Members banned from this thread: Amelia and John T Ford


Page 7 of 11 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 70 of 107
Thanks Tree47Thanks

Thread: Proper English Sexism

  1. #61
    New Member Havelock's Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    872
    Thanks
    1053

    From
    U.S.A.
    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    The entire point of this book:



    ....is that our English language/American culture reinforces and reflects our prejudices as to the normality and superiority of men. "Actors", "firefighters", "wait staff", etc. etc. etc. are all gender neutral replacements for other words that came into common usage since the 1970's in an effort to correct this prejudice.

    But these nouns do not correct the structural problem: English lacks any gender neutral way to refer to an individual and it lacks a gender neutral honorific.

    "Dear Sir or Madam" is still unsatisfying because the male reference comes first.

    "Ms." is a superior form of address for women, as it avoids the requirement that a woman's marital status must be revealed by the honorific. "Miss" and "Mrs." are archaic, although some people still like to use them.

    So, you brilliant PHers.....how do we replace "you guys"? Neither "all y'all" or "youse" sounds the least bit palatable outside their regional listeners.

    Any ideas?

    This is NOT going to be easy!



    And that before we cope with the way UK people pronounce the letter "z".
    Made up, gender-neutral pronouns are not likely to catch on, it seems to me. We don't have any official "language police" to enforce such word use and if these sorts of changes don't develop organically, then they're highly unlikely to achieve critical mass. Look at the way we tried to "evolve" toward the use of the metric system by encouraging people to adopt a new standard because "it just made sense", and it was "the right thing to do." The effort failed miserably, eh? And, I'm sorry, but the use of "they" as a gender neutral singular pronoun sounds ridiculous and is confusing to boot.

    No, it seems to me that the most likely way forward -- and the best way to encourage that movement -- is deliberately to strip traditionally-male pronouns of that connotation. We've already seen this to a large extent with the now-common, gender-neutral use of "guy" and "guys", right? Or the retirement of female-specific nouns such as "heroine" or "actress"... Keep that up. "He", "him", and "his" can become gender neutral. That's the most probably and palatable change I can see possibly coming down the pike.

    Cheers.
    Thanks from StanStill and Madeline

  2. #62
    A Character Tennyson's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,542
    Thanks
    347

    From
    Barsoom
    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    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.
    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.
    Tradition is usage regarding language. It is slow and methodical. It is not dictated.

    There is nothing prejudicial about hard data. The epicene of "they" is the issue because it is not a newly created term vis-a-vis ze, etc., which will all dissipate into the ether as soon as another tradition offends a socially inept anti-intellectual social justice warrior.

    The sooner the accreditations for colleges is pulled out by the roots and revised, the sooner the US can get back to actually educating students.
    Thanks from Madeline

  3. #63
    quichierbichen
    Joined
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    62,692
    Thanks
    34317

    From
    in my head
    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Tradition is usage regarding language. It is slow and methodical. It is not dictated.
    If it's "methodical" then it is certainly dictated. But besides that point, what hogwash! Tradition isn't "slow and methodical." It's stopped. The whole argument from tradition is "don't change." And yet language does change. It changes according to the needs of the people using it.

    There is nothing prejudicial about hard data. The epicene of "they" is the issue because it is not a newly created term vis-a-vis ze, etc., which will all dissipate into the ether as soon as another tradition offends a socially inept anti-intellectual social justice warrior.
    Wow. You start out talking about "hard data" and then lapse into political blather. Your insulting yet elevated language can't hide the fact that you're spouting pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Yes, language was one way in the 13th century. It is another way now. Words have been added and others fallen into disuse. None of this has happened according to a plan. Our language was COMPLETELY unregulated until the 18th century, with the first dictionary and the first grammar. No standard spelling but printer's conventions. No formalized grammar rules. And as I pointed out earlier, we use a completely different set of pronouns now than even the 16th century.

    The sooner the accreditations for colleges is pulled out by the roots and revised, the sooner the US can get back to actually educating students.
    It's not about colleges. It's about the system of scholarship generally, mostly driven by publications. You plan to destroy the whole of the humanities or social sciences in order to remake them in your own image?
    Last edited by Rasselas; 27th December 2017 at 06:19 PM.

  4. #64
    A Character Tennyson's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,542
    Thanks
    347

    From
    Barsoom
    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    If it's "methodical" then it is certainly dictated. But besides that point, what hogwash! Tradition isn't "slow and methodical." It's stopped. The whole argument from tradition is "don't change." And yet language does change. It changes according to the needs of the people using it.

    Wow. You start out talking about "hard data" and then lapse into political blather. Your insulting yet elevated language can't hide the fact that you're spouting pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Yes, language was one way in the 13th century. It is another way now. Words have been added and others fallen into disuse. None of this has happened according to a plan. Our language was COMPLETELY unregulated until the 18th century, with the first dictionary and the first grammar. No standard spelling but printer's conventions. No formalized grammar rules. And as I pointed out earlier, we use a completely different set of pronouns now than even the 16th century.

