More on neutrality

JAMES A. LANDAU Netscape. Just the Net You Need. JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Oct 7 12:31:23 UTC 2008

On Mon, 6 Oct 2008 09:50:25 Zulu minus 0400 Wilson Gray wrote:


"An idea to bounce off the dialect group.  Another profession to take
on the mantle of gender-neutrality in recent years is Theatre (and
Philm).  Female thespians are no longer being referred to as
"actresses." Rather, "actor" has become gender-neutral. Presumably, on
the premise that "male" and "female" are just roles to be played and
any actor worth _its_ greasepaint is expected to be able to play
whatever roles suit _its_ talents."

BTW, hasn't anyone else noted that it's always the femine equivalent
that is the member of a pair to suffer extinction? Why not kill
"actor" and refer to all such as "actresses?" It seems to me that the
fact that the feminine term is always the one to go merely emphasizes
the socially-superior position of the masculine.

Birds are the exception. No one speaks of flocks of ganders, drakes,
or roosters. Indeed, most people that I know always refer to mallards
as "ducks," despite the fact that any fool can plainly see that the
birds are all drakes. (I'd bet that most people don't even know the
words, "gander" and "drake," anymore. I had to study over it awhile
myself to come up with "gander.") OTOH, a Franco-Canadienne once
pointed out that, if on had a set consisting of one thousand femmes et
one chien, then on would refer to that set with the masculine pronoun.


Very simple, Wilson.  That is known as being "gander-neutral".

     Jim Landau
     Test Engineer
     Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
     8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
     West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA


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