Re: Lady Parts

1

It's great that the transwomen can take up the task of writing tirades against all the "ladybits" and "ladyparts" nonsense, coming at it from a more justified perspective than my own which would be "It's juvenile and idiotic [rolls eyes]".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:32 AM
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online activist

PROBLEMATIC!!!!!!

/online activist

I know, I shouldn't mock people who are basically on the side of the angels, but the discourse of online progressivism does get pretty darn tedious after a while.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:47 AM
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No need to go so problematically Angelface on us 2.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:49 AM
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I don't know about "ladybits", but I feel very essentialist about my balls.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:51 AM
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"Juvenile" is deprecated as a term of abuse because what about the boys?? and I'm sure that (for real this time) so is "idiotic" because it originated in a medical classification or something like that.

Periodically I get frustrated, thinking, "if we have to give up all the terms of abuse that have pudendae origines, or have origins pertaining to medical categorization or whatever, how will we abuse others at all??" but I guess that might not be so bad anyway. Plus, creativity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:51 AM
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how will we abuse others at all

The answer in online activist practice seems to be "in a very passive-aggressive fashion".


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:53 AM
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So it's another "while I kind of support this initiative, I think it is more important for everyone to recognise that I am morally far superior to everyone else involved, including the people who came up with the idea and are doing all the work".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:53 AM
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I never even knew it was supposed to be a "faux-conservative euphemism". Is this something conservatives actually say? It works about as well as the persuasive and thoughtful anti-religion arguments about the "magic sky fairy".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:55 AM
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How does "Juvenile" reflect or imply gender?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:55 AM
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First, "Lady Parts" isn't exactly a playful euphemism: it's a faux-conservative euphemism which is supposed to be super gender-essentializing and biologically hand-wavy. Which is central to their point, that conservative men are making decisions that about biology that they find grody, based on old-timey gender roles

Indeed. Wasn't there a situation relatively recently where a state legislator got ordered out of the chamber or reprimanded for saying "vagina" when talking about reproductive rights/health?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:55 AM
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I think "Lady Parts" is actually a term from 1950s girls manuals about how to transition to Ladyhood, or one that mothers used to discuss Lady Bleeding, and that sort of thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:58 AM
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7 is beyond inappropriate for a mouseover given its use of the hierarchonormative and anti-catholic term "superior".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:58 AM
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I thought the linked piece got it exactly wrong, in that it's perfectly appropriate to be gender-essentialist about human parts - some of which really are appropriately designated with a gender. The problem is being gender-essentialist about humans. The proper lesson is that humans aren't properly thought of as the sum of their sexual parts.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:00 AM
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Slate has really taken a long position on LGBT and, especially, trans issues lately. Vying for a younger, less Michael-Kinsley-esque readership, I assume.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:07 AM
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9: good point. "Juvenile" will have to be deprecated for a different reason.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:10 AM
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Nosflow confused the derivations of "juvenile" and "puerile"! Point and laugh at Nosflow!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:11 AM
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Is use the word "lady" really no longer fraught?

Isn't use of LP a tongue-in-cheek double reverse on that?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:13 AM
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It's a silly name for a campaign, being derived from an Internet in-joke. Might as well call it LOLChauvinism or something.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:14 AM
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17: The word "lady" is the young and hip way to say "woman". "Woman" is too old and "girl" is too young. There needed to be a female equivalent of "guy".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:16 AM
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Dude?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:16 AM
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Shiksa?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:17 AM
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The word "lady" is the young and hip way to say "woman". "Woman" is too old and "girl" is too young.

What's wrong with damsel?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:18 AM
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19: Broad


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:20 AM
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What are you trying to say about my ass?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:20 AM
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Is use the word "lady" really no longer fraught?

How do I know I'm old? Well, the last time I really checked on this sort of thing, "lady" was deprecated because it implied a social hierarchy (not all women are considered to be ladies) that was dependent on whiteness (and historically "lady" has been used to refer mostly to white women). Times change, I guess. I regret all my wasted outrage now.

Although honestly, that particular brand of internet humor ("We'll call it 'lady business' - we are cutely transgressive! and all about sex in a youthful and fun way!") grows a bit wearing. I'm looking forward to the return of some kind of cynical pessimism.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:21 AM
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That'll never happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:22 AM
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On topic: What Is a Woman?
The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:25 AM
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to the return of some kind of cynical pessimism

It went away?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:25 AM
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It always comes back to Heebie's ass.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:27 AM
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(A) the word "lady parts" is in an idiom that I find kind of annoying, so I have no problem with it going away. (Although there's a Tina Fey routine from SNL talking about waxing, where she says something like "Used to be most women had a ladygarden the size of a slice of New York pizza" which the term reminds me of, and which reliably makes me giggle.)

But (B), I have to say that I don't understand the political position (or rather, that I think I disagree with it, but recognize that it's not my issue, and I haven't thought about it deeply, and I could probably be talked out of it). Trans women generally (not universally, but generally) do a number of things to alter their physical presentation on transitioning; electrolysis or really careful shaving and makeup or something to reduce the appearance of beard hair; vocal training, formal or informal, to approximate an average cis woman's vocal pitch; either surgery or prosthetics for breasts; whatever makes sense for them in terms of hormones and genital surgery. And generally they do these things because the average physical differences between cis men and cis women interact with and form part of gender expression, so it makes sense for trans women to (insofar as they want to) express their gender partially by altering their physicality in a way that puts them inside ordinary ranges of variation for cis women.

