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  1. #1
    Proffy's Avatar
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    Question confusion in usage

    Is the term bluestocking offensive(in any way) is used to refer to an intellectual woman?

    can I have an alternative to 'crocodile tears' expression. Just want to try something new....

    thank you

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: confusion in usage

    1 It might sound patronising and it has connotations of dowdiness. It's not neutral IMO.
    2 Are you looking for another expression and not something like fake tears?

  3. #3
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    Re: confusion in usage

    It also suggests that women should not be intellectual, that a women involved in intellectual pursuits is an oddity.

    However, it might be unlikely to offend because I bet 90% of Americans under 30 have never heard this term.

    Anyway, don't use it.
    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.

  4. #4
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    Re: confusion in usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Proffy View Post
    Is the term bluestocking offensive (in any way) if used to refer to an intellectual woman?

    Can I have an alternative to the 'crocodile tears' expression. I just want to try something new....

    Thank you
    I'm an elderly British male - so I'm probably not best qualified to comment!
    However, I wouldn't use the expression when referring to anyone living in the present day, mainly because it is out of date. It relates to a period when intellectual women were very much in the minority, and so I might say "My grandmother graduated from university in 1910. She was a real bluestocking in her time", but I would never think of calling my daughter (who got her degree in the 1990's) a bluestocking. Things have moved on, and gender is [thank God] no longer an issue when it comes to intellectual attainment - in the more enlightened parts of the world, at least.

    I'm afraid that nothing springs to mind as an alternative to "crocodile tears". Sorry!
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  5. #5
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    Re: confusion in usage

    I've never heard of "bluestocking".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
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    Re: confusion in usage

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I've never heard of "bluestocking".
    What it is to be young!

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