Author Topic: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language  (Read 10260 times)

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Offline Arachne

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Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 02:00:55 PM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb
Rabid goes with dogs, but not more with feminist than any other seemingly "radical" group.
Nagging can go with wife, but don't worry, "abusive" can go with "husband", so it's not like stereotypes all go one way.
Grating goes with door or a man's voice in my mind, but shrill would go with a woman's voice, it's true, since they hit the high notes better.

I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 02:01:28 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 03:19:50 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.
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Offline mike

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 03:27:20 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

The point of the article (language changes has some inentional sinister misogynistic scheme) is mere stupid. I'm pretty sure they could find analogous words offending males if that fit with the thesis of the article.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 03:37:47 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

The point of the article (language changes has some inentional sinister misogynistic scheme) is mere stupid. I'm pretty sure they could find analogous words offending males if that fit with the thesis of the article.

Not 'offending'. 'Downgrading from a term denoting female agency into a term suggesting dubious morals', rather.

Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.
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Offline mike

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 03:48:44 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 03:55:18 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 04:19:15 PM »
Part of the problem for me, as an American, is that half these words just aren't used as the author describes, and the other half not used at all. I have never in my life heard 'Madam' used as a derogatory term, nor in connection with prostitution/brothels, at least not in normal life (I can't remember when it comes to fantasy/historical movies); I've only ever heard it used as a formal, respectful word; there is even a network tv show named 'Madam Secretary.' Mistress does often have sexual connotations, but not necessarily of the adulterous variety; 'master' on the other hand, referring to men, has also changed and now is almost exclusively taken in a negative way when used as some kind of title/honorific, something some converts face when asked to call their bishops that. The only time I've ever used tart or heard it used is in situations describing food. Spinster is what I would call Donald Trump, I've not used it or heard it used to refer to unmarried women; I'm not denying that that is a standard definition, just saying that in 37 years on earth I've never heard it used in a normal conversation. Really though that goes for most of the words on this list, leaving me with the impression that this article was an idea the author had, and he then went out looking for examples, but couldn't find any more relevant than a handful you'd mostly find in very old literature. Thus his use of phrases like "From the 17th century onwards" and "From 1887, however..."  He says that: "[F]rom the late 14th century" the meaning of the word 'wench' changed, but besides my never hearing anyone use the word in day to day talk, it's also not usually used in the way he described in movies or tv I've seen either. Maybe these words are all in common use over there in England though, I dunno.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 04:22:27 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline mike

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 04:25:03 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").

From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).

Probably from Middle English yerk ‎(“sudden motion”), from Old English ġearc ‎(“ready, active, quick”). Compare Old English ġearcian ‎(“to prepare, make ready, procure, furnish, supply”). Related to yare.

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2016, 04:30:54 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/

No surprise there. Vintage Guardian. Self-pitying upper-middle class women writing articles on how sad their lot is. The only surprise is that this article was written by a white knight.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 04:32:50 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2016, 04:51:57 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/

No surprise there. Vintage Guardian. Self-pitying upper-middle class women writing articles on how sad their lot is. The only surprise is that this article was written by a white knight.

Still accurate. :)
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 04:53:25 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").

From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).

Probably from Middle English yerk ‎(“sudden motion”), from Old English ġearc ‎(“ready, active, quick”). Compare Old English ġearcian ‎(“to prepare, make ready, procure, furnish, supply”). Related to yare.

So, what are the female counterparts that have retained their original meanings?
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 05:54:00 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 05:59:39 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.

Nope, you're still not getting it.

The article is about how language shifts to reflect social bias in general - and how terms that started as feminine equivalents of positions of authority end up as derogatories or outright slurs in particular.

In your example, 'woman' was never an equivalent of 'captain'. More examples of the same would still be off the mark.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline hecma925

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2016, 06:22:35 PM »
Well, someone needs a job at the Guardian.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2016, 06:27:09 PM »
I found interesting the inclusion of "mistress." The author's assertion may be true in vernacular speak, but the first thing that came to my mind was the way it is used in the English translation of of our hymnography, for example the Theotokion:

 "O Mistress, accept the supplications of thy servants, and deliver them from all want and grief!"

Where it retains it's original elevated meaning.

Offline genesisone

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2016, 06:36:58 PM »
There is currently a bill before the Legislative Assembly of Ontario that will deal with this by doing away with "mother" and "father". There will be "birth parent" and "parent". Strangely, "biological father" does put in a brief appearance. Let's just change the language and all our problems will go away.

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2016, 06:40:26 PM »
I found interesting the inclusion of "mistress." The author's assertion may be true in vernacular speak, but the first thing that came to my mind was the way it is used in the English translation of of our hymnography, for example the Theotokion:

 "O Mistress, accept the supplications of thy servants, and deliver them from all want and grief!"

Where it retains it's original elevated meaning.

The change in 'mistress' is, compared to others on the list, very recent. Until the 1780s at least, 'Mrs So-and-So' was the term of address for any woman, regardless of marital status. Naturally, any older text would retain the original meaning.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2016, 06:49:46 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.

Nope, you're still not getting it.

The article is about how language shifts to reflect social bias in general - and how terms that started as feminine equivalents of positions of authority end up as derogatories or outright slurs in particular.

In your example, 'woman' was never an equivalent of 'captain'. More examples of the same would still be off the mark.

I get that this is the article's point and that there are social biases.

My point is that these kinds of biases can cut both ways, the place of women on the titanic being one such example.
A captain connotes a male empowered as the ship's commander, but on the titanic, the implications of male agency have different results. Responsibility brings a range of consequences and risks.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2016, 06:51:44 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.

Nope, you're still not getting it.

The article is about how language shifts to reflect social bias in general - and how terms that started as feminine equivalents of positions of authority end up as derogatories or outright slurs in particular.

In your example, 'woman' was never an equivalent of 'captain'. More examples of the same would still be off the mark.

I get that this is the article's point and that there are social biases.

My point is that these kinds of biases can cut both ways, the place of women on the titanic being one such example.
A captain connotes a male empowered as the ship's commander, but on the titanic, the implications of male agency have different results. Responsibility brings a range of consequences and risks.

In other words, you just want to bypass the article's point and be off topic. Got it.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2016, 07:07:10 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.

Nope, you're still not getting it.

The article is about how language shifts to reflect social bias in general - and how terms that started as feminine equivalents of positions of authority end up as derogatories or outright slurs in particular.