I don't think this is objectionable gender-essentialism from trans women, and I don't think there would be anything wrong in talking about the goals of those intentional changes in physical as a feminine or woman's face, or voice, or breasts, even though there are cis and trans women with facial hair, bass voices, and flat chests. (Identifying a particular woman as not having a woman's face, voice, or breasts would be being an asshole, but I don't think generalizations not directed at excluding an individual have that same effect.) At which point I think it's inconsistent to object to 'lady parts' as a description of the genitals and reproductive system of a cis woman within an ordinary range of variation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:28 AM
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SPECIAL PHYSICAL ORGANIZATION


Posted by: OPINION: MULLER V OREGON | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:31 AM
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"lady" was deprecated because it implied a social hierarchy (not all women are considered to be ladies)

Nope! Just ask history's worst prose poem.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:32 AM
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I noticed recently that my parents still use the word "lady" a lot when I would say "woman".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:33 AM
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32. Why???


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:34 AM
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29 - Like swallows to Capistrano.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:37 AM
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Just remembered a song with the chorus, "She's a lady! ooh! ooh! ooh! she's a lady!"

What does that mean? Is the singer all excited because she's so classy?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:37 AM
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History's best prose poem isn't that much of an improvement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:37 AM
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I want to work the phrase "ladygarden" into my conversation today. And, yet, somehow the comparison to a slice of NY pizza makes me think of Donald Trump eating a slice with a fork. Suddenly, I am not hungry.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:39 AM
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I'm a lady between the sheets, and a freak in the kitchen.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:39 AM
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39: That means you don't follow recipes, and you ask politely before initiating sexual relations.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:47 AM
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I suppose "dudette" could have had a bid for joking-neologism-to-self-conscious-neologism-to-normal-word legitimacy at some point but that day has passed.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:47 AM
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It bemuses me that "lady" is almost always minatory or dismissive as a form of address. A cowboy on a dirt road in Wyoming, who was checking if I needed rescue, used it in a perfectly neutral civil way, so the word is fine; but in the city "Lady" bodes ill, even though "Ma'am" is neutral to obsequious.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:49 AM
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Key & Peele on the topic of lady parts.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:52 AM
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39: which one, though? Macbeth? Bracknell? ("Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent position. It is most indecorous.")


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:57 AM
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42: you'll be unsurprised to learn that "lady" is alive and well in the Central Parts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:58 AM
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44: Gaga?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:59 AM
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Is there any opposition to gender-neutral "dude" and "guy", especially but not only in the plural? Or does that take us too far down the "male is default" road?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:59 AM
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48

I can't think of when someone's called me 'lady'. I think it may be perfectly obvious that I'm not much of one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:00 AM
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49

I had a kindergartner who didn't know my name call me Mister Man.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:01 AM
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42- almost all of my female friends refer to themselves and each other as "lady" to the exclusion of all other (gender-based) terms. Including as a salutation ("hey lady", "okay ladies"). I have also been called "lady" by male friends but probably less often. Anyway, not dismissive in all contexts. 19 is right.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:01 AM
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I seem to mostly encounter it in the context of people referring to women while addressing children. "Don't bother the nice lady, dear."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:02 AM
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41: Damn you, Bill & Ted!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:02 AM
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47: My personal usage is dude as gender-neutral address in the singular, but I think guy is gendered for me. I don't have particularly strong feelings about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:03 AM
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Oh yes, and also "am I right, ladies?" as per 50.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:03 AM
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in the Central Parts

Commonly known as the hoo-ha. See also: penetralia.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:04 AM
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50: Generational breakpoints are fun. I'm not sure exactly where that one is, but people my age and older do not use lady like that, unless they picked it up directly from people in your age bracket.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:04 AM
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Generational breakpoints are fun.

Like when I need to address a strange woman and I can't figure out whether to say "miss" or "ma'am". Maybe I'll switch to "lady" regardless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:07 AM
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Or "Hey, you."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:08 AM
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Interesting, "dude" is slightly more gendered for me, but "guys" is gender-neutral for me. Especially "you guys." I guess "guy" in the singular is gendered, and that doesn't strike me as useful at all. I do try to avoid words-that-I-intend-as-gender-neutral-but-are-commonly-read-as-male around transwomen, though, so I guess I don't really believe myself yet.

56: Be sure to turn off your breakpoint when you're done, or we won't ever make progress. (Bad programming joke. Ignore me.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:08 AM
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I actually do bristle a little internally at "miss": I'm forty-two years old and I don't get the grownup form of address yet? But I realize that it's insane to expect people to guess what I'd prefer, so I keep it internal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:09 AM
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I think for me "dudes" and "guys" can be either male or gender-neutral, depending on context. So "dudes and ladies" wouldn't be weird, but you could refer to the same group of people as just "dudes" if you wanted.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:09 AM
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50: I don't think you could use "women" in the vocative. You couldn't say "everything OK, women?", whatever generation you were from. Ladies, yes. Girls, yes. Guys, dudes, etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:09 AM
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...laydeez.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:12 AM
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59: I'm probably being idiosyncratic here -- I don't really use 'dude' as a neutral form of address. It comes out mostly in conversations where I'm trying to convey "I question your judgment, but in the most non-threatening and affectionate way possible," which is something I want to say to men and women about equally. Think "Dude, really? Dude."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:12 AM
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Another weird one - there's no plural form of "sir". A waiter could say "is everything OK, ladies" but not "is everything OK, sirs?".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:13 AM
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66

Wait. What?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:13 AM
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"guys" is gender-neutral for me. Especially "you guys."