    It's not about colleges. It's about the system of scholarship generally, mostly driven by publications. You plan to destroy the whole of the humanities or social sciences in order to remake them in your own image?
    Hard data: "they" has the same meaning now as the thirteenth century. The US continues to drop in world education rankings. While other countries are educating, the US is concerned with forced inclusiveness and non-academic indoctrinations.

    It is about colleges and about incestuously ideologically driven scholarship.

    You seem to have a nebulous relationship with civility. That is your prerogative; my prerogative is to steer clear of jejune churlishness. Once again, I will leave you and your discourteous method of discourse to a more willing combatant.

  5. #65
    quichierbichen
    Joined
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    62,692
    Thanks
    34317

    From
    in my head
    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Hard data: "they" has the same meaning now as the thirteenth century. The US continues to drop in world education rankings. While other countries are educating, the US is concerned with forced inclusiveness and non-academic indoctrinations.
    Why are you on about "they?" How do you think that pronoun fits into this conversation? The idea that a word cannot change its meaning, particularly to retain an old meaning and also accept a new one, is ludicrous.

    It is about colleges and about incestuously ideologically driven scholarship.
    Blah, blah, blah. This isn't about scholarship--it's about the use of language. Whorf-Sapir hypothesis and all that. That's not political--at least it's not left-right political. But the choice to make academic language more gender inclusive, which is what I've been talking about, has little to do with scholarship and much more to do with a recognition over the coercive nature of language.

    But the use of "they" in spoken language to represent the indefinite singular human has nothing to do with academics. It's how people talk. If anything academy disdains the use of "they" in the singular, particularly in writing. But language changes in speaking first, and all language change comes from the bottom.


    You seem to have a nebulous relationship with civility. That is your prerogative; my prerogative is to steer clear of jejune churlishness. Once again, I will leave you and your discourteous method of discourse to a more willing combatant.
    Goodness. The whole of your argument is to sweep your hand broadly and and shout "leftist politics!" ... and you fault ME for incivility?

  6. #66
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    53,396
    Thanks
    30676

    From
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Havelock View Post
    Made up, gender-neutral pronouns are not likely to catch on, it seems to me. We don't have any official "language police" to enforce such word use and if these sorts of changes don't develop organically, then they're highly unlikely to achieve critical mass. Look at the way we tried to "evolve" toward the use of the metric system by encouraging people to adopt a new standard because "it just made sense", and it was "the right thing to do." The effort failed miserably, eh? And, I'm sorry, but the use of "they" as a gender neutral singular pronoun sounds ridiculous and is confusing to boot.

    No, it seems to me that the most likely way forward -- and the best way to encourage that movement -- is deliberately to strip traditionally-male pronouns of that connotation. We've already seen this to a large extent with the now-common, gender-neutral use of "guy" and "guys", right? Or the retirement of female-specific nouns such as "heroine" or "actress"... Keep that up. "He", "him", and "his" can become gender neutral. That's the most probably and palatable change I can see possibly coming down the pike.

    Cheers.
    I love this idea!

  7. #67
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    53,396
    Thanks
    30676

    From
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    If it's "methodical" then it is certainly dictated. But besides that point, what hogwash! Tradition isn't "slow and methodical." It's stopped. The whole argument from tradition is "don't change." And yet language does change. It changes according to the needs of the people using it.

    Wow. You start out talking about "hard data" and then lapse into political blather. Your insulting yet elevated language can't hide the fact that you're spouting pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Yes, language was one way in the 13th century. It is another way now. Words have been added and others fallen into disuse. None of this has happened according to a plan. Our language was COMPLETELY unregulated until the 18th century, with the first dictionary and the first grammar. No standard spelling but printer's conventions. No formalized grammar rules. And as I pointed out earlier, we use a completely different set of pronouns now than even the 16th century.

    It's not about colleges. It's about the system of scholarship generally, mostly driven by publications. You plan to destroy the whole of the humanities or social sciences in order to remake them in your own image?
    Depends on who you may think is in charge. The Oxford English dictionary people seem to think they are, but I'm not sure they view themselves as Chieftains of the Language outside of the UK.

    In the U.S., I dunno. The Webster's dictionary people, mayhaps?

    Either way, both books are issued every year because the language changes.

    The NYT Book of Style changes, Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" is in its 1,001th edition, etc.

    @Tennyson....any American man over 30 has had to moderate his language to avoid giving offense unintentionally. Certainly over age 60.

    An executive now who said "I'll have my girl call you" when referring to his assistant would be attending Diversity Training classes.
    Last edited by Madeline; 28th December 2017 at 11:54 AM.
    Thanks from Tennyson

  8. #68
    quichierbichen
    Joined
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    62,692
    Thanks
    34317

    From
    in my head
    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Depends on who you may think is in charge. The Oxford English dictionary people seem to think they are, but I'm not sure they view themselves as Chieftains of the Language outside of the UK.