In your example, 'woman' was never an equivalent of 'captain'. More examples of the same would still be off the mark.

I get that this is the article's point and that there are social biases.

My point is that these kinds of biases can cut both ways, the place of women on the titanic being one such example.
A captain connotes a male empowered as the ship's commander, but on the titanic, the implications of male agency have different results. Responsibility brings a range of consequences and risks.

In other words, you just want to bypass the article's point and be off topic. Got it.

Arachne, meet rakovsky. 
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2016, 07:41:13 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.

Nope, you're still not getting it.

The article is about how language shifts to reflect social bias in general - and how terms that started as feminine equivalents of positions of authority end up as derogatories or outright slurs in particular.

In your example, 'woman' was never an equivalent of 'captain'. More examples of the same would still be off the mark.

I get that this is the article's point and that there are social biases.

My point is that these kinds of biases can cut both ways, the place of women on the titanic being one such example.
A captain connotes a male empowered as the ship's commander, but on the titanic, the implications of male agency have different results. Responsibility brings a range of consequences and risks.

In other words, you just want to bypass the article's point and be off topic. Got it.
I think you have done a good job summarizing the article's point about how words shift in meaning, reflecting social biases, like madam changing from a figure of authority to one in a negative status.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 07:41:52 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Svartzorn

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2016, 09:51:41 PM »
The feminists are at it again proposing newspeak and respect  muh antipatriarchal pronouns.
Not enough to patrol people's vocabulary.
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2016, 10:23:17 PM »
The feminists are at it again proposing newspeak and respect  muh antipatriarchal pronouns.
Not enough to patrol people's vocabulary.

And when they do it, isn't it so shrill?

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2016, 02:17:14 AM »
The feminists are at it again proposing newspeak and respect  muh antipatriarchal pronouns understanding the text you're reading.

Shocking, innit?
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Offline FinnJames

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2016, 04:44:29 AM »
I used to teach a unit on the 'sexism' of Enlish and the sort of government new-speak that goes on in reporting wars ("our brave forces made a tactical retreat; the cowardly enemy ran away"; "one (wo)man's terrorist is another (wo)man's freedom fighter" sort of thing) as a part of a sociolinguistics course.  Students, both female and male, used to enjoy the exercises tremendously.

But in an ironic comment at the end of reply #16 above, Genesisone put their finger on the problem in thinking that underlies what has been called the feminist linguistics project: "Let's just change the language and all our problems will go away." The real problem lies not in the English language itself, but rather in the fuzzy thinking of its speakers. On the other hand, maybe there is a point to articles like that in the Guardian if it causes readers to pause and think a bit before they speak/write -- which to judge from the number of replies in this thread is what it has done.

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2016, 06:52:41 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/

No surprise there. Vintage Guardian. Self-pitying upper-middle class women writing articles on how sad their lot is. The only surprise is that this article was written by a white knight.

+1

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2016, 09:40:41 AM »
The feminists are at it again proposing newspeak and respect  muh antipatriarchal pronouns understanding the text you're reading.

Shocking, innit?

No, they're not.
They're just instrumentalizing the language to control people's heads.
It happens in portuguese too, I've seen it. Except that it is far more ridiculous than in english - probably because they're trying to import this globalist garbage to a reality that is resistant to it.

(I didn't even need to read th thread before opening it to know it was you again.)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 09:41:21 AM by Svartzorn »
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2016, 09:51:02 AM »
(I didn't even need to read th thread before opening it to know it was you again.)

Congratulations, you learned to see topic starters on the thread list. :P
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2016, 02:51:12 PM »
I used to teach a unit on the 'sexism' of Enlish and the sort of government new-speak that goes on in reporting wars ("our brave forces made a tactical retreat; the cowardly enemy ran away"; "one (wo)man's terrorist is another (wo)man's freedom fighter" sort of thing) as a part of a sociolinguistics course.  Students, both female and male, used to enjoy the exercises tremendously.

But in an ironic comment at the end of reply #16 above, Genesisone put their his finger on the problem in thinking that underlies what has been called the feminist linguistics project: "Let's just change the language and all our problems will go away." The real problem lies not in the English language itself, but rather in the fuzzy thinking of its speakers. On the other hand, maybe there is a point to articles like that in the Guardian if it causes readers to pause and think a bit before they speak/write -- which to judge from the number of replies in this thread is what it has done.
fify  ;)

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2016, 03:12:54 PM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb
So?

Facts are facts.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2016, 03:18:38 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/

No surprise there. Vintage Guardian. Self-pitying upper-middle class women writing articles on how sad their lot is. The only surprise is that this article was written by a white knight.

Still accurate. :)
Oh?

I thought y'all were poo-pooing all that. ;)
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2016, 03:20:17 PM »
I used to teach a unit on the 'sexism' of Enlish and the sort of government new-speak that goes on in reporting wars ("our brave forces made a tactical retreat; the cowardly enemy ran away"; "one (wo)man's terrorist is another (wo)man's freedom fighter" sort of thing) as a part of a sociolinguistics course.  Students, both female and male, used to enjoy the exercises tremendously.

But in an ironic comment at the end of reply #16 above, Genesisone put their finger on the problem in thinking that underlies what has been called the feminist linguistics project: "Let's just change the language and all our problems will go away." The real problem lies not in the English language itself, but rather in the fuzzy thinking of its speakers. On the other hand, maybe there is a point to articles like that in the Guardian if it causes readers to pause and think a bit before they speak/write -- which to judge from the number of replies in this thread is what it has done.
The language warriors have yet to explain how the lack of gender in Persian has preserved the status of women in Iran.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2016, 03:35:45 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").
Quote
The bend sinister and its diminutives such as the Baton sinister are rare as an independent motif; they occur more often as marks of distinction, added to another coat to denote bastardy. For example, Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle (d.1542), illegitimate son of Edward IV of England, bore the arms of the House of York with a bendlet sinister overall.
In French blazon a bend sinister is called a barre. Sir Walter Scott is credited with giving literature the macaronic phrase bar sinister, which has become a metonymic term for bastardy. In English blazon a bar is a horizontal stripe, symmetric with respect to sinister and dexter. (Bar and barre are pronounced alike.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bend_(heraldry)#Bend_sinister_and_.22bar_sinister.22
From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).
Quote
From Old Norse berserkr (Icelandic berserkur, Swedish bärsärk), probably from bjǫrn ‎(“bear”) + serkr ‎(“coat”). Compare sark. N. A crazed Norse warrior who fought in a frenzy; a berserker. Adj. Injuriously, maniacally, or furiously violent or out of control.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/berserk

I have to compliment you again on your grasp of English.