For me, "guys" or "you guys" functions like "ils" in French, in that I would would use it to refer to a group consisting of either all men or a mix of men and women, but never a group consisting entirely of women. So not quite gender-neutral, but not exactly gender-specific either.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:13 AM
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57: Lady


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:13 AM
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So where does everybody come down on "bros and lady-bros"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:14 AM
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60: Yeah, that's iffy. I've ma'amed people, no rancor intended, and received deathstares. I don't think I've ever missed anyone, though. Whereof one cannot speak, it is better to be silent.

I guess "mizz" could be used as a safe alternative, similar to what it did for titles...but we don't, for whatever reason.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:14 AM
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I'm fairly certain I've heard "sirs" used before, especially by waiters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:14 AM
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55. The list of words that rhyme with penetralia is delightful.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:16 AM
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I don't think I've ever missed anyone, though.

When dalriata shoots, he shoots to kill.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:16 AM
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70: This issue seems to be whether you get ma'amed based on absolute age or relative age.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:17 AM
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So where does everybody come down on "bros and lady-bros"?

Should really be "dude-bros and lady-bros."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:17 AM
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72: But missing the most obvious entry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:17 AM
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65: Also interestingly, that sentence breaks if you make 'lady' singular. "Is everything okay, lady" only works from a construction worker, not a waiter. From a waiter, in the singular you'd need either Miss or Ma'am.

I think the explanation is that "lady" is parallel to "gentleman", not to "sir"; unless you're addressing the wife of a baronet or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:17 AM
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LB's list of forms of address is almost Oriental in its complexity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_honorifics

qie: Referring to oneself (commoner); Employed as an apology when appearing without advanced notice

lǎoxiǔ: Referring to oneself (the aged) This old and rotting one

xiánzhì: You, my virtuous nephew

zhuōfū: That clumsy man. Employed by wives to refer to their husbands


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:17 AM
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64: I think that's pretty common. I often use it jovially, especially when I'm impressed by an interesting idea or formulation. (I may have just outed myself as a bro.)

65: We usually use "gentlemen" for that context.

75 is correct.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:18 AM
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"The Dude of Shalott" just doesn't have the same ring to it.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:19 AM
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81

71. Messieurs, 'dames.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:19 AM
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I'm uncomfortable with "lady parts" as two words, I think. Especially because Lady Parts Justice sounds like the worst superheroine Todd MacFarlane or someone like that could think up.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:20 AM
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I was really annoyed during a lengthy hospitalization by the nurse who kept referring to my "boy parts." "I have to inspect your scar, but you don't have to show me you boy parts." "When the catheter comes out you may have some pain in in your boy parts." I was over 40 at the time.

Not exactly relevant, but when else can I mention this?


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:20 AM
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"everything OK, women?"

Interesting how weird that sounds. It's like "Everything OK, female humans?"

So "dudes and ladies" wouldn't be weird...

Although at that point it might be easier to just go with "guys and dolls".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:20 AM
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77.2: ah, good point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:20 AM
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78: Oh, you have no idea. There are particular endearments that are used only when I am stifling negative feelings toward someone I generally feel warmly toward; children for whom I am currently responsible are "Rabbit", it's a wonder anyone understands me at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:21 AM
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"The Dude of Shalott" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

The bitch with the undersized onions?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:22 AM
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83: If you have a catheter, she could just refer to your catheter sheath.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:22 AM
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"The Dude of Shalott" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Down flew the beer that once he held
On to the floor, by shock impell'd;
"The ice has come upon me!" yelled
The Bro of Shalott.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:24 AM
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Is there any opposition to gender-neutral "dude" and "guy", especially but not only in the plural?

Yeah, I thought of "guys" as neutral but was gently corrected on this by a lady friend.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:25 AM
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I take "lady friend" to imply a romantic relationship.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:27 AM
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92

"Ladies" is also a common form of address among certain gay men, but that's another can of gender-indeterminate annelids.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:27 AM
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I think annelids tend to be what Kipling called giddy harumphrodites.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:28 AM
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I use "guys" gender-neutrally, but only in the plural (like addressing the ladies at the front desk when leaving work - "Have a good night, guys."). Singular "guy", however, is male. Hmm.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:29 AM
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91: I would as well, under the assumption that I'd stumbled into a time machine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:30 AM
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I seem to mostly encounter it in the context of people referring to women while addressing children. "Don't bother the nice lady, dear."

Going the other direction, I found myself addressing a kid as "son" the other day. This 7- or 8-year old boy was on a crowded escalator coming out of the subway at rush hour, and he kept standing on the left side. His dad was standing on the right side and made halfhearted attempts to get the boy out of the way of people walking, but the boy popped back over to the left side after each time he let someone pass. I said something like, "Son, if you stand on the right then people can get by you." I was a little shocked at myself. I think it may have come out of wanting to position myself as being an ally to the dad, who at least realized the kid was being a pain, even if he wasn't explaining to him why or how.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:31 AM
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91: I think I could see it used either way; both "a lady friend" and "my lady friend" sound fine to me.

I think part of my desire to find more gender neutral descriptors is that I don't like the phonology of "people," and it doesn't allow for all these slight colorings of formality and tone and familiarity that all these other words could allow, dudes.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:31 AM
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95: Now I always unplug the time machine when I'm through using it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:32 AM
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89 is delovely.

