The English noun people
has two distinct fields of application:
- as a countable noun, a group of humans, either with unspecified traits, or specific characteristics (e.g. the people of Spain or the people of the Plains).
- as a mass noun, people is the suppletive plural of person. However, the word persons is sometimes used in place of people, especially when it would be ambiguous with its collective sense (e.g. missing persons instead of missing people). It can collectively refer to all humans or it can be used to identify a certain ethnic or religious group. For example, "people of color" is a phrase used in North America to describe non-whites.
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