I'll add, to make this more international, "Knechtschaft," the German cognate to Knightship, which means "slavery, servitude, serfdom (the very opposite of its meaning in English)."
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 03:40:07 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2016, 03:44:20 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").

From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).

Probably from Middle English yerk ‎(“sudden motion”), from Old English ġearc ‎(“ready, active, quick”). Compare Old English ġearcian ‎(“to prepare, make ready, procure, furnish, supply”). Related to yare.

So, what are the female counterparts that have retained their original meanings?
mother

lady

maid

damsel.

I'd add "virgin," but the Guardian ilk has made that perjorative.

Btw, "queen" has moved in the opposite direction in English, from woman, to wife, to powerful woman.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2016, 03:45:53 PM »
I think women are more often victims in society, but that men are victimized much more harshly when it does happen to them. Just think what happens when the Mongols take over your village to both genders.

I don't think you're quite getting the point of the article.

No I get it.
Think of the Anglo American slogan or phrase "Women and Children first for the liferafts."
Isn't such a phrase downgrading women's place and agency, putting them with children in the same category?

I think so.

And , on the titanic, isn't it better then to be a woman, nor the captain?

So without rejecting the article. I am saying things can work both ways.
I can give more examples.

Nope, you're still not getting it.

The article is about how language shifts to reflect social bias in general - and how terms that started as feminine equivalents of positions of authority end up as derogatories or outright slurs in particular.

In your example, 'woman' was never an equivalent of 'captain'. More examples of the same would still be off the mark.

I get that this is the article's point and that there are social biases.

My point is that these kinds of biases can cut both ways, the place of women on the titanic being one such example.
A captain connotes a male empowered as the ship's commander, but on the titanic, the implications of male agency have different results. Responsibility brings a range of consequences and risks.

In other words, you just want to bypass the article's point and be off topic. Got it.
IOW, don't mess with the narrative.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline hecma925

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2016, 03:49:12 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").

From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).

Probably from Middle English yerk ‎(“sudden motion”), from Old English ġearc ‎(“ready, active, quick”). Compare Old English ġearcian ‎(“to prepare, make ready, procure, furnish, supply”). Related to yare.

So, what are the female counterparts that have retained their original meanings?
mother

lady

maid

damsel.

I'd add "virgin," but the Guardian ilk has made that perjorative.

Btw, "queen" has moved in the opposite direction in English, from woman, to wife, to powerful woman.

Or a shrill gay.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2016, 04:23:09 PM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb
So?

Facts are facts.

Indeed. And I'm interested in their process of becoming such.
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Offline Luke

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2016, 04:59:01 PM »
Is this article going to change anyone's taste for pop-tarts? :P

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2016, 05:11:30 PM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb
So?

Facts are facts.

Indeed. And I'm interested in their process of becoming such.
The gravitation of reality.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2016, 05:13:34 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").

From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).

Probably from Middle English yerk ‎(“sudden motion”), from Old English ġearc ‎(“ready, active, quick”). Compare Old English ġearcian ‎(“to prepare, make ready, procure, furnish, supply”). Related to yare.

So, what are the female counterparts that have retained their original meanings?
mother

lady

maid

damsel.

I'd add "virgin," but the Guardian ilk has made that perjorative.

So which one was a feminine equivalent of 'bastard', 'freak' or 'jerk'?

Btw, "queen" has moved in the opposite direction in English, from woman, to wife, to powerful woman.

About that.

Quote
[Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn; see gwen- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: On paper, a queen and a quean are easily distinguished. In speech, however, it is easy to imagine how the complete homophony of the two words, both referring to female persons, could lead to embarrassing double-entendres—a fact which has probably contributed to a decline in use of the word quean in modern times. How did this troubling homophony come about? Queen comes from Old English cwēn, pronounced (kwān) and meaning "queen, wife of a king." The Old English word descends from Germanic *kwēn-iz, "woman, wife, queen," a derivative of the Germanic root *kwen-, "woman." Modern English quean, on the other hand, descends from another Old English word, cwene, pronounced (kwĕn′ə) and meaning "woman, female, female serf." The Germanic source of cwene is *kwen-ōn-, "woman, wife." This Germanic word is a derivative of the same root *kwen-, "woman, wife," that is the source of Modern English queen. From the eleventh century onward, qwen, the Middle English descendant of Old English cwene, "woman, female serf," and ancestor of Modern English quean, was also used to mean "prostitute." Once established, this pejorative sense of quean drove out its neutral senses, and especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, the word was used almost solely to refer to prostitutes. Around the same time, in many English dialects the pronunciation of queen and quean became identical, leading to the obsolescence of the latter term outside of a few regions. The Germanic root *kwen-, "woman," comes by Grimm's Law from the Indo-European root *gwen-, "woman," which appears in at least two other English words borrowed from elsewhere in the Indo-European family. One is gynecology, from Greek gunē, "woman." Another, less obvious, one is banshee, "woman of the fairies," the wailing female spirit attendant on a death, from Old Irish ben, "woman."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/queen
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Offline Svartzorn

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2016, 05:39:13 PM »
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Offline biro

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2016, 06:01:22 PM »
It's hilarious to see the fellers come out of the woodwork and post things that prove the point of the OP.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2016, 06:26:06 PM »
It's hilarious to see the fellers come out of the woodwork and post things that prove the point of the OP.

Speaking of sexism.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2016, 09:11:54 PM »
Feel free to look up examples to your suggestion, regardless.

Bastard, freak, jerk,

How exactly are those exclusively male, or fallen from an older, more positive meaning?

lmgtfy

"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").
Quote
The bend sinister and its diminutives such as the Baton sinister are rare as an independent motif; they occur more often as marks of distinction, added to another coat to denote bastardy. For example, Arthur Plantagenet, 1st Viscount Lisle (d.1542), illegitimate son of Edward IV of England, bore the arms of the House of York with a bendlet sinister overall.
In French blazon a bend sinister is called a barre. Sir Walter Scott is credited with giving literature the macaronic phrase bar sinister, which has become a metonymic term for bastardy. In English blazon a bar is a horizontal stripe, symmetric with respect to sinister and dexter. (Bar and barre are pronounced alike.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bend_(heraldry)#Bend_sinister_and_.22bar_sinister.22
From Middle English freke, freike ‎(“a bold man, warrior, man, creature”), from Old English freca ‎(“a bold man, warrior, hero”), from Proto-Germanic *frekô ‎(“an active or eager man, warrior, wolf”), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz ‎(“active, bold, desirous, greedy”), from Proto-Indo-European *pereg-, *spereg- ‎(“to shrug, be quick, twitch, splash, blast”).
Quote
From Old Norse berserkr (Icelandic berserkur, Swedish bärsärk), probably from bjǫrn ‎(“bear”) + serkr ‎(“coat”). Compare sark. N. A crazed Norse warrior who fought in a frenzy; a berserker. Adj. Injuriously, maniacally, or furiously violent or out of control.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/berserk

I have to compliment you again on your grasp of English.