Oh life is a glorious cycle of song
A medley of dark penetralia
And love is a thing that can never go wrong
And I'm Mary Anne of Westphalia (Maryland.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:33 AM
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96: I usually use "young man" or "young lady" in those types of circumstances.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:33 AM
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101

91: so, transitively, "friend parts"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:34 AM
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100: We should bring back "young master" for annoying children.

Also, it probably goes without saying, but "Mrs." gets used absolutely never, with the grandmothered-in exceptions of grade-school teachers and mothers of childhood friends.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:35 AM
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100: "small-bro"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:35 AM
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103: IUPAC recommends "broino."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:36 AM
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100: "Kid" is the vocative form I use in that situation -- only for clearly 10 and under, though. Anyone arguably in the teen years, I'm not quite sure what I'd do, but probably not "kid".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:38 AM
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106

I don't like to think what "brony parts" might mean.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:38 AM
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107

Glitter, I'm fairly sure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:39 AM
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108

Last time I was visiting friends in Narnia their helper (=maid) insisted on referring to me as "Sir Ajay" which gave the whole thing a not so much Victorian as positively mediaeval feel. (Strangely she addresses my friends, i.e. her actual employers, just by their first names, no "Sir" or "Lady" or anything attached.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:39 AM
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105: "Here's looking at you, small bro."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:40 AM
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Ok, everyone has to use the word "penetralia" out loud in a sentence today. Bonus points if you can work in one of the rhymes.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:40 AM
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96: I have awfully wanted to use "kid" as an old-fashioned form of mildly annoyed address toward the young, but am nervous of mockery and beatings.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:40 AM
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I use "kid" only for teenagers or young adults that look like teenagers because I'm so very old.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:43 AM
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A young engineer from Vandalia
Admitted his car was a failure:
It looked worthy of pride
When seen from outside
But was let down by its penetralia.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:44 AM
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Oh, I refer to anyone younger than me in the workplace as a kid. Not in the vocative, and I try to remember not to, but I do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:44 AM
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Smallbeer for my smallbros!

Of course the issue with "The Dude of Shalott" and "The Bro of Shalott" is the single syllable; hence, "The Dudebro of Shalott" which even has the same meter as "lady".

91: I would as well, under the assumption that I'd stumbled into a time machine.

That strikes me as strange, because I don't think of "lady friend" as a particularly anachronistic thing to say with that meaning. It seems practically fresh, modern, current, newsy, idiomatic, chromium, bright, omnispectric.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:46 AM
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I often address people older than me with "kids" or "children".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:47 AM
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47 &ff: Citizens!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:48 AM
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"Lady friend" to me sounds like someone Archie Goodwin goes dancing with. Romantic relationship, not necessarily exclusive, and involving single adults rather than anyone very young.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:48 AM
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82: I suspect he could do worse. Possibly in collaboration with Rob Liefeld.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:49 AM
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We just got rid of having to know a woman's marital status before addressing her. Let's not require knowing everybody's immigration status.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:50 AM
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Curiously, I address my kids as "units" or "mammals."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:50 AM
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120 to 117.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:50 AM
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In The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death", a character opens an address to a mixed group of people with "Hey, cats and kitties, be hip to my lick." I am clearly not someone who could ever address people as "Cats and kitties", but I sometimes regret that about myself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:50 AM
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113 is lovely.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:50 AM
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I have definitely seen "cats and kittens" but never "cats and kitties".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:51 AM
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123 - You'd have to have the Chicken Man following you around to translate your trade unionist propaganda.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:52 AM
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|| Another DC Circuit case on the ACA today. It really matters who's on the panel. http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/0DAD4A1E3A868F6385257D24004FA91E/$file/13-5202-1504947.pdf |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:58 AM
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123 Mary Astor's character in The Palm Beach Story enters a room with "what's knittin', kittens?" which I'm not sure I can pull off, but I may try.

(Oh life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of bliss and euphoria,
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Astoria.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:06 AM
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http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/04/woman-2

The members of the board of the New York Abortion Access Fund, an all-volunteer group that helps to pay for abortions for those who can't afford them, are mostly young women; Alison Turkos, the group's co-chair, is twenty-six. In May, they voted unanimously to stop using the word "women" when talking about people who get pregnant, so as not to exclude trans men. "We recognize that people who identify as men can become pregnant and seek abortions," the group's new Statement of Values says.

-----


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:10 AM
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I trace the generational recuperation of "ladies" to hip hop, where it's been the counterpoint to "fellas" for as long as I remember.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:14 AM
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Since at least "Bust a Move".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:16 AM
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Centralia Pennsylvania
Has a fire in its penetralia.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:25 AM
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That strikes me as strange, because I don't think of "lady friend" as a particularly anachronistic thing to say

This is common is my circle of friends, especially "special lady friend," on the understanding that it is derived from The Big Lebowski.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:25 AM
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Oh, life is a militant circle of song,
A chorus of plunder and pillage,
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of the Village.

(I'm working on other neighborhoods).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:28 AM
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This is common is my circle of friends, especially "special lady friend," on the understanding that it is derived from The Big Lebowski.

