|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
You are not logged in. [Log In] Wordsmith.org » Forums » General Topics » Weekly Themes » Feminine and masculine forms of words Register User Forum List Calendar Active Topics Search FAQ
#3573 - 06/19/00 08:36 AM Feminine and masculine forms of words
When was the last time you came across a victrix, an authoress, an usherette
or a comedienne? As you might have already figured, these are now-obsolete
feminine forms of the nouns victor, author, usher, comedian, formed by
appending the suffixes -trix, -ess, -ette, -enne, respectively.
Many believe these gender-specific words connote inferiority
(leather/leatherette), diminutive size (novel/novelette), or lesser social
status (governor/governess), and prefer that the same term be applied to
both males and females, especially when the sex of the person is immaterial
in context. As a result, especially in the US, the word actor is preferred
for both men and women, chairman is giving way to chair, and
firemen/firewomen are becoming firefighters, to cite but three examples.
This development may be a relief for modern schoolchildren who no longer have
to remember whether they should use aviatrix, aviatoress, or aviatorette
when writing an essay about women flying aircraft. However, things are not
always that easy. There are still places where one needs to know separate
terms for male and female forms. This week's AWAD explores some terms that
are gender specific and without a suffix-enabled counterpart.
Forum Stats 8952 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members alphaomega, MarlSF, jfw, hiscientist, MaineMrC
8952 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 22 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 75 LukeJavan8 58 may2point0 37 jheem 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11613 tsuwm 10538 LukeJavan8 8477 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 wofahulicodoc 6851 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 of troy 5400
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 1994-2016 Wordsmith