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Thread: Gender of nouns

  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Gender of nouns

    Other forms indicating sex/gender

    Or he-she- (stressed) is used as a prefix in e.g. he-goat/she-goat, or wolf/she-wolf. (Longman English Grammar, L.G. Alexander. First published 1988)

    I was wondering if the 'he-she' is commonly used in modern English?

    If we want to emphaize the gender of judges, which of the followings are more common in modern English?

    'woman judge' and 'female judge'

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 23-Oct-2013 at 15:33.

  2. #2
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Gender of nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Other forms indicating sex/gender

    Or he-she- (stressed) is used as a prefix in e.g. he-goat/she-goat, or wolf/she-wolf. (Longman English Grammar, L.G. Alexander. First published 1988)

    I was wondering if the 'he-she' is commonly used in modern English?

    If we want to emphaize the gender of judges, which of the followings are more common in modern English?

    'woman judge' and 'female judge'

    Thanks.
    Yes, the he- and she- prefixes are used sometimes for some species of animals. Goats are probably referred to more often as billy goat (male) and nanny goat (female). Wolves can be called dog and bitch (just as with domestic dogs) but that could be confusing. When the difference is important, then he-wolf and she-wolf will work, but she-wolf is far more common than he-wolf. Male wolves are often just "wolves".

    When it comes to humans, if it is relevant, the adjectives "male" and "female" would be the best.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender of nouns

    Many people, in these days of equality, will tell you that no differentiation should be made between the sexes when we talk about human beings. There is no reason to specify a female judge, a male nurse, a female construction worker - if the relevant point is their job then their sex is irrelevant.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    Default Re: Gender of nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Many people, in these days of equality, will tell you that no differentiation should be made between the sexes when we talk about human beings. There is no reason to specify a female judge, a male nurse, a female construction worker - if the relevant point is their job then their sex is irrelevant.
    I wonder if wolves and goats feel the same.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gender of nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I wonder if wolves and goats feel the same.
    Try asking them!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender of nouns

    But if you ask the alpha female, ask her VERY politely!

    Winwin, it's an important point that many will be offended if you say "lady judge" "woman judge" or "female judge" unless their sex was actually relevant.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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