[Ads-l] "man" avoidance

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 25 18:31:52 EDT 2016


> neatly shuts down what I thought was an enlightening conversation

Obviously not, since this is an open forum catering to opinionated
enthusiasts, who may be expected to chime should they wish to. But I can't
think of anything more to say, myself.

But as for general enlightenment, let me repeat the line about "recent
socio-semantic hypotheses," with the emphasis on "hypotheses." I'll even
suggest churlishly that one function of such hypotheses is, at least in
certain cases, to afford powerless sociolinguists a fun feeling of real
power over language and the people who use it, along with the ego-boost
that they're somehow building a better future. (What far-right satirist
could have dreamed up a university that slaps a trigger-style warning on
"you guys" when - no secret - plenty of women now say it to each other?)

The most important linguistic lesson I learned as an undergraduate was,
"Language isn't logical; it's psychological."

I.e., isn't consistent, isn't fully rational, and - except for robots -
can't be made so.

JL





On Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 9:57 AM, Flourish Klink <flourish.klink at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Well, that neatly shuts down what I thought was an enlightening
> conversation (or anyway, a conversation in which I discovered some things
> about English, even if I never came to agree with you).
>
> There's a joke in here about gender and being "stabbed by a point," but
> damned if I can find it.
>
> On Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 9:06 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Some prefer the minimally informative "311 people": minimally informative
> > though, indeed, demanded by some recent socio-semantic hypotheses.
> Others
> > prefer the more informative "309 men and two women."
> >
> > No one seems to care for "309 non-African-American men and two
> > non-African-American women, all over the age of 18," etc.
> >
> > TMI.
> >
> >
> > JL
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > JL
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 11:01 PM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > << "man" avoidance" ... gender ... 309 men and two women>>
> > > How Claire Chennault fits into all this is another question. My guess
> it
> > > was either a case of the Moulan Complex, or [wait for it] ... the Boy
> > Named
> > > Sue Syndrome. Not that I'm being judgmental, but it does make ya wonder
> > ...
> > >  (I.e. maybe it was 308 to 3?)
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list