Idiom question

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 25 01:11:44 UTC 2000

>"Guys" being generic, I hope?!

Precisely.  Cf. Clancy (1999) in American Speech on 'the ascent of guy';
but cf. also Hofstadter (1998) against welcoming this creeping
genericization.  Grist for the mill--we're just getting to "man", "guys",
"gays", and of course "cows" in my language, sex & gender class.


>At 11:17 PM 1/21/00 -0400, you wrote:
>>"Pig" is indeed a neutral generic.  Other unmarked female animals are the
>>goose (vs. gander) and the duck (vs. drake).  One generalization that works
>>a little bit is that the unmarked sex (if either is) is the one more
>>functionally useful or prominent for us guys (the ones with the language).
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