    In the U.S., I dunno. The Webster's dictionary people, mayhaps?
    Neither, and both. As I said, it's DEMOCRATIC. Everyone has their views and arguments about what words mean and how they are to be used, but there is no central authority with any, actual, authority. Any dictionary maker will admit this.

    Either way, both books are issued every year because the language changes.

    The NYT Book of Style changes, Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" is in its 1,001th edition, etc.
    The OED is updated pretty much constantly, since it's now more popular as a searchable database than as a printed book.

    Funny thing about Elements of Style. A rather famous scholarly paper was published many years ago that listed the many times that E. B. White violated the precepts of his own book (It wasn't really his book--Strunk tried creating a stylebook on his own but it didn't sell. E. B. White had been his student, and he invited White to put his name on the book. That worked.).

    One of the ideas that we're playing with here that isn't recognized is the difference between "prescriptive" and "descriptive" scholarship of language. The "Grammar Police" who want things to stay the same--always--are "prescriptive." They want to be authorities telling others what they are supposed to do. "Descriptive" grammarians (who are pretty much all linguists and other language professionals now) are more like scientists. They study what people actually do in the world and then describe it with rules that make sense.

    Foisting a pronoun on people and telling them to use it (which is kind of what de Beauvoir suggests) never works unless there's some force of authority behind it. The French do a pretty good job of keeping anglicisms out of their government publications, but they can't get ordinary French speakers to stop saying "software" or "hamburger" (only with a French accent). The accent of educated Britons was foisted on them in the 18th century by upper-class people who disliked the way their language sounded in comparison to French or Italian--in a generation, they changed how everyone talked. Many of our less sensible and arcane grammar rules (like not ending sentences with prepositions [particles, really] that appear at the ends of informal verbs, or the unsplittable infinitive) were foisted on English users by authorities in the same period, borrowing rules that make sense only in their favorite prestige language, Latin.

    Otherwise, language changes organically, and not according to some plan or intention.

    By the way, there is one English word that has--because of its utility--managed to get into nearly every other widely spoken language on earth. It's not even an English word anymore, it's so widely use. It's not a word most greying authorities would like to see adopted into their languages, but nothing they can do about what people say. The word is "sexy."
    Last edited by Rasselas; 28th December 2017 at 12:32 PM.
    Thanks from Madeline

  9. #69
    A Character Tennyson's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,542
    Thanks
    347

    From
    Barsoom
    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Depends on who you may think is in charge. The Oxford English dictionary people seem to think they are, but I'm not sure they view themselves as Chieftains of the Language outside of the UK.

    In the U.S., I dunno. The Webster's dictionary people, mayhaps?

    Either way, both books are issued every year because the language changes.

    The NYT Book of Style changes, Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" is in its 1,001th edition, etc.

    @Tennyson....any American man over 30 has had to moderate his language to avoid giving offense unintentionally. Certainly over age 60.

    An executive now who said "I'll have my girl call you" when referring to his assistant would be attending Diversity Training classes.
    I do not believe I have moderated my language. I do not write or speak in an offensive manner to the best of my knowledge. These flavor of the day outrages come and go and I have weathered them all. I have never had my writing censored or edited regarding being offensive to women or race. Any individual who is offended over my lack of using a grammatically incorrect term for whatever gender that individual decides to be that particular day in a paper of mine is out of luck. That goes for any editor as well. I believe my posts here substantiate that as well.

    The current fad of creating unintelligent and nescient pronouns stems from the lack of a proper education and is perpetuated by the very institutions tasked with providing a proper education.

  10. #70
    quichierbichen
    Joined
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    62,692
    Thanks
    34317

    From
    in my head
    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    I do not believe I have moderated my language. I do not write or speak in an offensive manner to the best of my knowledge. These flavor of the day outrages come and go and I have weathered them all. I have never had my writing censored or edited regarding being offensive to women or race. Any individual who is offended over my lack of using a grammatically incorrect term for whatever gender that individual decides to be that particular day in a paper of mine is out of luck. That goes for any editor as well. I believe my posts here substantiate that as well.
    No one ever edits posts on PH.

    The current fad of creating unintelligent and nescient pronouns stems from the lack of a proper education and is perpetuated by the very institutions tasked with providing a proper education.
    This argument is circular on its face.

Page 7 of 11 FirstFirst ... 56789 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 100% Proper Self-Defense
    By Madeline in forum Current Events
    Replies: 305
    Last Post: 27th June 2016, 05:01 PM
  2. Proper Pricing
    By william the wierd in forum Economics
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11th June 2011, 04:40 PM
  3. Proper Protocol?
    By Gypsy in forum Political Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 25th November 2009, 02:08 PM
  4. The Proper Course of Action
    By Pragmatist in forum Political Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 25th October 2007, 04:49 PM

Search tags for this page

Click on a term to search for related topics.

Tags for this Thread


Facebook Twitter RSS Feed