Discussion:
Why English isn't as sexist as some feminists claim
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Dingbat
2018-02-18 21:03:54 UTC
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Why English isn't as sexist as some feminists claim

By rhysiare

1. She doesn't come from a patriarchal conspiracy to add s+he.
She evolved from ProtoGermanic seo meaning that/ there. He evolved from a word meaning this/ here.

2. Woman doesn't come from wo+man.
Man meant human, not male human. Werman meant male human and wifman meant female human. Wifman changed to woman.

I add: If males were vermin, then English WAS sexist:->

3: Female doesn't come from fe+male
Male comes from Old French masle meaning masculine. Female comes from Old French famella meaning young woman.

4. Human doesn't come from hu+man
Human comes from ghomon meaning earthly being as distinct from a heavenly being like a god.

5. Person doesn't come from per+son
Person comes from Latin persona which comes from Etruscan phersu meaning mask. Masks gave identity to theater performers; a single actor could wear multiple masks to play multiple roles (personae in Latin).


https://www.indy100.com/article/feminism-english-language-sexism-linguist-tumblr-response-patriarchy-artwork-8215156


I add: Is fake etymology as bad as fake news?
grabber
2018-02-18 21:49:15 UTC
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Which feminists? What claims?
Dingbat
2018-02-18 23:31:22 UTC
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On Monday, February 19, 2018 at 3:19:18 AM UTC+5:30, grabber wrote:
> Which feminists? What claims?

That information is available at the link:

https://www.indy100.com/article/feminism-english-language-sexism-linguist-tumblr-response-patriarchy-artwork-8215156
David Kleinecke
2018-02-19 00:18:29 UTC
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On Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 3:31:25 PM UTC-8, Dingbat wrote:
> On Monday, February 19, 2018 at 3:19:18 AM UTC+5:30, grabber wrote:
> > Which feminists? What claims?
>
> That information is available at the link:
>
> https://www.indy100.com/article/feminism-english-language-sexism-linguist-tumblr-response-patriarchy-artwork-8215156

Thew radical feminists have a legitimate complaint. Humanities
current culture is male-dominated (I think "patriarchal" is not
the right word). But language - English or whatever - is not
being used as a means of oppression. In a way complaints about
bias in language support male domination by distracting from
really serious problems - religion for example.
grabber
2018-02-19 16:18:41 UTC
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On 18/02/2018 23:31, Dingbat wrote:
> On Monday, February 19, 2018 at 3:19:18 AM UTC+5:30, grabber wrote:
>> Which feminists? What claims?
>
> That information is available at the link:
>
> https://www.indy100.com/article/feminism-english-language-sexism-linguist-tumblr-response-patriarchy-artwork-8215156

Was "Feminist Chewbacca" making etymological claims? I can't see
anything at that link to suggest so.
Jerry Friedman
2018-02-19 01:01:04 UTC
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On 2/18/18 2:03 PM, Dingbat wrote:
> Why English isn't as sexist as some feminists claim

One feminist, anyway.

> By rhysiare
>
> 1. She doesn't come from a patriarchal conspiracy to add s+he.
> She evolved from ProtoGermanic seo meaning that/ there. He evolved from a word meaning this/ here.

That strikes me as quite consistent with patriarchalism.

(And those sentences would have benefited from quotation marks around
"She" and "He".)

> 2. Woman doesn't come from wo+man.
> Man meant human, not male human. Werman meant male human and wifman meant female human. Wifman changed to woman.

That too. The linguist cited in your link says dropping the "wer" from
"werman" was phonological change, but I suspect thinking of males as the
default might have been involved.

> I add: If males were vermin, then English WAS sexist:->

Males have died from time to time and vermin have eaten them.

> 3: Female doesn't come from fe+male
> Male comes from Old French masle meaning masculine. Female comes from Old French famella meaning young woman.

Old French femelle, Latin femella--but "male" undoubtedly had something
to do with the spelling change.

> 4. Human doesn't come from hu+man
> Human comes from ghomon meaning earthly being as distinct from a heavenly being like a god.

True.

> 5. Person doesn't come from per+son
> Person comes from Latin persona which comes from Etruscan phersu meaning mask. Masks gave identity to theater performers; a single actor could wear multiple masks to play multiple roles (personae in Latin).

Also true. I trust very few people believe that "person" is a compound
of "son".

The linguist might have mentioned that in the Romance languages, the
cognates of "person" are feminine, and it's common to refer to men with
that feminine noun.

> https://www.indy100.com/article/feminism-english-language-sexism-linguist-tumblr-response-patriarchy-artwork-8215156

> I add: Is fake etymology as bad as fake news?

And is it as posh?

--
Jerry Friedman
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-02-19 07:55:37 UTC
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On 2018-02-19 01:01:04 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:

> On 2/18/18 2:03 PM, Dingbat wrote:
>> [ ... ]

>> 5. Person doesn't come from per+son
>> Person comes from Latin persona which comes from Etruscan phersu
>> meaning mask. Masks gave identity to theater performers; a single actor
>> could wear multiple masks to play multiple roles (personae in Latin).
>
> Also true. I trust very few people believe that "person" is a compound
> of "son".

Probably true, but I still wonder how soon it will be before we are
told to say "perchild" if we want to avoid accusations of sexism -- or
genderism I suppose we should call it.


--
athel
Peter T. Daniels
2018-02-19 12:55:51 UTC
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On Monday, February 19, 2018 at 2:55:41 AM UTC-5, Athel Cornish-Bowden wrote:
> On 2018-02-19 01:01:04 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:

> > Also true. I trust very few people believe that "person" is a compound
> > of "son".
>
> Probably true, but I still wonder how soon it will be before we are
> told to say "perchild" if we want to avoid accusations of sexism -- or
> genderism I suppose we should call it.

In the 70s, "wombperdaughter" was invented.
Jerry Friedman
2018-02-19 15:24:07 UTC
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On 2/19/18 12:55 AM, Athel Cornish-Bowden wrote:
> On 2018-02-19 01:01:04 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>
>> On 2/18/18 2:03 PM, Dingbat wrote:
>>> [ ... ]
>
>>> 5. Person doesn't come from per+son
>>> Person comes from Latin persona which comes from Etruscan phersu
>>> meaning mask. Masks gave identity to theater performers; a single
>>> actor could wear multiple masks to play multiple roles (personae in
>>> Latin).
>>
>> Also true.  I trust very few people believe that "person" is a
>> compound of "son".
>
> Probably true, but I still wonder how soon it will be before we are told
> to say "perchild" if we want to avoid accusations of sexism -- or
> genderism I suppose we should call it.

"Perchild" was a joke in my middle school in the '70s, so we've been
holding out pretty well.

--
Jerry Friedman
Steve Hayes
2018-02-22 03:27:14 UTC
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On Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:55:37 +0100, Athel Cornish-Bowden wrote:

> On 2018-02-19 01:01:04 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>
>> On 2/18/18 2:03 PM, Dingbat wrote:
>>> [ ... ]
>
>>> 5. Person doesn't come from per+son Person comes from Latin persona
>>> which comes from Etruscan phersu meaning mask. Masks gave identity to
>>> theater performers; a single actor could wear multiple masks to play
>>> multiple roles (personae in Latin).
>>
>> Also true. I trust very few people believe that "person" is a compound
>> of "son".
>
> Probably true, but I still wonder how soon it will be before we are told
> to say "perchild" if we want to avoid accusations of sexism -- or
> genderism I suppose we should call it.

I've suggested "peroffspring".





--
Steve Hayes http://khanya.wordpress.com
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