4.1118 Words (7/188)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sat, 2 Mar 91 22:30:47 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1118. Saturday, 2 Mar 1991.

(1) Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 14:46 EST (17 lines)
From: CALLEGRE@umtlvr.bitnet
Subject: [for 'overly fond of one's children']

(2) Date: Fri, Mar 1, 1991 8:37:02 AM (23 lines)
From: Adam Engst <ace%tidbits.UUCP@theory.TN.CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: Words about children

(3) Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 09:22:28 EST (24 lines)
From: paul wagner g <unix5!@unix5.UUCP:pwagner5>
Subject: man/were

(4) Date: Fri, 01 Mar 91 10:39:22 EST (11 lines)
From: Henry Rogers <ROGERS@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Freshmen

(5) Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1991 09:52 MST (74 lines)
From: Sigrid Peterson <SIGPETER@CC.UTAH.EDU>
Subject: Re: 4.1110 Words

(6) Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 12:25:36 -0500 (29 lines)
From: gxs11@po.CWRU.Edu (Gary Stonum)
Subject: why grammatical gender

(7) Date: Fri, 01 Mar 91 09:35:33 GMT (10 lines)
From: viden@logos.class.gu.se (Gunhild Viden)
Subject: Re: 4.1110 Words

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 14:46 EST
From: CALLEGRE@umtlvr.bitnet
Subject: Re: 4.1110 Words (5/144)

In reply to Eric Rabkin's inquiry, may I suggest : pueritious, to mean
"overly fond of (one's) children". Indeed the Greek roots don't give
any satisfactory results in this regard. So why not Latin? My mother
tongue is not English so maybe I do not have authority. Seems to me
that *pueritious* sounds quite technical, not very loving, whereas
"uxorious" sounds very noble and beautiful. But the latin word
*pueritia* seems to be the only root to be used...
In any case this is very entertaining...

Christian Allegre
Dept D'etudes franCaises
Universite de Montreal

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------34----
Date: Fri, Mar 1, 1991 8:37:02 AM
From: Adam Engst <ace%tidbits.UUCP@theory.TN.CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: Words about children

Words about children

In looking for a word that means "overly fond of one's children," I'd
suggest looking in the Iliad 924.605-617), Ovid's Metamorphoses
(6.146-312), Hyginus's Fabulae (9, 11) and Pausanias ( 1.21.3) for the
original language surrounding the myth of Niobe, who was punished by
Apollo and Artemis for boasting that she had more and better children
than Leto. I don't have the original texts of any of the references my
mythology book gives, but I'm sure someone out there has access to them
and could look for the word used to describe Niobe's excessive fondness
for her children.


Adam C. Engst Editor of TidBITS, the weekly electronic Macintosh journal

ace@tidbits.tcnet.ithaca.ny.us The best way to predict the future
pv9y@crnlvax5, pv9y@vax5.cit.cornell.edu is to invent it. -Alan Kay

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------36----
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 09:22:28 EST
From: paul wagner g <unix5!@unix5.UUCP:pwagner5>
Subject: man/were

A further note on the subject of `man' and inclusive language. Does
anyone know anything about the old Anglo Saxon word `were' or `wer'? It
apparently meant `man', but I don't know in what sense. A lasting e.g.
is `werewolf.' Perhaps if this word had a more inclusive connotation,
it could have served useful in the problem of confusing sexuality and
gender. But it is this confusion which has given rise to so much
debate. Karl Stern asserted that sexuality, along with every empirical
fact, contains it `beyond.' In C.S. Lewis' _That Hideous Strength_ the
figure Ransom made the statement, `Gender is a reality and a more
fundamental reality than sex. Sex is, in fact, merely the adaptation to
organic life of a fundamental polarity which divides all created
beings.' In other words, masculinity and femininity have utterly
transcendent dimensions. Concerning language, are we confusing `male'
references with `masculine' references? Concerning inclusive language,
is such a thing really possible with a narrow definition of gender? And
is the old language really exclusive?

Paul Wagner
Trinity College, Toronto, Canada

(4) --------------------------------------------------------------17----
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 91 10:39:22 EST
From: Henry Rogers <ROGERS@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Freshmen

Tracy Logan asks for a replacement for 'freshmen', suitable for a formal
writte n context. 'First-year students' seems an obvious suggestion.
This is the norma l Canadian term where the American terms 'sophomore',
etc. are not used. Actual ly, 'freshmen' or 'frosh' is used, but
usually in a non-academic context, such as in a student newspaper about
life in a residence.

