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#42628 - 10/03/01 10:22 AM Re: Actors/actresses
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
This is not a linguistic issue, it's a matter of PC (political correctness)...

From a linguistic point of view the question is whether there is a meaningful difference between what the word means when applied to a male and when applied to a female.

We easily refer to them as doctors whether they are male or female. Some may prefer one sex over the other for purely individual reasons (and when we are talking about an individual's well being they can easily be valid reasons, on an individual level), but no one ever seems to think that it would be proper to refer to doctor vs. doctress (or doctrix). The erstwhile stewardess became the flight attendant when the occupation started getting a large number of males filling positions. As with the doctor, except for individual preferences the job done by a male is not in anyway different from that done by a female. In cases where it does make a difference (and other than, perhaps sex worker, or even actor/actress, I can't think of any just right off hand) there may be a reason to have a separate word.


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#42629 - 10/03/01 10:26 AM Re: el show Cristina
consuelo Offline
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Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Cojer, I know[artists, musicians, students,etc.] but guagua meaning bus is a Cuban thang, according to my Pequeño Larousse. It also means a suckling child[in American hispanic culture] a spice similar to cayenne pepper[cuban usage], a small type of pig[cuban usage again, probably from whence reference to suckling child comes from]. It is also some sort of amphibious rodent of the Americas[muskrat, maybe?]In Ecuador, and apparently only in Ecuador, this word can take either a masculine or feminine article to make it gender specific.[Whew! made it back to the actual topic!]

[bold]GUAGUA[/bold] f. cosa baladí | Amer. Nene, rorro, niño de teta. (En el Ecuador es común de dos, y se dice: el guagua o la guagua) Col. Roedor anfibio de América Cub. Especie de ají Cub. especie de cochinilla Cub. y Can. Autobús [italics] de guagua[/italics], gratis, de balde.


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#42630 - 10/03/01 10:30 AM Re: Italian males in 'a'
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
poeta, agricola, nauta

Poeta and nauta are from the Greek and at least the agr- of agricola is also from the Greek.


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#42631 - 10/03/01 10:37 AM Re: el show Cristina
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
Cristina was interviewed on NPR recently regarding her talk show. She was using cojer la guagua as an example of trying to communicate politely with Hispanophones of many provenances simultaneously.


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#42632 - 10/03/01 10:43 AM Re: Gender and Articles
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
Now that we have had a good bit of discussion, which I have enjoyed, about the wierdness of grammatical gender, I have to put in a plug for clearly defined gender.

The lack of any indication of gender in 99% of cases in modern English is perhaps a shortcoming. In situations when it may be desirable to indicate gender, you usually have to resort to some sort of periphrasis, often clumsy.

For example: When Charles de Gaulle started a speech, he opened with, "François et Françoises!" (Frenchmen and Frenchwomen!). I suppose that in Canada one would start with "Canadiens et Canadiennes" or "Québecois et Québecoises" and if one were addressing an American audience in French, "Américains et Américaines". But when the President starts one of those speeches televised from the Oval Office, it starts, "My fellow Americans" and has to cover both genders. The French examples above make it clear the orator is addressing his fellow countrymen of each sex/gender specifically and individually. To do this in English is not possible except by importing some noun that does have specific gender and constructing something, like perhaps, My brothers and sisters throughout America, or some such tripe.

The question asks itself, Is there any necessity to specify gender except in rare cases? Are we not beyond putting people in little boxes and avoiding unnecessary labels? Should we be paying much attention to sex/gender?

The answer to that is, I think perhaps a cart/horse or chicken/egg situation. It may be that other nationalities are more aware of gender and the differences between the sexes than we precisely because their language makes clear differentiations between the genders. And we English speakers are in the forefront of the movement towards androgeny and eliminating the differences between the sexes maybe partly because our language makes it easy to ignore gender.

What do y'all think?


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#42633 - 10/03/01 10:52 AM Re: Gender and Articles
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
What do y'all think?

Back in the good old days we only had two genders; animate and inanimate.

"The only men's jobs and women's jobs are those which actually *require a penis or a vagina."


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#42634 - 10/03/01 10:58 AM flippant? or serious?
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
FLIPPANT ANSWER: I HAVE NEVER IGNORED A GENDER IN MY LIFE.

I think that gender differentiation is necessary. I am female and I don't like that fact to be ignored. What I do object to is treatment that is sub-standard because of my gender.


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#42635 - 10/03/01 11:01 AM Re: gender? or sex?
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
Course, then there's those of us who take great umbrage at the confusion of gender and sex. Remember, the word woman is historically masculine.


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#42636 - 10/03/01 11:25 AM Ribs
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Reminds me of a joke.
God pays a visit, routine check-up, on Adam. God says"How's everything with you. Happy here?" Adam says,"Great place. I particularly like what you did with the garden here, but I only have one teeny complaint. I have noticed that all the animals here have mates. Will I be given one?" God slaps his forehead and says"D'oh! I forgot all about that! I'll tell you what. How would you like a beautiful woman, curved just right, one that will obey your every wish and take care of all your needs before you even know you have them." Adam says"Gee, that sounds great. What's the catch?" God says, "Well, it's gonna cost you an arm and a leg." Adam thinks about it for awhile and says"What can I get for a rib?"(bah-dum-dum)


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#42637 - 10/03/01 12:06 PM Re: Gender and Articles
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
RE:The lack of any indication of gender in 99% of cases in modern English is perhaps a shortcoming. In situations when it may be desirable to indicate gender, you usually have to resort to some sort of periphrasis, often clumsy.

why? if i want a lawyer-- i want the best-- be it a man or a woman. gender as faldage points out, make no difference 99.9% percent of the time..

and while i can understand consuelo concerns, what i find objectionable, is, the real thing is male, and the femine form has an ending similar to many suffixes that are used as diminutives.. a Luncheon is a rather formal lunch, but a luncheonette is so casual, it is below a diner!
So it is not just being politicaly correct to say that an air pilot an- Aviator, is a skilled person, and a woman who does the same (pilots an aircraft!) is no less skilled-- so her title should be the same.. and not some sort of diminutive title-- avaitrix

when theater started, all actors where male... actress implies something less than the usual acting company.

i think that if men where subjected to this sort of treatment regularly, they would find it objectionable..

i have worked in male dominated fields.. and spent years, looking at the started faces of people who ask--"you? You're going to .*...? Wow, i never see a female do that* before.. !" and the wierd things i did? set up computers (unbox, plug in, connect to network, and down load some files.. ) nothing really physically hard.. but while computer programing is pretty unisex, 10 year ago, computer technology was still pretty much dominated by men. (its changing and becoming more unisex too)

the stereotyping is real, and language can re-enforce it. Does it matter who carries your coffee to you? and if it doesn't why do you call one person a waiter, and the other a waitress.. why not just a server? and why a diminutive title for the woman --the job/work doesn't change-- why should the title?
an other rant might include the fact, that while the job/work doesn't change, the compensation often does.. and waiters are often paid more than waitress. and so on down the line.. the highest paid actors are never actresses.. hmm? which would you want to be? an $100,000 actor or a $85,000 actress?


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