I'll add, to make this more international, "Knechtschaft," the German cognate to Knightship, which means "slavery, servitude, serfdom (the very opposite of its meaning in English)."
Krepost in Russian is fort. Fort Law is what Russians call serfdom.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2016, 10:51:30 PM »
Who uses these words? I don't think I've heard any of these words used in regular conversation within the last 10 years. Well, I have heard mistress, but the rest of them I've only seen in older books.
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2016, 11:27:53 PM »
That was a very poor article. Poorly written, I mean. It reveals the opposite of what the title says that it reveals, doesn't it? THat the English language is inherently gracious toward both parties?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 11:33:54 PM by mcarmichael »
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2016, 11:41:07 PM »
It's hilarious to see the fellers come out of the woodwork and post things that prove the point of the OP.

Speaking of sexism.

Your post does have the appearance that if sexism is going on and you state that sexism is going on you are being sexist. Biro should have cited some posts to make her case, but this does not leave you off the hook from making a statement with multiple interpretations.  Avoid being a cad, if possible. 

Cad is yet another term that is no longer is used. Asteriktos had the most sensible post and should have ended the thread.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2016, 10:18:04 AM »
It's hilarious to see the fellers come out of the woodwork and post things that prove the point of the OP.

Speaking of sexism.

Your post does have the appearance that if sexism is going on and you state that sexism is going on you are being sexist. Biro should have cited some posts to make her case, but this does not leave you off the hook from making a statement with multiple interpretations.  Avoid being a cad, if possible. 

Cad is yet another term that is no longer is used. Asteriktos had the most sensible post and should have ended the thread.

I do not understand what this is about.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Opus118

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2016, 10:56:27 AM »
It's hilarious to see the fellers come out of the woodwork and post things that prove the point of the OP.

Speaking of sexism.

Your post does have the appearance that if sexism is going on and you state that sexism is going on you are being sexist. Biro should have cited some posts to make her case, but this does not leave you off the hook from making a statement with multiple interpretations.  Avoid being a cad, if possible. 

Cad is yet another term that is no longer is used. Asteriktos had the most sensible post and should have ended the thread.

I do not understand what this is about.

I am glad you appreciate honesty.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #50 on: October 19, 2016, 10:57:38 AM »
Mor's a pimp!
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2016, 02:59:21 PM »
So which one was a feminine equivalent of 'bastard', 'freak' or 'jerk'?
AFAIK there is no feminine equivalent of "bastard," "freak" or "jerk."

Btw, "queen" has moved in the opposite direction in English, from woman, to wife, to powerful woman.

About that.

Quote
[Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn; see gwen- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: On paper, a queen and a quean are easily distinguished. In speech, however, it is easy to imagine how the complete homophony of the two words, both referring to female persons, could lead to embarrassing double-entendres—a fact which has probably contributed to a decline in use of the word quean in modern times. How did this troubling homophony come about? Queen comes from Old English cwēn, pronounced (kwān) and meaning "queen, wife of a king." The Old English word descends from Germanic *kwēn-iz, "woman, wife, queen," a derivative of the Germanic root *kwen-, "woman." Modern English quean, on the other hand, descends from another Old English word, cwene, pronounced (kwĕn′ə) and meaning "woman, female, female serf." The Germanic source of cwene is *kwen-ōn-, "woman, wife." This Germanic word is a derivative of the same root *kwen-, "woman, wife," that is the source of Modern English queen. From the eleventh century onward, qwen, the Middle English descendant of Old English cwene, "woman, female serf," and ancestor of Modern English quean, was also used to mean "prostitute." Once established, this pejorative sense of quean drove out its neutral senses, and especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, the word was used almost solely to refer to prostitutes. Around the same time, in many English dialects the pronunciation of queen and quean became identical, leading to the obsolescence of the latter term outside of a few regions. The Germanic root *kwen-, "woman," comes by Grimm's Law from the Indo-European root *gwen-, "woman," which appears in at least two other English words borrowed from elsewhere in the Indo-European family. One is gynecology, from Greek gunē, "woman." Another, less obvious, one is banshee, "woman of the fairies," the wailing female spirit attendant on a death, from Old Irish ben, "woman."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/queen
About that.
Quote
Quaen

A male prostitute who waits on corners and back alleys for gay guys or confused straight guys.

A very feminine man.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Quaen
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 02:59:55 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2016, 03:14:07 PM »
So which one was a feminine equivalent of 'bastard', 'freak' or 'jerk'?
AFAIK there is no feminine equivalent of "bastard," "freak" or "jerk."

So the point you were trying to make was off topic. The article, very explicitly, examines pairs of equivalents, masculine and feminine, and how the feminine mode over time is downgraded to mean something insignificant or outright offensive, while the masculine retains its value.

Btw, "queen" has moved in the opposite direction in English, from woman, to wife, to powerful woman.

About that.

Quote
[Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn; see gwen- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: On paper, a queen and a quean are easily distinguished. In speech, however, it is easy to imagine how the complete homophony of the two words, both referring to female persons, could lead to embarrassing double-entendres—a fact which has probably contributed to a decline in use of the word quean in modern times. How did this troubling homophony come about? Queen comes from Old English cwēn, pronounced (kwān) and meaning "queen, wife of a king." The Old English word descends from Germanic *kwēn-iz, "woman, wife, queen," a derivative of the Germanic root *kwen-, "woman." Modern English quean, on the other hand, descends from another Old English word, cwene, pronounced (kwĕn′ə) and meaning "woman, female, female serf." The Germanic source of cwene is *kwen-ōn-, "woman, wife." This Germanic word is a derivative of the same root *kwen-, "woman, wife," that is the source of Modern English queen. From the eleventh century onward, qwen, the Middle English descendant of Old English cwene, "woman, female serf," and ancestor of Modern English quean, was also used to mean "prostitute." Once established, this pejorative sense of quean drove out its neutral senses, and especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, the word was used almost solely to refer to prostitutes. Around the same time, in many English dialects the pronunciation of queen and quean became identical, leading to the obsolescence of the latter term outside of a few regions. The Germanic root *kwen-, "woman," comes by Grimm's Law from the Indo-European root *gwen-, "woman," which appears in at least two other English words borrowed from elsewhere in the Indo-European family. One is gynecology, from Greek gunē, "woman." Another, less obvious, one is banshee, "woman of the fairies," the wailing female spirit attendant on a death, from Old Irish ben, "woman."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/queen
About that.
Quote
Quaen

A male prostitute who waits on corners and back alleys for gay guys or confused straight guys.

