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  1. #1
    vrghost is offline Newbie
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    Default All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Was really hoping to get some help here.

    In some book, may have been linguistics, may have been a book with just random facts, I remember reading that the U.K. parliament passed a law to simplify the English Language a long time ago. One of the ways to simplify the language was by removing female and neutral definite article, making all nouns masculine. However, the parliament did realise a serious issue ,while boat, woman and anything else can be masculine, the queen can not be, so they made a specific exception that the queen is female. Making this the only female noun in the English language, it makes no difference to he english language or how it is spoken, but it is legally recognised that it is female.

    Please note, my memory is not the best at the best of time, and grammar has always been one of my achilles heals.
    What I am trying to do is find if there is any truth to this story, or if this is just a case of me not being careful when selecting my sources.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Welcome to the forum, vrghost. There is no truth in the story at all.

  3. #3
    vrghost is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Welcome to the forum, vrghost. There is no truth in the story at all.
    Thank you very much, even if it hurts me to realise that I was completely of.

    Did the parliament ever make a decision to reduce the number of definite articles, or have it always been that English only ever had one "the" and avoided the whole "der, die das" issue?

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    The British parliament does not legislate about language.

    Early English had more forms of the articles, but they disappeared long ago.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by vrghost View Post
    a serious issue ,while boat, woman and anything else can be masculine,
    This didn't seem odd to you? That the queen alone among women would be "legally" female?

    Assuming this had ever happened (though you now know it did not), it would have happened a long time ago when religion and politics were intertwined. I'm pretty sure they would have carved out an exception for Mary, the mother of Jesus, as well. And think of the chaos when women, now legally male, asserted they deserved the same rights as men. You would have had eldest daughters inheriting estates, women owning property. Dear God - women VOTING! It would have been horrible.)


    Ships are also usually referred to as "she" intead of "it," by the way. You may not have come across this yet, but it's very common.

    But don't worry. We all have our share of "facts" that we have memorized and find out somewhere along the way that they simply are not true.
    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.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Interestingly(?), Queen Elizabeth of England is known in the Channel Islands as 'the Duke (a male title) of Normandy'. Duke of Normandy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    The Queen is also the Duke of Lancaster, and at many formal gatherings in Lancashire and Lancastrian regiments the loyal toast is 'The Queen, Duke of Lancaster'.


    `
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 14-Dec-2013 at 23:09.

  8. #8
    PeterValk is offline Member
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    And to make things even more complicated...
    I think that the Queen of England (as is the case in The Netherlands, only now we have a king) refers to herself as: We, the Queen of England.
    Peter
    (I'm not a teacher or a native English speaker. I'm just trying to help...)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterValk View Post
    And to make things even more complicated...
    I think that the Queen of England (as is the case in The Netherlands, only now we have a king) refers to herself as: We, the Queen of England.
    Not these days.

  10. #10
    PeterValk is offline Member
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    Default Re: All nouns masculine but the queen?

    Almost forgot again: I am not a teacher nor a native English speaker, so please be gentle.

    Why not? Pray tell!
    (I am also not British and do not follow any news about the British monarchy)
    Peter
    (I'm not a teacher or a native English speaker. I'm just trying to help...)

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