Goodness gracious. Humour!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: "man"--a Jeremiah ...?
> Up to a point that is correct. In Anglo-Saxon "man" meant an adult
> human; "wifman" meant a female one; "werman" meant a male one. But over
> centuries the male and the general merged. No one uses "werman" today,
> except in "werewolf." So, as in many cases, the male became the
> presumed general term. If you look in the OED, you will see that for
> the Anglo-Saxon term "man" the primary meaning is adult human but for
> the modern term "man" the primary meaning is adult male excluding
> females. The use of the male term for all humans was codified when
> grammar was being codified in the 17th and 18th century, so it was
> claimed to be "correct." All the grammarians were male and seemed
> Thus one word is to mean exactly opposite things: humans including
> female and humans excluding female. That is why it has been
> conveniently used to mean whichever was useful at the time. Hence it
> could be used legally without including women, and it was.
> No doubt if adult males were all called "werman," and "man" meant only
> females, and "all men are created equal" did not include "wermen," we
> would indeed have the reverse discrimation, but then they aren't and it
> doesn't and we don't.
> >>> Tabitha Arnesen <[log in to unmask]> 07/11/07 2:49 PM >>>
> I though man originally person? Although i did get
> that from this:
> I dont know how accurate it is! i usually take it as
> --- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > It is a cognate because English was originally a
> > Germanic language and
> > it is the same term in both. It did not appear in
> > English by accident
> > and it was not borrowed; it is just the Anglo-Saxon
> > term. In
> > Anglo-Saxon "man" did mean "adult human." Now its
> > primary meaning is
> > "adult male." Check the OED.
> > And it is not "das Mann"; it is "der Mann" or it is
> > "man" if you mean
> > the impersonal pronoun. Gender is often arbitrary
> > in German but
> > sometimes it is connected. In English the word
> > "man" has been
> > historically used however it was most convenient.
> > No one says "my
> > sister is a lovely man." And "all men are created
> > equal" did not mean
> > women could vote or own property.
> > It doesn't matter if you buy it or not; it is in the
> > language, not in
> > you. Gender does not refer just to words in
> > languages that have
> > gendered nouns. Grammatical gender is not the same
> > as the term in
> > culture, where it refers to socially defined roles,
> > and it is now
> > specifically distinguished from "sex." It has long
> > been recognized that
> > what are called "masculine" and "feminine"
> > characteristics do not
> > necessarily match genetic sex difference. That is a
> > very long-term
> > meaning and is no more up to you to choose or not
> > than it is up to you
> > to decide whether "cow" refers to a four-legged
> > domestic farm animal
> > from which we get milk and beef or a red cloud in
> > the sky. Words have
> > arbitrary meanings but they are not individual
> > choices.
> > All this is just easily accessible information in
> > dictionaries and
> > linguistics, not me.
> > Nancy
> > >>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> > 07/11/07 12:17 AM >>>
> > Just because the englsh MAN is a cognate of the
> > german MANN
> > does not mean that the German word carries any of
> > the same meanings
> > or connotations. In German Das Mann, as I take it,
> > means HUMAN.
> > The word with sexual dimension is MENSCH.
> > Using the word GENDER here is very confusing.
> > Strcitly
> > speaking, gender is an attribute of words -- words
> > can be male,
> > female, neuter. People are indeified by sex, male or
> > female.
> > I know that the politically correct police have
> > tried to coopt
> > gender for various power and control porpoises, but
> > I for
> > one am not buying it.
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Charles McElwain"
> > <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 5:17 PM
> > Subject: Re: a Jeremiah ...?
> > > I'm not sure why you refer to the German
> > impersonal "you" as
> > > "annoyingly gendered".
> > >
> > > At least in German, what is commonly - and
> > annoyingly - used in
> > > English as "man" becomes "*Das* Mann" - *neuter*
> > gender.
> > >
> > > My own prejudices were surprised when I expected
> > "Der Mann", and
> > > learned "Das Mann".
> > >
> > > :-)
> > >
> > > Charles
> > >
> > > At 12:36 PM -0400 7/10/07, Nancy Gish wrote:
> > > >But that is Diana's point: in German the
> > impersonal "you" would be
> > > >written as "Mann": annoyingly gendered but
> > accurate. I am not sure
> > it
> > > >matters that he chose the "you" but "one" is a
> > bit stuffy in a
> > > >conversation. In any case, according to Valerie
> > Eliot, "his
> > description
> > > >of the sledding, for example, was taken verbatim
> > from a conversation
> > he
> > > >had with this niece and confidant of the Austrian
> > Empress Elizabeth."
> > > >
> > > >Eliot was staying in Germany and spoke German,
> > but she may well have
> > > >spoken English. So it is not clear whether or
> > not Marie simply said
> > > >"you."
> > > >
> > > >Nancy
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
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> > Release Date:
> > 7/10/2007
> > 5:44 PM
> > >
> > >
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