Heard on the Olympics broadcast

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Aug 10 22:07:52 UTC 2008


The German diminutive suffix -chen (e.g., in M├Ądchen = girl) is the determining factor here. The nouns in which -chen appears must all be neuter, regardless of their gender in real life.
 
But the Germans are not unreasonable people, and when talking about a girl they will usually refer to her as "sie" (she), not "es" ("it"; neuter).  
 
Gerald Cohen

________________________________

Ron Butters 8/10/2008 3:17 PM, wrote:

<snip> But every high school student who has ever studied German knows that a girl is neuter in that
language. 

<snip>

 

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



More information about the Ads-l mailing list