Creative Genius

Karl V. Teeter kvt at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Fri Nov 12 18:36:29 UTC 1999

Jill you are not wrong, but basically right. although I don't know about
"patriarchal English". You still did not get to the L variant, which is a
dissimilative way of saying "grammar". We grammarians tend to feel that
grammar is still magic. As for prophet, prophetess is an explicit female
         As for gramarye

At 08:18 AM 11/12/99 -0800, you wrote:

>I thought that grammer comes from the Latin word "grammatica" which means
>pertaining to letters or literature, so that in the middle ages it was
>synonymous with learning in general, especially the knowledge particular
>to the learned class (male).  Then the Old French word "grimoire" (book of
>magic) was introduced into the literary language by Sir Walter Scott, so
>the word "gramarye" was a corrupt form of grammar that became associated
>with witchcraft (female).  To cast a glamour meant the incantation of
>enchantment and spells.  Were the grammars of patriarchal
>English  actually glamours:  rules invented to describe men's ideas of how
>language ought to behave?
>How did I go so wrong?
>I'm also wondering about the word prophet, which isn't defined as being
>male only, but includes prophetess after the definition.  Would that be
>"Karl V. Teeter" <kvt at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
>>Dear Jill, your speculation is interesting, but I fear it is not
>>supported by the etymologies of grammar and glamour. These are variants
>>of the same word and associated because in the middle ages grammar was
>>one of the seven lively arts, and as such  inherently mystical, and
>>glamorous. Some linguists still find it so and not, I think, on a
>>gender-related basis.  Yours, kvt  (=Karl V.Teeter, Professor of
>>Linguistics, Emeritus, Harvard University
>>At 08:25 AM 11/11/99 -0800, you wrote:
>>>I am an artist interested in how language defines the image of women
>>>portrayed an art and women artitsts.  I want to study how the etymology
>>>of several words exclude her from the definition of artist and limit
>>>ther to being an object on display.  However, I am not a linguist and I
>>>was wondering if anyone might be able to help me.  I think that from the
>>>histories of grammer and glamour it is evident that the patriarchal
>>>culture continues:  man acts;  woman is acted upon; hero saves
>>>heroine.  The muse of the artistic genius is a fetished female
>>>fantasy.  I don't want to intrude on your listserve, but I have been
>>>following it since last spring and I find it very interesting and
>>>informative.  Thanks for your time and ideas.
>>>Jill Lyon
>>>Do You Yahoo!?
>>>Bid and sell for free at <>Yahoo! Auctions.
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Bid and sell for free at <>Yahoo! Auctions.

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