A very feminine man.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Quaen

Now you know how that came to be.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2016, 03:14:14 PM »
It's hilarious to see the fellers come out of the woodwork and post things that prove the point of the OP.
The pot has found its ladle to serve up its slop.

Sic dixit Biro ♀ October, 18, 2016.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2016, 03:21:21 PM »
So which one was a feminine equivalent of 'bastard', 'freak' or 'jerk'?
AFAIK there is no feminine equivalent of "bastard," "freak" or "jerk."

So the point you were trying to make was off topic.

No, I just refused to take the bait and go down the rabbit hole.

The article, very explicitly, examines pairs of equivalents, masculine and feminine, and how the feminine mode over time is downgraded to mean something insignificant or outright offensive, while the masculine retains its value.
No, it assERts its conclusion, and explicitly tries to edit the evidence to fit the predetermined narrative. Or did you think I was denying the existence of illegitimate daughters, for instance?

They equivalents it claims does not exist have already been given you.

Btw, "queen" has moved in the opposite direction in English, from woman, to wife, to powerful woman.

About that.

Quote
[Middle English quene, from Old English cwēn; see gwen- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: On paper, a queen and a quean are easily distinguished. In speech, however, it is easy to imagine how the complete homophony of the two words, both referring to female persons, could lead to embarrassing double-entendres—a fact which has probably contributed to a decline in use of the word quean in modern times. How did this troubling homophony come about? Queen comes from Old English cwēn, pronounced (kwān) and meaning "queen, wife of a king." The Old English word descends from Germanic *kwēn-iz, "woman, wife, queen," a derivative of the Germanic root *kwen-, "woman." Modern English quean, on the other hand, descends from another Old English word, cwene, pronounced (kwĕn′ə) and meaning "woman, female, female serf." The Germanic source of cwene is *kwen-ōn-, "woman, wife." This Germanic word is a derivative of the same root *kwen-, "woman, wife," that is the source of Modern English queen. From the eleventh century onward, qwen, the Middle English descendant of Old English cwene, "woman, female serf," and ancestor of Modern English quean, was also used to mean "prostitute." Once established, this pejorative sense of quean drove out its neutral senses, and especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, the word was used almost solely to refer to prostitutes. Around the same time, in many English dialects the pronunciation of queen and quean became identical, leading to the obsolescence of the latter term outside of a few regions. The Germanic root *kwen-, "woman," comes by Grimm's Law from the Indo-European root *gwen-, "woman," which appears in at least two other English words borrowed from elsewhere in the Indo-European family. One is gynecology, from Greek gunē, "woman." Another, less obvious, one is banshee, "woman of the fairies," the wailing female spirit attendant on a death, from Old Irish ben, "woman."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/queen
About that.
Quote
Quaen

A male prostitute who waits on corners and back alleys for gay guys or confused straight guys.

A very feminine man.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Quaen

Now you know how that came to be.
I knew that already
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 03:22:54 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2016, 03:36:14 PM »
The same kind of arguments the article makes on the part of women could all be made on the part of men, I think.

Why is "hussy" no longer a simple descriptive term? Well, why is "villain" no longer such a term?

Why is "master" now relegated to describing effete boys in well-to-do English families? Or, apropos of the "governess" complaint, male schoolteachers?

"Madam" and "ma'am" are still very much terms of respect. The fact some brothel managers were called it just means the brothels were trying to project false "class." "Godfather" is not only a mafia term, for example.

Why is "husband" no longer a term for a smallholder or a representative of a clan for tax purposes, but has instead shrunk shamefully to having no meaning outside of relation to women?

"Shrill" -- sure, and, for men, "braying," "bellowing," "bullying," and "bull[redacted]ing." Are we now supposed to think different vocal registers are sexist?
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2016, 03:45:52 PM »
Why is "master" now relegated to describing effete boys in well-to-do English families? Or, apropos of the "governess" complaint, male schoolteachers?

Quartermaster, choirmaster, schoolmaster, headmaster, master of ceremonies...

Why is "husband" no longer a term for a smallholder or a representative of a clan for tax purposes, but has instead shrunk shamefully to having no meaning outside of relation to women?

Animal husbandry is still a degree option of the B.Sc. (Hons) variety, and, despite rumours, does not involve practice in sheep-shagging. 8)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 03:46:22 PM by Arachne »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2016, 04:15:11 PM »
Plainly you're at pains to ignore my real point, which is that English-language history is packed with alterations in word meaning and application and that therefore "eight words" -- or even eighty -- must fall far short of demonstrating that English hates women. Further, that words to insult and denigrate men or people generally (which, traditionally, implicated mostly men) are abundant in English.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2016, 04:41:01 PM »
Plainly you're at pains to ignore my real point, which is that English-language history is packed with alterations in word meaning and application and that therefore "eight words" -- or even eighty -- must fall far short of demonstrating that English hates women. Further, that words to insult and denigrate men or people generally (which, traditionally, implicated mostly men) are abundant in English.

Plainly you're ignoring the point of the article, which is a focus on pairs of equivalent titles, of which the feminine declined, often into an insult, while the masculine suffered no such alteration.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2016, 06:01:54 PM »
My opinion probably doesn't mean much since I'm a guy, but I thought Porter made a fairly good point. The article wasn't really focusing on pairs of equivalent titles. Tart, wench, spinster and hussy do not have corresponding male titles.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2016, 06:09:15 PM »
My opinion probably doesn't mean much since I'm a guy, but I thought Porter made a fairly good point. The article wasn't really focusing on pairs of equivalent titles. Tart, wench, spinster and hussy do not have corresponding male titles.