But the quote is contrasting "special lady" against "lady friend", not conflating them into one.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:33 AM
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I think 129 is pwned by 27.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:40 AM
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135: True! I feel like all three are in circulation, but I might be confused because I am usually on the receiving end. And I haven't seen the movie nearly as many times.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:42 AM
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120: Comrades.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:42 AM
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129: I'm glad to see this site suggests doing away with "person with a uterus," which drove me bats. I guess that on balance it's helpful, but it can't change the fact that gender-neutral terms in English reinforce masculinity by default or at best make people think of a gender-balanced group, and so it perversely serves to obscure the women in the set. There isn't a good fix, though.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:45 AM
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Hello, hello, who's your lady friend?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:46 AM
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I gather that in the '50s a hipster/drag-racer/greaser/Beat thing was to introduce one's ... particular female-gender-identifying friend was "my witch." I tried this once.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:51 AM
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133.very tangentially, but since this is the doggerel thread:

Oh, look outside the window
There's a woman being named
They've called her special lady friend
And now they're being shamed

But I'm sure
It wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:52 AM
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141: So possessive. A progressive gentleman just says "a witch."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:53 AM
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I tried this once.

Flippanter IS Joe Piscopo in Johnny Dangerously.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 10:56 AM
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144: Classic for a reason.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:08 AM
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Yay, a doggerel thread when I'm home sick! Just for you, Mister Smearcase, with credit to Scomber mix for the concept:

Once Mister Smearcase walked into a crowded room
Walked past a sick man who coughed and sneezed
And his cough was dispersed in a contagious aerosol
You'll have the walking pneumonia with me

Chorus:
Headache and weakness, lingering tiredness,
Sore throat and ague and coughing sprees,
You'll hack, and you'll bark, and you'll spread mycoplasma:
You'll have the walking pneumonia with me

Down came a germ cell to infect his bronchiole
Chlamydophila it chanced to be
And it sang as it nestled down in his alveoli
You'll have the walking pneumonia with me

Down came the doctor bearing a stethoscope
Down came the nurses, one, two, and three,
Which is the microbe you've got in your bronchiole?
You'll have the walking pneumonia with me

Antibiotics, plenty of fluids,
But sulfonamide is no use for thee;
It's time, and it's bed rest, and little else will answer
When you have the walking pneumonia with me


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:09 AM
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142: Ha! There would definitely be shaming by others if the quote was gotten wrong. They aren't quite up to the level of cosplaying at a Lebowskifest, but it seems like a very near thing sometimes.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:10 AM
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gender-neutral terms in English reinforce masculinity by default

What can be done about this? Aggressively use gender-neutral terms for all-female groups?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:14 AM
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Speaking of terms for "woman" and Coen brothers movies, in Miller's Crossing the slang term that the gangsters use "twist". I don't know whether that is a genuine bit of 30's slang or if they just made it up for the movie.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:15 AM
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I think it's Cockney rhyming slang -- twist and twirl rhymes with girl.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:17 AM
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120: Citizens of Earth!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 11:52 AM
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149/150: They also use "frail".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:00 PM
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140: one of my biggest regrets about getting married are losing the ability to refer to my better half as the father of my illegitimate child. "Father of my formerly illegitimate child" just doesn't have the same ring.

More generally, tge problem with Citizen is some people are actually still subjects. As I delight in regularly reminding my beloved partner, aka FOMFIC.

I find being addressed as "Frau" surprisingly distressing.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:12 PM
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152: That one's authentic period slang—just ask Cab Calloway or Mister Smearcase.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:15 PM
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153: I was under the impression that "baby-daddy" was the preferred nomenclature.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:16 PM
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is not are, the not the - it's astonishing how bad my phone typing is.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:17 PM
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the not the

A delightfully subtle distinction!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:19 PM
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I'm guessing the rest of you don't have to hear/see people referred to as thots practically ever, but boy do I hate that more than "female" as the term of choice! (For "that ho over there" or plural thereof, and it was totally unnecessary and is all over the place for that lack of reason.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:20 PM
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At least until about 8-9 years ago the form to apply for UK citizenship for children born abroad to one UK citizen parent and one non-UK citizen parent referred to children born out of wedlock as bastards. I'm told the very nice young woman at the SF consulate was very apologetic about this.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:20 PM
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oh perfidious inconstant autocorrect!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:21 PM
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thě not thĕ


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:26 PM
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158: I've never heard that! Is it pronounced the same as "thought"?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:28 PM
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the not the

Everybody walk the dinosaur?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:28 PM
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Dut no dut


Posted by: El Guapo | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:38 PM
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Which is the microbe you've got in your bronchiole?

Hee. Cough.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:49 PM
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153.3 -- Think of it as vrouw, and picture whoever is saying it as wearing wooden shoes and carrying a tulip. Your distress should melt away.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:50 PM
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I saw the term "juggalette" as a term of self-identification on Twitter today. That seems like an unnecessary gendering.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 12:57 PM
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166: the precise mechanism eludes me but I'll give it a whirl!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:03 PM
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belatedly; I've been in groups addressed as `women' an it seemed perfectly natural, but I am in the earnest PNW. We were wearing comfortable shoes unironically.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:05 PM
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I've used "significant bimbo" but one needs to know one's audience. Otherwise, "y'all" works just fine for any combination ever thought of by the writers of Penthouse Letters.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:05 PM
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"Y'all" is limited geographically. "Yunz" works the same way, but I can't do it without irony.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:09 PM
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We were wearing comfortable shoes unironically.

Do people wear comfortable shoes ironically?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:12 PM
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"Y'all" can be expanded to "you all" when geography demands it.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:13 PM
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In that case, you may as well just say, "all of you".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:16 PM
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Is "yunz" distinct from "yinz"?

