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#4404 08/05/00 07:46 PM
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tsuwm Offline OP
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>"they" doesn't always sound naturally plural to me. i'm hoping it can stretch to cover singular as well.
tsuwm, is it really such a horrendous stretch?
in both cases i mentioned above?

for me both cases are quivalent, I suppose because it was drummed into my head that "the soldier" and "everyone" are equally singular. but no. it is not a horrendous stretch.

my point (and it was the whole reason for starting this thread) was that some of these issues MIGHT be best resolved by just leaving things the way they are. and of course, time will tell -- but if teachers are FORCED to change the "rules", that will certainly influence the outcome. and now, magically, a new topic suggests itself....

p.s. - hey jazzo, don't look now but this thread is gaining on the "graduation" thread -- but I'm sure it won't have the legs that that one has.


#4405 08/05/00 09:40 PM
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>I'm sure there are unfans of my friend stravinsky

I must say, I do adore Stravinsky. Perhaps accepting "their" and loving Stravinsky go together.

Not sure about "unfans" though???


#4406 08/05/00 11:14 PM
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>Perhaps accepting "their" and loving Stravinsky go together.

nope.


#4407 08/06/00 07:03 AM
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In reply to:

In the meantime some one can get busy re-writing Jane Austin's books, Frankenstein and a few others using "she" instead of "he" where the gender was not specified.


Actually Jane Austen was quite happy to use their etc. to refer to an indefinite antecedent. See http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/austheir.html .

Bingley



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#4408 08/06/00 10:41 AM
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>Actually Jane Austen was quite happy to use their

Well, there you are now.


#4409 08/06/00 11:15 AM
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>by the way, regarding combat pay, doesn't the U.S. military still have a policy of not sending women into combat?

Well, that depends on what you mean by "combat". There are a bunch of areas int he world where things are "hot" enough that the area has been declared a combat zone. Inside the combat zone an enlisted member gets total Fedceral tax exemption. An officer gets a limited exemption. The President decides this. Then there are areas which are hot enough (basically you have a chance of getting shot at) that are called hostile fire zones. These are the areas where the members get the extra pay.

Interestingly enough, the two areas aren't exactly the same in most declarations. During Desert Storm, a member could get combat zone tax exclusion without actually being in a hostile fire zone. One of the best magazine articles I wrote was about this, published in April 1995. I wrote it very tongue in cheek and because it was published during tax month I called it "The Ides of Taxes are Upon You". I didn't tell the editor that there was no Ides in April, though there was one in March. She changed it to "Beware the Ides of Taxes" if I remember correctly. I preferred mine, but what writer doesn't???



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>Nobody is willingly discriminating anyone ONLY by using language in a way that, after all, is the correct way to use it.


This is a bit long, but I think everyone will appreciate the absurdity.

Red Riding Hood oppresses Wolf:

There once was a young person named Little Red Riding Hood who lived on the edge of a large forest full of endangered owls and rare plants that would probably provide a cure for cancer if only someone took the time to study them.

Red Riding Hood lived with a nurture-giver whom she sometimes referred to as "Mother," although she didn't mean to imply by this term that she would have thought less of the person if a close biological link did not, in fact, exist. Nor did she intend to denigrate the equal value of nontraditional households, although she was sorry if this was the impression conveyed.

One day her mother asked her to take a basket of organically grown fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house.

"But Mother, won't this be stealing work from the unionized people who have struggled for years to earn the right to carry all packages between various people in the woods?" Red Riding Hood's mother assured her that she had called the union boss and gotten a special compassionate mission exemption form.

"But, Mother, aren't you oppressing me by ordering me to do this?" Red Riding Hood's mother pointed out that it was impossible for women to oppress each other, since all women were equally oppressed until all women were free.

"But, Mother, then shouldn't you have my brother carry the basket, since he's an oppressor, and should learn what it's like to be oppressed?" And Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her brother was attending a special rally for animal rights, and besides, this wasn't stereotypical women's work, but an empowering deed that would help engender a feeling of community.

"But won't I be oppressing Grandma, by implying that she's sick and hence unable to independently further her own selfhood?" But Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her grandmother wasn't actually sick or incapacitated or mentally handicapped in any way, although that was not to imply that any of these conditions were inferior to what some people called "health."

Thus Red Riding Hood felt that she could get behind the idea of delivering the basket to her grandmother, and so she set off.

Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place, but Red Riding Hood knew that this was an irrational fear based on cultural paradigms instilled by a patriarchal society that regarded the natural world as an exploitable resource, and hence believed that natural predators were, in fact, intolerable competitors.

