classify 分類する

November 19, 2016     =========

☆  classify  分類する


When you classify things, you divide them or sort them into groups of similar characteristics. Other words with a similar meaning are: categorize, arrange, catalogue, rank, and sort.

One other word that has a similar meaning, but usually a negative nuance, is “pigeonhole.” If you pigeonhole someone it means that you decide they belong to a particular group or category, without really considering their abilities or characteristics. In the world of Hollywood, actors can get pigeonholed into certain types of movies, for example, “He was pigeonholed as a TV actor, so he couldn’t find work in movies.”

The above example is not very serious, but of course, in real life, girls could be pigeonholed into certain non-contact sports. Japanese people could be pigeonholed as not good at English. Obviously, there is no need to pigeonhole people in this way, and when we do it can be damaging to their success. So, please don’t classify or pigeonhole yourself as someone who doesn’t speak English!