Yes, when comfortable shoes are described as nothing more than an avowal of Sapphic sensibilities, some people who may merely have feet (unmetered) wear them ironically.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:18 PM
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175.1: There's some debate. I hear it as more "yunz" than "yinz" but it's the same noise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:21 PM
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I address my students collectively as "folks," "people," "gang," and when I'm in an especially silly mood, "team."


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:21 PM
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173: It's not necessary. If one isn't in the South people think "ironic", especially since my accent is sort of New Yorkish.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:23 PM
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138: When I interned at a progressive economics think tank during college, one of my bosses (the less famous of the two co-founders) would refer to us as "masses."


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:23 PM
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"Mofos" is good, better if one is carrying.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:24 PM
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The new (old) hot term for referring to your subordinates is "minions".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:25 PM
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Rather, he would address us as "masses." He referred to us (and there were rarely more than two at any time) as "the interns."


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:25 PM
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If you have two assistants, refer to them as "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" interchangably.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:26 PM
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181: Because of Skylanders, one assumes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:27 PM
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Otherwise, "y'all" works just fine for any combination ever thought of by the writers of Penthouse Letters.

Hey, y'all.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:34 PM
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Think of it as mignon . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:45 PM
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Ahhh, d'accord!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 1:52 PM
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"associates"
"resources"


Posted by: OPINIONATED MBA | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 2:01 PM
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Myrmidons.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 2:10 PM
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OT: Somebody is busking with what looks like the bastard offspring of a banjo and a double bass. Except it has more strings than any version I've seen of either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 2:27 PM
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153: Who's still subjects?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 2:52 PM
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If you have a queen, you're a subject.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 2:54 PM
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Nope, citizen of the United Kingdom; that's been the case for decades. Check the law.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 2:58 PM
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The law?!??!! When has any healthy relationship let an accurate understanding of the LAW of all things get in the way of effective partner needling? Madness.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:09 PM
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If you have a queen, you're a subject.

Not a king, though.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:17 PM
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In the National Security state, everyone's a subject. Or a target.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:19 PM
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Sure, when/if there's ever a king he's still a subject, also object of international derision, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:21 PM
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|| Speaking of targets: http://www.demandprogress.tv/drones |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:39 PM
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190: Kora? Ok probably not.

OT OT: Do young people think it's fine to look at what is on one's computer screen? My young colleagues seem to think so. Since I am almost always fucking around, this is giving me agita.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:45 PM
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199.1: No. It looked very European.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:52 PM
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Theorbo?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 3:56 PM
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Closer. It had different sets of pegs like that, but the head was round. Is there like an archlute-anjo?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:04 PM
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My dad taught me to say "I am a Canadian Citizen, and a British Subject."


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:15 PM
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Yes, very popular with early 17c. steampunks.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:17 PM
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Canadian by birth,
Scottish by ancestry,
Vancouverite by choice,
And British by the grace of God!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:22 PM
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I can't find an image that looks close. It has a neck that looks as long as a theorbo neck, but the neck is thicker and doesn't narrow toward the end. And it was really round on the body, like a banjo, except that it didn't look like it had a steel rim.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:23 PM
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190: I know what you're talking about, and I thought I knew where a picture of it was, but I was mistaken.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:37 PM
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Bandurria?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandurria


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:39 PM
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Some kind of cittern?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cittern#mediaviewer/File:Hamburger_waldzither.jpg


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:41 PM
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And it wasn't just a bass banjo?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:43 PM
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No. No. No.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 4:49 PM
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Found it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:08 PM
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148: gender-neutral terms in English reinforce masculinity by default

What can be done about this? Aggressively use gender-neutral terms for all-female groups?

dalriata! Use "s/he" or "she or he" or "he or she", I suppose. I'm not so down with the neologisms coined in recent years.

I've been pleased that Fed Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen apparently wishes to be called "Chairwoman". From what I can tell, people resist this, somewhat jokingly mention that that's her stated preference, and then call her "the Chair".


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:14 PM
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Is 212 a joke?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:14 PM
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214: no, the early 17c. steampunks busked their way from Southern Europe to South Asia. It took a while, but they were ready for George when he showed up.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:19 PM
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My dad taught me to say "I am a Canadian Citizen, and a British Subject."

My dad never taught me to say that. I learned it at a Girl Guides meeting.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:20 PM
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214: I did not see George Harrison, but that is as close as I could find to what I saw. I still think what I saw looked more European and more round, but I was a way away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:24 PM
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Did it sound like a sitar? That's often the secret giveaway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:26 PM
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I was on a bus and I don't think the guy was playing while we were stopped. He was to a passer-by.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:32 PM
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I don't speak your Pittsburghese. "Yunz redd up needs theorbo played to a passerby." What?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:35 PM
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+ talking


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:39 PM
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My dad never taught me to say that. I learned it at a Girl Guides meeting

There wouldn't be a clear demarcation in my case; my dad was a King's Scout with Gilwell beads.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:41 PM
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"Lady parts"-along with other terms that tie gender to genitals like "man meat" or "boy bits"

Oh right. I hear those all the time.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:55 PM
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My dad taught me to say "I am a Canadian Citizen, and a British Subject."

When would you say this? (Just curious.)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:56 PM
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When captured by the enemy. It's the next line after name, rank, and serial number.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:57 PM
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my dad was a King's Scout with Gilwell beads

Impressive! (not irony, btw, I really mean it).