Quote
Thinking about the male equivalents of some of these words throws their sexism into sharp relief. Master for mistress; sir for madam; governor for governess; bachelor for spinster; courtier for courtesan – whereas the male list speaks of power and high status, the female list has a very different set of connotations. These are of either subordinate status or sexual service to men. The crucial thing to remember is that at one time, they were simply equivalents.
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2016, 06:51:38 PM »
The thing is you can't blame it all on men, because women do it, too. It was maybe somebody's jealous ex who started using the term Mistress derrogatorily, you know?
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2016, 07:29:33 PM »
My opinion probably doesn't mean much since I'm a guy, but I thought Porter made a fairly good point. The article wasn't really focusing on pairs of equivalent titles. Tart, wench, spinster and hussy do not have corresponding male titles.

Quote
Thinking about the male equivalents of some of these words throws their sexism into sharp relief. Master for mistress; sir for madam; governor for governess; bachelor for spinster; courtier for courtesan – whereas the male list speaks of power and high status, the female list has a very different set of connotations. These are of either subordinate status or sexual service to men. The crucial thing to remember is that at one time, they were simply equivalents.
I'm not sure how bachelor is the counterpart of spinster. His own explanation of the origin of spinster refutes that it was the equivalent of bachelor. That gives him 4 words that have counterparts and 4 that don't. If I were to point out words such as  villain and gigolo or names like John and Dick, it is apparent that women aren't the only sufferers of such indignity.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2016, 08:29:29 PM »
Plainly you're at pains to ignore my real point, which is that English-language history is packed with alterations in word meaning and application and that therefore "eight words" -- or even eighty -- must fall far short of demonstrating that English hates women. Further, that words to insult and denigrate men or people generally (which, traditionally, implicated mostly men) are abundant in English.

Plainly you're ignoring the point of the article, which is a focus on pairs of equivalent titles, of which the feminine declined, often into an insult, while the masculine suffered no such alteration.
Plainly you're ignoring that your article has no point, as its thesis has been disproven, over and over, a point you have decided not to focus on. That is plainly shown by the treatment of "hussy."
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2016, 10:23:10 PM »
I wonder what the history of "f@#ny" says
Quote
fanny (n.)
"buttocks," 1920, American English, from earlier British meaning "vulva" (1879), perhaps from the name of John Cleland's heroine in the scandalous novel "Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure" (1748). The fem. proper name is a diminutive of Frances. The genital sense is still the primary one outside U.S., but is not current in American English, a difference which can have consequences when U.S. TV programs and movies air in Britain.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=fanny
given that it is such a innocuous term-a child's term-in America.

Maybe that was too icky for the homosexual seeking a harem of (removed - Mor) to contemplate. Oh! the burdens of the  upper-middle class commentariat educating the 99%...

Edited to remove vulgar term. 

ialmisry, please be more careful in the future with your language. 

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« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 06:50:51 PM by Mor Ephrem »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #65 on: October 20, 2016, 02:19:45 AM »
Or maybe proper names don't have any connotations of status to lose, to begin with, and are thus outside the scope of the article.

Name popularity comes and goes, but Fanny hasn't fared too badly. Neither have Peter or Percy, for being euphemisms for penis. Or John, for that matter.

Quote
john  (jŏn)
n. Slang
1. A toilet.
2. A man who is a prostitute's customer.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 02:21:32 AM by Arachne »
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #66 on: October 20, 2016, 03:16:34 AM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb

So shall we switch to Esperanto? 
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #67 on: October 20, 2016, 03:25:58 AM »
So shall we switch to Esperanto?

Interpretive dance would probably suit your temperament better.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #68 on: October 20, 2016, 03:54:29 AM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb

Dictionaries--and particularly reputable ones like those published in the Oxford series--chose their definitions of words and their illustrations of how words are used together with other words (their collocations) by looking at how they have most commonly been used in a large body of texts, these days increasingly by searching the internet and the machine searchable national copora of written and spoken language gathered by trained linguists. If any accusation of sexism is to be made, it should not be directed at the dictionary publishers/editors, whose job it is to merely report how the language is actually used.

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #69 on: October 20, 2016, 04:55:27 AM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb

Dictionaries--and particularly reputable ones like those published in the Oxford series--chose their definitions of words and their illustrations of how words are used together with other words (their collocations) by looking at how they have most commonly been used in a large body of texts, these days increasingly by searching the internet and the machine searchable national copora of written and spoken language gathered by trained linguists. If any accusation of sexism is to be made, it should not be directed at the dictionary publishers/editors, whose job it is to merely report how the language is actually used.

Precisely the starting point of the article.

Quote
In other words, it’s not the dictionary that’s sexist, it’s the English-speaking world. Why choose “feminist” over, say, “rightwinger”, “communist” or “fan”, though? As if not quite convinced by its own explanation, the OUP is now “reviewing the example sentence for ‘rabid’ to ensure that it reflects current usage”.

That can only be a good thing. But a word of warning: it might not deliver the answer you’d hope for. Perhaps “rabid” is collocated with “feminist” more often than with those other words (if the data the OUP uses includes online discussions, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case). Sexist assumptions find their way into speech and writing for the simple reason that society is still sexist.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #70 on: October 20, 2016, 09:37:26 AM »
So shall we switch to Esperanto?

Interpretive dance would probably suit your temperament better.

Most amusing.  Actually I attempted with minimal success to learn ballroom dancing, but gave it up because it made me dizzy.  But I do enjoy the waltzes and minuets of the classical composers, especially the waltz, my favourites being The Rose of the South by Johann Strauss II and the waltz from Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky (I found the main waltz in Swan Lake a bit too dissonant and the waltz in the Nutcracker Suite too caustic).  There are also some lovely Russian and Soviet waltzes, for example, "On the Manchurian Hills.". And of course, "Over the Waves," by a brilliant Mexican composer whose name escapes me.

But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.  Surely the arbitrary assigning of genders to inanimate objects in the Romance languages, where for example everything that contains something else as its primary function, for example a house, a vase, and so on, is far worse. 

English by virtue of its lack of grammatical genders, and the implications thereof, something several other Germanic languages have, is probably one of the tongues less discriminatory to women.

Also, one can always resort to using English in a sort of Feminist style Newspeak, taking great care to avoid these abominable patriarchal constructs.

