“Nonreligious” was a possibility. So was “non-faith” and “non-affiliated.”
But Kosmin rejected all of these. The “non” part bothered him. “Non-affiliated” would be like calling people “non-white,” he said. “We didn’t want to suggest that ‘affiliated’ was the norm, and every one else was an ‘other.’”
“Nomenclature,” he added, “is quite important in these things.”
So Kosmin began calling this group the “nones,” a shortened version for “none of the above” — which is what people often said when asked to name their religion. He never thought the term would stick.In the NPR story they highlight how the fraction of people who are now labeled "nones" has been growing.
Ahhh, more and more godlessness. It's a wonderful thing!
Hat/tip to Friendly Atheist