How do you feel about the term "world music"? Does it offend you or make you somehow feel like the music it describes is inferior?
Personally, I don't have any major issues with the term, but I look at it for what it is: a marketing term, designed to make it easier to differentiate types of music. It's excessively broad, sure, but it seems to work pretty well for the purposes for which it's intended. No, Irish music and African music don't have much in common, but they often appeal to the same American listeners, who are more likely to switch between those two genres than, say, Irish music and Britney Spears.
I also happen to like a crazy range of music... a mix tape I made last night includes DMX, Hank Williams, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Meditations and Louis Prima. In my head (and in my ears) music is just music, so I don't need to differentiate, but I surely appreciate the ease, when I'm in a record store, of flipping through the "rock" section (which is insanely broad-ranged as well) and then heading towards world music. It'd be excessive, I think, to define every single obscure artist with their own category, and just plain dumb to eliminate categories altogether.
What do you think? Post a comment or leave a message in the World Music Forum.