For my part, I simply prefer not to read the Guardian, which seems the easier way out.  :P. One can escape many a Mancunian faux-controversy in this manner.   ;).   Although I did like Peter Capaldi's portrayal of their editor in the rather good biopic on Julian Assange.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #71 on: October 20, 2016, 10:00:24 AM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2016, 10:18:21 AM »
Granting all the points made about particular words, is this really "the heart of the English language"? Language is reflecting the social conditions it arises in; apart from that, it has no heart.

Maybe grammar might be called a heart of sorts, in which case I note that even among ostensibly conservative speakers/ writers, the use of generic "he" as a rule has sharply diminished in favor of the singular "they."
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #73 on: October 20, 2016, 10:57:32 AM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 11:28:09 AM by ialmisry »
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2016, 11:16:17 AM »
Or maybe proper names don't have any connotations of status to lose, to begin with, and are thus outside the scope of the article.

Name popularity comes and goes, but Fanny hasn't fared too badly. Neither have Peter or Percy, for being euphemisms for penis. Or John, for that matter.

Quote
john  (jŏn)
n. Slang
1. A toilet.
2. A man who is a prostitute's customer.
Wrong again, as the pains parents put into choosing names to avoid nicknames (without much success, alas) shows. Proper names do not occur, they are made, and they are made with connotations of status.
And as always, classification and antonomasia yield archtypal names and eponyms.

Housewife hasn't fared too badly either. Until Shariatmadari's ilk....
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 11:17:54 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #75 on: October 20, 2016, 11:18:53 AM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb

So shall we switch to Esperanto?
we would have to get rid of "-in-" first.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #76 on: October 20, 2016, 11:20:46 AM »
Linguists call it collocation: the likelihood of two words occurring together. If I say “pop”, your mental rolodex will begin whirring away, coming up with candidates for what might follow. “Music”, “song” or “star”, are highly likely. “Sensation” or “diva” a little less so. “Snorkel” very unlikely indeed.

What do you think of when I say the word “rabid”? One option, according to the dictionary publisher Oxford Dictionaries, is “feminist”. The publisher has been criticised for a sexist bias in its illustrations of how certain words are used. “Nagging” is followed by “wife”. “Grating” and “shrill” appear in sentences describing women’s voices, not men’s.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/27/eight-words-sexism-heart-english-language?CMP=share_btn_fb

Dictionaries--and particularly reputable ones like those published in the Oxford series--chose their definitions of words and their illustrations of how words are used together with other words (their collocations) by looking at how they have most commonly been used in a large body of texts, these days increasingly by searching the internet and the machine searchable national copora of written and spoken language gathered by trained linguists. If any accusation of sexism is to be made, it should not be directed at the dictionary publishers/editors, whose job it is to merely report how the language is actually used.

Precisely the starting point of the article.

Quote
In other words, it’s not the dictionary that’s sexist, it’s the English-speaking world. Why choose “feminist” over, say, “rightwinger”, “communist” or “fan”, though? As if not quite convinced by its own explanation, the OUP is now “reviewing the example sentence for ‘rabid’ to ensure that it reflects current usage”.

That can only be a good thing. But a word of warning: it might not deliver the answer you’d hope for. Perhaps “rabid” is collocated with “feminist” more often than with those other words (if the data the OUP uses includes online discussions, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case). Sexist assumptions find their way into speech and writing for the simple reason that society is still sexist.
LOL.

precisely the denial (and demonstration) that feminism is still rabid.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #77 on: October 20, 2016, 11:34:34 AM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #78 on: October 20, 2016, 11:37:05 AM »
Granting all the points made about particular words, is this really "the heart of the English language"? Language is reflecting the social conditions it arises in; apart from that, it has no heart.

Maybe grammar might be called a heart of sorts, in which case I note that even among ostensibly conservative speakers/ writers, the use of generic "he" as a rule has sharply diminished in favor of the singular "they."

If we look at language construction through linguistic analysis, sure. But daily usage operates more on a 'what's the word for that' level, so a 'what you call people matters' approach makes sense.

The singular 'they' has been considered valid for a long time when following 'someone' (I have physical proof going back to 1992), but its expanded use is a lot more recent.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 11:39:17 AM by Arachne »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #79 on: October 20, 2016, 11:44:13 AM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
The lack of any comparison coupled with the lack of proof of sexism in English does. ::)
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #80 on: October 20, 2016, 11:48:23 AM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
The lack of any comparison coupled with the lack of proof of sexism in English does. ::)

It's an article, written in English and published in an English daily newspaper which circulates in an English-speaking country and is read primarily by monolingual native English speakers. You want comparative linguistic studies, you're looking in the wrong place.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #81 on: October 20, 2016, 11:58:23 AM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
The lack of any comparison coupled with the lack of proof of sexism in English does. ::)

It's an article, written in English and published in an English daily newspaper which circulates in an English-speaking country and is read primarily by monolingual native English speakers. You want comparative linguistic studies, you're looking in the wrong place.
If someone is looking for truth,  they are looking in the wrong place if they are looking in the pronouncements of the commentariat of the (Van)Guard[ian].
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 12:00:36 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #82 on: October 20, 2016, 12:22:32 PM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
The lack of any comparison coupled with the lack of proof of sexism in English does. ::)

It's an article, written in English and published in an English daily newspaper which circulates in an English-speaking country and is read primarily by monolingual native English speakers. You want comparative linguistic studies, you're looking in the wrong place.
If someone is looking for truth,  they are looking in the wrong place if they are looking in the pronouncements of the commentariat of the (Van)Guard[ian].

There's plenty more in academic research. That article is only a springboard for anyone interested to look further.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #83 on: October 20, 2016, 12:49:32 PM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
The lack of any comparison coupled with the lack of proof of sexism in English does. ::)

It's an article, written in English and published in an English daily newspaper which circulates in an English-speaking country and is read primarily by monolingual native English speakers. You want comparative linguistic studies, you're looking in the wrong place.
If someone is looking for truth,  they are looking in the wrong place if they are looking in the pronouncements of the commentariat of the (Van)Guard[ian].

There's plenty more in academic research. That article is only a springboard for anyone interested to look further.

They would be better advised not to lean over the precipice of the black hole of Feminist Studies.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 12:50:52 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Arachne

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #84 on: October 20, 2016, 12:50:58 PM »
But really, the idea that the English language discriminates against women in a unique way is preposterous.

Indeed. That's why no one has made such a claim.
Didn't read the article you posted? Not even the title?

