March 08, 2004
The Twisted Spinster, Andrea Harris, writes:
Is it just me, or does the new habit of using the words “female” and “male” where the words “man” or “woman” used to be used grate on the ears of others than myself?
No, it is not just her (she?): it certainly grates on my nerves. Oddly, none of the 19 comments (so far) on her post mentions that calling women or girls "females" makes the speaker sound like a Ferengi, and that's not a good thing. Star Trek episodes with Ferengi involved do tend to be more amusing, but you still don't want to sound like one.
Tangential linguistic pedantry:
One of her commentators (16th comment) mentions the Danes who invaded England in the Middle Ages and "ravished convents and monasteries". I think he means that they ravaged them. No doubt they ravished the nuns while they were ravaging their convents, and they may well have ravished a monk or two along the way, but (to simplify only slightly) "ravage" means "plunder" while "ravish" means "rape". Of course, like "flaunt" and "flout", they are often confused in these degenerate days.
Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 08, 2004 11:24 PM
Remember: *First* loot, *then* pillage!
Proper usage is important, doc, but it's a tough road to ho. I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot poll.
One that grates on MY ears is overuse of the word "persons" to mean "people" -- but maybe I've just read too much 4th century theological controversy.
Ah, but some style pundits would complain about the use of "people" in place of "persons"!
Sure, the stylists would, but try saying to a class "Now, really, persons!" without cracking up.
It doesn't grate on my ears. In fact I rather like it. Not sure why. Possibly because I'm tired of hypersensitivity over use of the word "man" to represent humanity.
I must sadly say that I've fallen into the clutches of the "male/female" usage as opposed to "man/woman".
I have no idea why.
Adding another item to the to-do list....
"I'm tired of hypersensitivity"
Me too. Lets get back to the real issues, like why we allow Presidents to lie so liberally.
Well we tried preventing Presidential lying IX, by impeaching one for perjury in a civil rights case, but almost all the liberals joined ranks and defended his right to perjure himself and break the law. Better luck next time, but you may have to wait till Hillary is in the White House to get another perjurer there.
Note 1. Being mistaken about something, because the intel you had to rely on to decide about the issue was not as accurate as you would have liked, is not lying.
Note 2. I said "civil rights case" above since most of Clinton's defenders would have regarded a sexual harassment case as a civil rights case, had anybody but Slick Willy been the defendent.
They ravished the convents of the nuns' chastity and ravished the monasteries of their gold and silver ornaments. How about that?