Other people avoided the woods for fear of thieves and deviants, but Red Riding Hood felt that, in a truly classless society, all marginalized peoples would be able to "come out" of the woods and be accepted as valid lifestyle role models.

On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood passed a woodchopper, and wandered off the path in order to examine some flowers. She was startled to find herself standing before a wolf, who asked her what was in her basket.

Red Riding Hood's teacher had warned her never to talk to strangers, but she was confident in taking control of her own budding sexuality, and chose to dialog with the wolf.She replied, "I am taking my grandmother some healthful snacks in a gesture of solidarity."

The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop an alternative and yet entirely valid worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I would prefer to be on my way." Red Riding Hood returned to the main path, and proceeded toward her grandmother's house.

But because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the Wolf knew of a quicker route to Grandma's house. He burst into the house and ate Grandma, a course of action affirmative of his nature as a predator. Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist gender-role notions, he put on Grandma's nightclothes, crawled under the bedclothes, and awaited developments.

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought you some cruelty-free snacks to salute you in your role of wise and nurturing matriarch."

The wolf said softly, "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."

Red Riding Hood said, "Goodness! Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"You forget that I am optically challenged."

"And Grandma, what an enormous - er - what a fine nose you have."

"Naturally, I could have had it fixed to help my acting career, but I didn't give in to such societal pressures, my child."

"And Grandma, what very big, sharp teeth you have!"

The wolf could not take any more of these specialist slurs, and, in a reaction appropriate for his accustomed milieu, he leaped out of bed, grabbed Little Red Riding Hood, and opened his jaws so wide that she could see her poor grandmother cowering in his belly.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" Red Riding Hood bravely shouted. "You must request my permission before proceeding to a new level of itimacy!"

The wolf was so startled by this statement that he loosened his grasp on her.

At the same time, the woodchopper burst into the cottage, brandishing an ax.

"Hands off!" cried the woodchopper.

"And what do you think you're doing?" cried Little Red Riding Hood. "If I let you help me now, I would be expressing a lack of confidence in my own abilities, which would lead to poor self-esteem and lower achievement scores on college entrance exams."

"Last chance, sister! Get your hands off that endangered species! This is an FBI sting!" screamed the woodchopper, and when Little Red Riding Hood nonetheless made a sudden motion, he sliced off her head.

"Thank goodness you got here in time," said the wolf. "The brat and her grandmother lured me in here. I thought I was a goner."

"No, I think I'm the real victim, here," said the woodchopper. "I've been dealing with my anger ever since I saw her picking those protected flowers earlier. And now I'm going to have such a trauma. Do you have any aspirin?"

"Sure," said the wolf.

"Thanks."





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Old news Ted.

Here's a selection:

(i) From The Thurber Carnival (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1945) 246-7.

The Little Girl and the Wolf

ONE aftemoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food.

"Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?" asked the wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and he disappeared
into the wood.

When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother's house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on.
She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.

Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.

This has been much copied. Little Red Riding Hood usually gets out a .44 Magnum in more recent versions

Here's an extract from Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner. Copyright 1994 by James Finn Garner. Published by Macmillan Publishing USA.

There once was a young person named Red Riding Hood who lived with her mother on the edge of a large wood. One day her mother asked her to take a basket of fresh fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house--not because this was womyn's work, mind you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a feeling of community. Furthermore, her grandmother was not sick, but rather was in full physical and mental health and was fully capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult.

So Red Riding Hood set off with her basket through the woods. Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place and never set foot in it. Red Riding Hood, however, was confident enough in her own budding sexuality that such obvious Freudian imagery did not intimidate her.

On the way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood was accosted by a wolf. who asked her what was in her basket. She replied, "Some healthful snacks for my grandmother, who is certainly capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult."

The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way."

Red Riding Hood walked on along the main path. But, because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the wolf knew a quicker route to Grandma's house. He burst into the house and ate Grandma, an entirely valid course of action for a carnivore such as himself. Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist notions of what was masculine or feminine, he put on Grandma's nightclothes and crawled into bed.

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought you some fatfree, sodium-free snacks to salute you in your role of a wise and nurturing matriarch."

From the bed, the wolf said softly, "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."

Red Riding Hood said, "Oh, I forgot you are as optically challenged as a bat. Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"They have seen much, and forgiven much, my dear."

"Grandma, what a big nose you have, only relatively, of course, and certainly attractive in its own way."

