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Thread: Proper English Sexism

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Those links are from liberal entities that believe that polluting the English language by forcing it to adapt to the liberal political play-thing of the day is the evolution of language.
    Those links are from every organization involved in determining style in our language.

    The problem with my second paragraph is that it does not conform with the narrative that the dictionary begets equality.

    I will stick with formal English.
    You'll stick with what pleases you, not with what is standard. Formality is on my side.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isalexi View Post
    You are coming from a different place and that is perhaps why you are indifferent. The English langauge includes you. In our language everything is male unless otherwise stated. An actor is a nongendered word but yet if a woman is acting we called her an actress.
    Not anymore. Women are referred to as "actors" in most settings I've experienced for at least five years.

    BTW, there IS a historical reason why "actor" is a specifically masculine form and actress was used for women. In the development of our language, the "or" ending indicating the performer of an action (as "act" is the verb and "actor" the noun designating its performer) is, in fact, a masculine form dating back to Old English. Think "benefactor" versus "benefactress" or "dominator" versus "dominatrix." The "er" ending is and has always been gender neutral.
    I have been introduced as an authoress and found it silly.
    It does sound silly, but it's technically correct, for the same reason as above.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Those links are from every organization involved in determining style in our language.

    You'll stick with what pleases you, not with what is standard. Formality is on my side.
    Language is determined by tradition and usage.

    I will stick with formal English sans political pollution and not be a part of the systematic decline in America's ranking in the world regarding education. I will stick with the use of the epicene "they," which has been accepted in formal writing since the fourteenth century.

  4. #54
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    Here's another story about how silly the question of "formal" English is. One reason we're able to have this argument in the first place is that English is a much more democratic language than most other European tongues. I say that because there is no organization that's empowered to decide what's correct or incorrect for everyone. French has the Académie française and most other European languages have some similar organization. These language masters can make edicts that govern the "proper" use of their language; they track changes in the ways language is used and either reject them or give them the imprimatur of legitimacy.

    English has no such organization. Instead, we rely on dictionaries and stylebook put out by various organizations for the use of their members (like the ones I linked earlier). These sometimes disagree, though they are largely in line with each other. The differences mostly rank with, say, the Oxford comma or spelling of "judgement? over "judgment."

    The Third Edition of Webster's Dictionary (Merriam-Webster) was published in 1961, and it set off a huge controversy over its philosophy of language, which was DESCRIPTIVE rather than PRESCRIPTIVE. That is, Webster's Third intended to catalog the English language as it was used rather than as some authority believed it SHOULD be used. They failed to label slang as slang, for example, and they included a great many words that simply weren't used in polite society. It was a great scandal. An editorial in the New York Times announced that publication's outrage and insisted that, for the sake of decent English, the NYT would continue using Webster's Second edition as its authority. The editors of the Third wrote back to the effect that fully one-third of all the new entries in its volume were taken from the pages of ... the New York Times. You may notice, if you have a collegiate or heavier dictionary lying around, that most dictionaries today include a long list of editors and consultants in the front matter. That's because now every dictionary publisher wants plenty of back up.

    Anyone want to take on another question of English? I can give you a scintillating debate on the use of the subjunctive.....

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Language is determined by tradition and usage.
    Yes. But tradition always loses to usage (well, "use" is simpler and thus more. proper in this case). Often the very people who believe they are upholding outdated standards actually adopt newer forms before they themselves are aware. See my post above.
    I will stick with formal English sans political pollution and not be a part of the systematic decline in America's ranking in the world regarding education. I will stick with the use of the epicene "they," which has been accepted in formal writing since the fourteenth century.
    This is all just prejudicial nonsense. You sound very much like the New York Times in 1961. "Political pollution?" Politics pervades all aspects of social life for humans, including language use. And I don't know what you mean by "epicene 'they,'" since the use of "they" as a designator of persons of either sex is what those you choose to oppose now favor. It's not the epicene nature of "they" which is at question in this thread.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Not anymore. Women are referred to as "actors" in most settings I've experienced for at least five years.

    BTW, there IS a historical reason why "actor" is a specifically masculine form and actress was used for women. In the development of our language, the "or" ending indicating the performer of an action (as "act" is the verb and "actor" the noun designating its performer) is, in fact, a masculine form dating back to Old English. Think "benefactor" versus "benefactress" or "dominator" versus "dominatrix." The "er" ending is and has always been gender neutral.
    It does sound silly, but it's technically correct, for the same reason as above.
    Yet we do not say doctoress or lawyeress.
    I am aware what you are saying is technically correct, that doesn’t mean they are outdated and not inclusive..another interesting thing is -ette..which means diminutive/female

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    Something else of interest....many years ago I was invited to help revise early childhood readers....they showed us dick and Jane...omg! Dad and Dick did everything and mother and Jane and sally were always seen in the kitchen and being passive....down to their hands behind their backs in their little frocks. Those were examples of Intermalizes messages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isalexi View Post
    Something else of interest....many years ago I was invited to help revise early childhood readers....they showed us dick and Jane...omg! Dad and Dick did everything and mother and Jane and sally were always seen in the kitchen and being passive....down to their hands behind their backs in their little frocks. Those were examples of Intermalizes messages.
    Ms. Isalexi,

    Dad and Dick were tired after a hard day's work. Don't they deserve a home cooked meal when they come home...

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by syrenn View Post
    no im not enraged or want to punch a kitten in the nose. It does seem when the word it is used, others do.


    It is not gender specific.... anything else is being evolved in other peoples therapy.
    I have read this post three times, and still do not understand it. Are you suggesting that only the mentally ill would WANT a nongendered pronoun?

    I disagree. I actually think it serves us all that when the receptionist says "the doctor will see you now", we don't know whether that person is a male or a female, because IT DOESN'T MATTER.

  10. #60
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Those links are from liberal entities that believe that polluting the English language by forcing it to adapt to the liberal political play-thing of the day is the evolution of language.

    The problem with my second paragraph is that it does not conform with the narrative that the dictionary begets equality.

    I will stick with formal English.
    All languages spoken by real people evolve. Have thy never read any Shakespeare?

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