[LMB] OT: Language changes

Margaret Dean margdean56 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 16 18:47:14 BST 2021


On Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 1:10 AM Matija Grabnar via Lois-Bujold <
lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

>
> >> On Sep 15, 2021, at 7:26 PM, B Van Look <vanlook19 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> One of the changes I find fascinating was the mutation of "nice"
> >> "Nice" went from "ignorant/daft" to "decadent/luxurious (especially in
> >> clothing or food)" to "delicate/particular"
>
> >> Yes.   “Girl” didn’t use to be gendered.
>
> Hah! I remember a friend of mine wrote (for his master's thesis) a
> program in Prolog that could determine, for any word in Slovenian, which
> gender it was. 30 minutes before he was supposed to defend his thesis,
> someone told him to test it with "Dekle" (girl in Slovenian). It came
> out neutral. Cue the guy going into a full scale panic, trying to find
> the bug in his code before realizing that yes, it is neutral (In
> official Slovenian. There is at least one dialect where it is female,
> but you wouldn't use that in anything resembling official communication
> or professional environment). Compared to that, his thesis defense
> passed uneventfully.
>
> In German it is also "Das Mädchen" as in neutral sex, not "Die Mädchen"
> which would indicate female.
>

Just goes to show how little *grammatical* gender actually has to do with
*biological* gender/sex.


--Margaret Dean
  <margdean56 at gmail.com>


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