me when it IS okay to tell someone they are articulate. I’m a white English teacher in a majority minority school, and I’m often pleased with how well a student has conveyed their thoughts. I am not comparing them to white or black people. I’m comparing them to their same-age peers, or sometimes EVERYONE. Should I say, “You are so articulate for someone your age,” or perhaps, “You are so articulate for a human being.” Because that’s what I mean. I literally want to convey, based off of my experience with everyone I’ve ever met of every race, and considering I have a master’s degree in English Education, I find you to be articulate compared to other people. A few years ago I switched the compliment to, “You have an amazing vocabulary,” but that too seems underhanded.

Your bog standard small-town girl with delusions of grandeur.

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