"It has smelled much, and forgiven much, my dear."

"Grandma, what big teeth you have!"

The wolf said, "I am happy with who I am and what I am," and leaped out of bed. He grabbed Red Riding Hood in his claws, intent on devouring her. Red Riding Hood screamed, not out of alarm at the wolf's apparent tendency toward crossdressing, but because of his willful invasion of her personal space.

Her screams were heard by a passing woodchopperperson (or log-fuel technician, as he preferred to be called). When he burst into the cottage, he saw the melee and tried to intervene. But as he raised his ax, Red Riding Hood and the wolf both stopped.

"And just what do you think you're doing?" asked Red Riding Hood.

The woodchopper-person blinked and tried to answer, but no words came to him.

"Bursting in here like a Neanderthal, trusting your weapon to do your thinking for you!" she exclaimed. "Sexist! Speciesist! How dare you assume that womyn and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help!"

When she heard Red Riding Hood's impassioned speech, Grandma jumped out of the wolf's mouth, seized the woodchopperperson's ax, and cut his head off. After this ordeal, Red Riding Hood, Grandma, and the wolf felt a certain commonality of purpose. They decided to set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, and they lived together in the woods happily ever after.

Little Red Riding Hood
from Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner. Copyright 1994 by James Finn Garner. Published by Macmillan Publishing USA.
There once was a young person named Red Riding Hood who lived with her mother on the edge of a large wood. One day her mother asked her to take a basket of fresh fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house--not because this was womyn's work, mind you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a feeling of community. Furthermore, her grandmother was not sick, but rather was in full physical and mental health and was fully capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult.

So Red Riding Hood set off with her basket through the woods. Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place and never set foot in it. Red Riding Hood, however, was confident enough in her own budding sexuality that such obvious Freudian imagery did not intimidate her.

On the way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood was accosted by a wolf. who asked her what was in her basket. She replied, "Some healthful snacks for my grandmother, who is certainly capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult."

The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way."

Red Riding Hood walked on along the main path. But, because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the wolf knew a quicker route to Grandma's house. He burst into the house and ate Grandma, an entirely valid course of action for a carnivore such as himself. Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist notions of what was masculine or feminine, he put on Grandma's nightclothes and crawled into bed.

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought you some fatfree, sodium-free snacks to salute you in your role of a wise and nurturing matriarch."

From the bed, the wolf said softly, "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."

Red Riding Hood said, "Oh, I forgot you are as optically challenged as a bat. Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"They have seen much, and forgiven much, my dear."

"Grandma, what a big nose you have, only relatively, of course, and certainly attractive in its own way."

"It has smelled much, and forgiven much, my dear."

"Grandma, what big teeth you have!"

The wolf said, "I am happy with who I am and what I am," and leaped out of bed. He grabbed Red Riding Hood in his claws, intent on devouring her. Red Riding Hood screamed, not out of alarm at the wolf's apparent tendency toward crossdressing, but because of his willful invasion of her personal space.

Her screams were heard by a passing woodchopperperson (or log-fuel technician, as he preferred to be called). When he burst into the cottage, he saw the melee and tried to intervene. But as he raised his ax, Red Riding Hood and the wolf both stopped.

"And just what do you think you're doing?" asked Red Riding Hood.

The woodchopper-person blinked and tried to answer, but no words came to him.

"Bursting in here like a Neanderthal, trusting your weapon to do your thinking for you!" she exclaimed. "Sexist! Speciesist! How dare you assume that womyn and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help!"

When she heard Red Riding Hood's impassioned speech, Grandma jumped out of the wolf's mouth, seized the woodchopperperson's ax, and cut his head off. After this ordeal, Red Riding Hood, Grandma, and the wolf felt a certain commonality of purpose. They decided to set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, and they lived together in the woods happily ever after.



#4412 08/06/00 06:31 PM
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"The Ides of Taxes are upon you!" cried the wolf to Little Red Riding Hood. "Don't be ridiculous," said Red, "April doesn't have any Ides!" Just then the tin woodsman smashed in the door with his vorpal blade and exclaimed, "Of course April has an Ides, it just happens to fall on the 13th of the month, which rather ruins the point of this whole story." THE END

p.s. - the Ides of each month of the Roman calendar were calculated by counting backwards from the calends!


#4413 08/06/00 08:50 PM
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>>the more you wonder about silence, the more you wonder at the composer's genius in setting it aside.

william, that is beautifully put! Made me aware for the first time that there really is a difference between creating sound, and setting silence aside.







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