My dad was a member of the Circle of Squires (St. Pat's parish, our nation's capital) of the Knights of Columbus. Apparently, they were to fight the spirit of Communism through their devotion to Our Lady, or something like that.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:58 PM
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I mean, there are numerous situations where one might scream "I'm an American!!" but I'm guessing it's different for Canadians.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 6:59 PM
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The same ones where one might yell "Surrender, Dorothy!"? Or do I misunderstand you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:00 PM
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Canadians don't ever need to tell anyone abroad that they're Canadian. It's right there on the mandatory Canadian flag sewn onto the backpack.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:01 PM
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I've been meaning to say to you Jane, especially after that hockey picture, how much more rooted you are that kind of Canadianness than I am. We were both born in the Ottawa valley, but my parents were not at home there, and disdained the local accent, a version I think of Midlands. They were entirely people of the Maritimes, cut off from their home by careers and unable to digest the changes that occurred back home on our occasional visits. My mother seems old-fashioned and disengaged to her cousins who stayed on the South Shore, who live in a very different world from her memories.

I've never been as at home anywhere as I am in my house in Chicago, the longest I've lived anywhere by a factor of 4. Canada is a dream to me, a country I know doesn't exist as I knew it if it ever did.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:11 PM
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213: Parsimon! Ah, I didn't think of going about it that way: try to force a hyperawareness of gender until the "unadorned noun == masculine" reflex goes away. Seems like it could be problematic with reinforcing the gender binary, though. I prefer singular they over the neologisms, but if people want the neologisms that's what they should get (beyond that I don't think I would immediately register "ze" or "ey" or whatever as a pronoun if I only heard it)

And as for the last bit, good to remember. I personally wish "man" was made fully gender neutral, both as a "person who does something" suffix and a word for humanity in a poetic sense. We'd need some other word to describe adult males, which would have the added benefit that woman/women would no longer be derived from the masculine. But that's not going to happen, so back to working with everyone's idiosyncratic gendered word preferences.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:13 PM
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230: I've found your distant-in-time-and-space perspectives on Canada really interesting.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:20 PM
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189: My god, I should have been addressing my kids as Myrmidons all along!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:23 PM
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The Maoist film critics had this all worked out, but it was tiring trying to keep straight all the new spellings.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:23 PM
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226: Is that the same thing as the Colombian Squires. I was one of those.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:24 PM
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229: Only Americans wear Canadian flags abroad.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:27 PM
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We were both born in the Ottawa valley, but my parents were not at home there, and disdained the local accent, a version I think of Midlands.

Yeah, both of my parents had deep roots in the Valley. My mother's side of the family always had lace-curtain aspirations, but my father's family was less respectable, and pure shanty Irish in origin. My father had mostly rid himself of the accent, but in the last couple of years of his life, as he got sick and maybe didn't give a flying f*** anymore, that accent returned.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:30 PM
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228: I'm not sure. I actually don't know when to yell "Surrender, Dorothy!" Maybe I should put that into the rotation and see what happens.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:31 PM
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In Polish there are two forms of 'they' - oni (masculine) and one (feminine) the male one is used for men or mixed groups of humans while the feminine one is used for groups of women, children, animals, or inanimate objects (regardless of gender). The conjugation is different as well except in the present tense. Grammar can be pretty sexist.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 7:59 PM
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In Spanish, the inanimate objects have genders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:02 PM
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They've got genders in Polish as well, but in the second person plural they're all feminine (the nouns themselves mutate depending on gender, number, in/animate status, what verbs are being used, what prepositions are being used, and other stuff.)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:10 PM
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241: Christ, you guys won't be getting many votes for "world language".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:21 PM
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In French, you have to use a different pronoun to refer to an inanimate object after someone has had sex with it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:28 PM
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242 Eh, it's just cases - think Latin. The verbs of motion on the other hand are a complete mess with dozens of verbs representing various subtleties of 'to go'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:41 PM
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French of course has the ils/elles distinction, and according to the Wikipedia article on New Zealand English "she" is sometimes used as a dummy pronoun for stative sentences where other standards usually requires "it," most often as "she'll be [al?]right."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:43 PM
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I'm not sure. I actually don't know when to yell "Surrender, Dorothy!"

Prior to this thread I just thought of "Surrender, Dorothy" as the title of a (good) album." But, thankfully, wikipedia, is helpful. I assume that LB is refering to this:

The phrase was also later featured in Martin Scorsese's 1985 film After Hours. In the film, Marcy (Rosanna Arquette) relates that her former husband would scream the phrase during intercourse.

I'm now curious if that is the inspiration for the joke from Brief Interviews With Hideous Men which shows up at 0:38 in the trailer.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 8:55 PM
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246: Interesting. No, that wasn't one of the situations I had in mind.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-29-14 9:10 PM
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244: Yeah, I could never get very far with verbs of motion in Russian either. Our instructor said she knew of a party of Russian language teachers who'd made a special trip to Moscow to study verbs of motion, and come back more confused than when they left.

But Russian cases are almost as confusing. Or perhaps I just don't have any facility with languages and should stick to English and try to pick up some Pittsburghese on the side.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 6:29 AM
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It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.


Posted by: Opinonated Stan/Loretta | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 8:43 AM
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231: I personally wish "man" was made fully gender neutral, both as a "person who does something" suffix and a word for humanity in a poetic sense.