There's no claim that the sexism in the English language is in any way unique. ::)
The lack of any comparison coupled with the lack of proof of sexism in English does. ::)

It's an article, written in English and published in an English daily newspaper which circulates in an English-speaking country and is read primarily by monolingual native English speakers. You want comparative linguistic studies, you're looking in the wrong place.
If someone is looking for truth,  they are looking in the wrong place if they are looking in the pronouncements of the commentariat of the (Van)Guard[ian].

There's plenty more in academic research. That article is only a springboard for anyone interested to look further.


Go on, Alice, you know you want to.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #85 on: October 20, 2016, 01:45:18 PM »
Go on, Alice, you know you want to.
Don't say you were not warned.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #86 on: October 20, 2016, 02:05:14 PM »
They would be better advised not to lean over the precipice of the black hole of Feminist Studies.

Nothing wrong with Feminist Studies. A lot more carefully curated than the Guardian, certainly, and peer-reviewed to boot.
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Offline Rohzek

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #87 on: October 20, 2016, 02:36:53 PM »
The article is interesting. And I can appreciate its seeming-like pushback against a similar article the day before, whereby the other author called for the scrubbing of words from the dictionary on moral grounds: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/26/rabid-feminist-language-oxford-english-dictionary

Still, I am not at all sure what it is arguing entirely. Is it saying that banning words or eliminating them from the dictionary is NOT going to work and is inherently authoritarian? Or is it suggesting that work still remains to be done in society in general to gradually phase out this use of language? The last few lines aren't very clear:

Quote
Have the achievements of the feminist movement percolated down through the many layers of our language? The Oxford Dictionaries controversy suggests not. Can the words we use to describe women avoid the fate of hussy, mistress and courtesan? There’s hope, but only time will tell.

What exactly does the author mean by the bolded part? The controversy insofar that the OED included the perjorative usage? The controversy about people defending the OED? He isn't very specific.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #88 on: October 20, 2016, 04:13:16 PM »
They would be better advised not to lean over the precipice of the black hole of Feminist Studies.

Nothing wrong with Feminist Studies. A lot more carefully curated than the Guardian, certainly, and peer-reviewed to boot.
an incestuous clique praising each other doesn't count. If a group of idiots agree on something, that doesn't make it true...just shared idiocy.

At least the Guardian sometimes gets its facts straight.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 04:15:08 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #89 on: October 20, 2016, 04:17:02 PM »
The article is interesting. And I can appreciate its seeming-like pushback against a similar article the day before, whereby the other author called for the scrubbing of words from the dictionary on moral grounds: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/26/rabid-feminist-language-oxford-english-dictionary

Still, I am not at all sure what it is arguing entirely. Is it saying that banning words or eliminating them from the dictionary is NOT going to work and is inherently authoritarian? Or is it suggesting that work still remains to be done in society in general to gradually phase out this use of language? The last few lines aren't very clear:

Quote
Have the achievements of the feminist movement percolated down through the many layers of our language? The Oxford Dictionaries controversy suggests not. Can the words we use to describe women avoid the fate of hussy, mistress and courtesan? There’s hope, but only time will tell.

What exactly does the author mean by the bolded part? The controversy insofar that the OED included the perjorative usage? The controversy about people defending the OED? He isn't very specific.
No, it's clear, and it is called "plausible deniability" so they can deny what they are up to while pushing the agenda under the radar.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #90 on: October 20, 2016, 04:26:44 PM »
If there's one thing the thread does teach us, it's that OC.net members have no desire for dialog on this subject.

I can only assume the original post was put here to lecture new English speakers.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #91 on: October 21, 2016, 09:17:31 AM »
If there's one thing the thread does teach us, it's that OC.net members have no desire for dialog on this subject.

I can only assume the original post was put here to lecture new English speakers.
To serve as a warning, as to what nonsense you will come across.

I hesitate to say it, lest I tip them off to their neglect, but the self appointed guardians of speech and vanguard against semantics have not seized control of materials made in other languages to teach English that I have seen.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #92 on: October 21, 2016, 02:54:55 PM »
I hesitate to say it, lest I tip them off to their neglect, but the self appointed guardians of speech and vanguard against semantics have not seized control of materials made in other languages to teach English that I have seen.

No worries.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #93 on: October 21, 2016, 03:48:19 PM »
I hesitate to say it, lest I tip them off to their neglect, but the self appointed guardians of speech and vanguard against semantics have not seized control of materials made in other languages to teach English that I have seen.

No worries.
no, profanity is quite commonly taught to the ESL community. Many start with it.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #94 on: October 22, 2016, 08:55:48 PM »




Sometimes things work the other way around.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 08:57:57 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #95 on: October 23, 2016, 01:05:17 AM »




Sometimes things work the other way around.
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A woman at scout camp once said something about this, asking "You know what they do, don't you? They eat the male after mating." "I've been to divorce court," I explained, "I'm not so sure humans are different." :o
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline WPM

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #96 on: December 31, 2016, 08:54:25 PM »
Seems like they're always looking for a reason to prosecute people.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 08:55:46 PM by WPM »
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Offline Evangily

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #97 on: March 30, 2017, 12:12:16 PM »
I found a partner to talk in English at http://www.cupid.com/orthodox-dating.htm
 

Offline Sinful Hypocrite

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2017, 01:03:31 PM »
The language of any country is inadequate. Blind and deaf people understand better sometimes than those who can see and hear.

Describe your favorite thing in any language, and I will show you why it falls far short of doing that thing any justice.
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2017, 02:17:20 PM »
I found a partner to talk in English at http://www.cupid.com/orthodox-dating.htm

Looks like I found a new hobby...
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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2017, 05:27:08 PM »
A certain item of clothing is referred to as a wife-beater, so I don't think it is necessarily fair to say that women exclusively deal with sexist stereotypes. Theoretically one could be a lesbian wife-beater, but no one thinks of a woman when they think of a person that beats their wife.

http://www.pauldavidson.net/2005/05/13/words-for-your-enjoyment-wife-beaters/
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 05:33:01 PM by Quinault »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Eight words that reveal the sexism at the heart of the English language
« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2017, 05:38:15 PM »
Further, the mental image people have of an individual if you say the word "rapist" is almost exclusively male. Women can and in fact do rape men. It is tramuatizing for these men, but even amongst men it is something of a joke. Even men don't take the concept of a female raping a man seriously, and make jokes about how enjoyable it would be.

The problem isn't language, the problem is societal attitudes. In truth I don't think society has much respect for men or women.