(5) --------------------------------------------------------------76----
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1991 09:52 MST
From: Sigrid Peterson <SIGPETER@CC.UTAH.EDU>
Subject: Re: 4.1110 Words (5/144)

Two suggestions, and a rant::

(1) To the search for an existing suffix that is acceptably neutral, I
would like to contribute a modest proposal. I would suggest that the
search for an acceptable suffix to loan words such as _ombudsman_, and
existing words built by adding the suffix -man, or -male be dropped in
favor of using an additional morpheme either as prefix or suffix. I
would suggest the existing morpheme "co", currently used as a prefix
meaning "joint," as in co-chair( genders). Thus, one might say either
cofemale or femaleco, cowoman or womanco, or coman and manco, where
language has previously been specific. Since co-ombudsman has other
connotations, only the suffix would be used from the start, that is,
ombudsmanco, indicating negation of the single gender implication of the
suffix -man.

Of course it sounds strange. Neologisms do.

(2) Another possibility would be to adopt as a substitute suffix the
morpheme "gen," now (gen)erally used as a prefix. _Ombudsman_,
policeman, fireman might become _Ombudsgan_, policegan, firegan,
changing to _ombudsgen_, policegen, firegen, in the plural. I have in
mind as I write that the "g" sound would be a hard "g," but others, and
usage, may change that.

At *least* fifteen years ago, as a graduate student in psychology, I saw
the American Psychological Association adopt publication guidelines which
said that no psychological research would be published until it was in
gender- neutral form. That was a powerful incentive to accomplish
language change. At the same time I remember saying, in the context of
ordaining women as Episcopal priests, which was first voted down and
later adopted, that the change would come rapidly, while I thought it
would take a very long time to see any language change.

We are now seeing that in some professional contexts, such as
psychology, language change is ancient history. In other professional
contexts, such as humanism, the adoption of neutral language, and/or
word changes, is yet to come.

I have already adopted the practice of writing [sic] when citing any
passage that would not be accepted by an American Psychological Associa-
tion Journal because the language is not gender-neutral. Thus, to use
something I can readily quote from memory, I would quote Lincoln's
Gettysburg Address as follows:

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers [sic] brought forth upon this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
proposition that all men [sic] are created equal.

That is for the coming generation who have learned on a mixture of
gender- neutral and masculine-bias texts, to indicate that the masculine
bias in old texts is how the language was then used, and that it is not
how the language is *now* used.

I am *amazed* that MLA and other professional organizations in the
Humanities, which have large memberships and several publications, have
not followed the lead of the American Psychological Association and other
scientific organizations. It *is* important enough to endure some bitter
political battles. Once gender-neutral language becomes more
commonplace, then particular word changes will be more possible.

Note: I am inferring that no professional organization in the
Humanities has done as the American Psychological Association has, in
adopting gender-neutral language, because apparently there is no
authoritative reference that would resolve the question of a
gender-neutral _ombudsman_. I would love to be proved wrong on this.
If I am not, wake up and smell the coffee!

Sigrid Peterson

(6) --------------------------------------------------------------47----
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 91 12:25:36 -0500
From: gxs11@po.CWRU.Edu (Gary Stonum)
Subject: why grammatical gender

Inspired by the discussion of ombudsfolk, here is one of those questions
I've always wondered about but never got round to asking someone who
would know: How is it that the grammatical category known as gender got
called gender? My guess is that Greek grammarians made it up, but it
may also date back further or elsewhere. Yet it is an odd label, don't
you think. While human beings are biologically distinguished by gender,
that hardly seems a proper motivation for characterizing categories of
nouns. For one thing, numerous languages have "neuter" genders, which
have no apparent "natural" or biological basis. For another, nouns to
which gender terms might appropriately attach (cows, bulls, etc.) form a
very small class of the gendered terms. Why single them out . . .
especially when there are in the few languages I know (I'm thinking
especially of Latin and German) anomalies where grammatical gender and
"natural" or cultural coded gender diverge?

There are some related questions. Is the identification of noun
classifications with gender universal in either folk or scholarly
understandings of language. If so, is there some historical reason for
this, comparable to the fact that grammatical gender (like the alphabet
or zero) got invented/identified once and spread from that one place and
time to everywhere else.

Gary Lee Stonum
Case Western Reserve Univ.

(7) --------------------------------------------------------------18----
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 91 09:35:33 GMT
From: viden@logos.class.gu.se (Gunhild Viden)
Subject: Re: 4.1110 Words (5/144)

Even if "nag" is derived from "nagga" they do not mean the same thing.
"Nagga" means to chip, nibble at etc. The Swedish equivalent of "nag"
is "gnata". So even if we gave you the word we are not responsible for
the thing, Daniel!