Coming back to this late, but I'm a little puzzled by this: isn't it the case that "man" has been alleged for centuries to be gender neutral already? The point eventually made has been that, well, while it's alleged to be *used* that way, it actually does assume that the generic person is male, and that's a problem.

I don't see any way that "man" can be decoupled from a default assumption of maleness, though as you say, if it were ever to become so, we'd need another word for biological males. It seems just easier to insist on "he or she" when the sex of the person under discussion is indeterminate.

I understand the desire to rehabilitate "man" as fully generic in order to preserve the poetic power of Hamlet's speech; though I'm not sure Hamlet (or Shakespeare) really did mean 'oh of course women too' are noble in reason, infinite in faculty, and so on and so forth.

Some people now substitute "human" for "man" as generic: it flows most easily with something like "humankind" as opposed to "mankind".

(For all I know, these things were discussed upthread, but verily the thread was long already when I saw it last night.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:39 AM
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I bring this up whenever we talk gender in language, but Middle English did have a marked male-human word, 'wer', and 'man' really was gender neutral human. Wer just dropped out of the language along the way somewhere, leaving 'man' as both human generally and male adult human.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:48 AM
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Wer just dropped out of the language along the way somewhere to find foul congress with the beasts of the forest and emerge: half marked male-human, half wolf!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:50 AM
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I've always wanted to see a movie about wifwolves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:52 AM
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250: Yeah, part of it is asthetics: sometimes, man scans better than human. I also don't like that the masculine word is the root of all the others. As an alternative, I suggest "he-man" for males. (I'm intentionally starting the bidding low here; I'm sure someone else can come up with something better.) And there are so many profession words that have "-man" as a suffix; you either need to make a gendered female alternative (which I dislike as generally the gender of the actor is not relevant), or do something entirely different.

251: So "weregild" and "werewolf" and what not are gendered? Huh!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:53 AM
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Pwned. Wifwolves sounds like a premise for a low budget historical horror/softcore film.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:55 AM
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Some people now substitute "human" for "man" as generic: it flows most easily with something like "humankind" as opposed to "mankind".

I was recently rereading some stuff by A.J.P. Taylor and it was kind of jarringly noticable how casually he uses "man" or "men" in places where today people would use "people" or "humankind".

I'm not sure at what point that sort of thing became obtrusively obvious to me. Certainly, when I was in grade school "Man's quest for knowledge", "The achievements of Mankind", & etc. were still the norm.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 9:57 AM
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256: kind of jarringly noticable

Yeah, what's changed is really that it's become jarring now as male-centric: is this just a product of second wave feminist activism, as recently as the 60s and 70s? If so, it's been relatively successful.

254: there are so many profession words that have "-man" as a suffix

This gets mixed up a bit in the generation of surnames as well, back when -- I don't know quite when, we'd need some medieval scholars or linguists to help, maybe -- but there were a lot of "-sons" generated. You had your Smithson and your Clarkson and your Thompson. Smith and Clark the elders were presumably smiths and clerks (I'm guessing); I don't know what Thom(p) did.

Patrilineage, in any case, is the relevant operative here, and that's one reason I'm not so keen on rehabilitating "man" as generic.

Isn't there an anthropologist or sociologist in the house?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 10:21 AM
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And actually, again on there are so many profession words that have "-man" as a suffix

I may be suffering from a failure of imagination now, but I can't think of many still in use:

mailman = mail carrier or postal carrier
fireman = fire fighter
policeman = police officer

There are such terms as "journeyman" or "tradesman" or "lawman", but those are somewhat retrograde, and evoke an earlier time. They may still be in parlance in some realms.

I'm coming up short, though, on -man terms for professions these days. The new terms divorce the sex of the practitioner from her or his profession, emphasizing the latter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 10:42 AM
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I'm always kind of offended when someone refers to me as a blogman.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 10:46 AM
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Heebie U still uses "freshman" instead of "first year" which seems anachronistic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 10:56 AM
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Heebie U still uses "freshman" instead of "first year" which seems anachronistic.

"Freshmeat" is gender neutral, but might be controversial for other reasons.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 10:58 AM
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We appear to use both "freshmen" and "first years". "Sophoman" has been dropped.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 11:00 AM
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These aren't all professions per se (and some of them do have a slightly gendered component, e.g. some may argue that a "sportsman" embodies some masculine qualities), but here's a selection from a Scrabble site, ignoring ones that I thought were too obviously retrograde:

Anchorman Assemblyman Businessman Cameraman Chairman Clergyman Congressman Craftsman Deliveryman Fisherman Outdoorsman Policeman Spokesman Sportsman

Meh, I'm too lazy to go through this and filter out the old ones and the ones that end with "-woman", but there really are a lot of words of that form.

259: Should be blogsman.

When bored, I sometimes pronounce such words with a less open schwa, to make them sound like last names e.g. "Supermun."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 11:00 AM
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263: Point taken. As I puttered about in the kitchen just now, I recalled that I myself noted the use of "Chairman" with respect to Janet Yellen.

Methinks most of the cited words can be easily reworked, or have been already. Some are more sticky. But I don't think it's a irresolvable problem, and I don't see why we should need to resurrect "man" as generic in order to preserve them.

OT: can we have food thread soon? Re: puttering about in the kitchen, man,* my household's garden is going bananas this season, and I'm stretching my creativity in coming up with recipes. Got some good ones so far.

* Yes, you heard me. I'll keep this usage.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-30-14 11:25 AM
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