Re: Gender in language (was Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: <snip>])
On Fri, Oct 24, 2003 at 11:43:17AM -0700, Erik Steffl wrote:
> Pigeon wrote:
> >Also, what do the advocates of "gender-neutral" language do in German?
> >And what do they do in French?
> not sure about those countries but in slovakia (with 'genderic'
> language) there is no such thing as gender neutral. since everything has
> gender it doesn't really stand out when something has gender when
> related to person - in english it feels 'special' when you refer to
> something as he or she, it sticks out so you find people who are
> bothered by it.
> same in much less words: mu
The uproar is over words like "fireman" and "policeman". (Read "Language
Police" by Diane Ravitch; see
It became fashionable in "enlightened" circles in the early 1990s to use
"she" as the generic pronoun when the person's sex is not known. It
became glib and now it is much less common now that it's no longer
English has a neuter pronoun: "one", but it became associated with
aristocratic speech and is unpopular. If there's one thing I will never
understand, it is New Yorkers with aristocratic accents! Well, fake
european accents are a close second -- like Madonna nowadays.