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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 March 2017 at 3:44pm | IP Logged | 1  

Over on the IMDb i just found a viewer's review of an old TV series in which the typist referred to a "character actress" and then added a parenthetical mini-rant declaring it was not "actor" and excoriating the idiots who insisted on such "politically correct" usage.

Except, it's not PC. It's merely proper English.

See, unlike many languages, English most eschews genderized words. Not entirely, but when a word ends in "or" it's free from gender. So we don't need to say "actress" any more than we need to say "professress" or "neighbress."

Honest!

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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 09 March 2017 at 4:04pm | IP Logged | 2  

Waiter and waitress....
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 09 March 2017 at 4:19pm | IP Logged | 3  

I think the only time I use "actress" is when the gender is explicitly pertinent, as in "Best Actress" Oscar. Otherwise the gender neutral version is just fine?

"Neighbress."  Gah. Sounds like that should be the sound a mare makes.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 09 March 2017 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 4  

I've had this debate before. I refuse to say comedienne.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 March 2017 at 5:14pm | IP Logged | 5  

Waiter and waitress....

-----

I spent some time trying to think about when I last heard these words
used in a restaurant. I honestly can't remember. It's always "server".
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 09 March 2017 at 5:26pm | IP Logged | 6  

Waiter. Actor.

One ends in er and the other or. The point is a title ending in or.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 10 March 2017 at 12:26am | IP Logged | 7  

<JB> See, unlike many languages, English most eschews genderized words. Not entirely, but when a word ends in "or" it's free from gender. So we don't need to say "actress" any more than we need to say "professress" or "neighbress."

Maybe it's more fitting to say that English has outgrown the need for genderized descriptors.

That said I still hear the term "executrix" used, even though there already exists a form with the "or" suffix.  It wouldn't be English if it didn't have an exception for every rule.

I doubt the English language will ever be completely free of this sort of thing.  A number of the 'profession names' also carry remnants of their genderized past.  The surname "Baxter" originally referred to the female form of "Baker", for example.
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 10 March 2017 at 6:23pm | IP Logged | 8  

My doctress strongly disagrees, and my lawyeress will be contacting you soon.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 March 2017 at 9:15am | IP Logged | 9  

Can we consider this going back to Mr. (Mister) and Mrs. (Mistress)?

Personally, I refer to our wait-person and be done with it.

I have no objection to just referring to actor, doctor, lawyer. Of course, if you're not differentiating by gender, you don't get to differentiate by gender. Olympics, sports, awards... you can't split off men and women. The Oscars will now just go to the best supporting actor and best actor, period.

This doesn't seem like something that can be black and white, and cleanly divided.
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Eric Kleefeld
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Posted: 12 March 2017 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 10  

The idea that language structure contributes significantly to gender inequality is a tricky one.

For example, Japanese is even less gendered than English, such as the suffix "-san" serving equally for men and women in place of both "Mister" and "Mrs." in English. Over here, we don't even have anything that serves such a purpose.

But nobody would ever get up and say that Japan, being freed from sexist constraints in language, is a society of perfect gender equality!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 12 March 2017 at 3:26pm | IP Logged | 11  

I hope I am not going too far off topic, but a post in this thread reminds me...

A former coworker once stepped into my office and gleefully accused me of
making a spelling error when I used "Messrs. _____ and _____" to refer to two
gentlemen in an email. When I told her that it wasn't a spelling error, my
coworker reiterated that it was, and offered a money bet that she was right. I
declined the wager, but showed her the abbreviation in the dictionary.

She sniffed, and left my office without a word.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 March 2017 at 4:40am | IP Logged | 12  

Wallace - what, you were using the WHOLE vocabulary? You scoundrel! Who does that? :)
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Ed Love
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Posted: 13 March 2017 at 8:22am | IP Logged | 13  

About a year ago I was chastised for using the word "android" when referring to an artificial being which happened to have a female form.I guess fem-bot would have been more desirable?


Edited by Ed Love on 13 March 2017 at 8:23am
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 13 March 2017 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 14  

Gynoid springs to mind for such a being.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 13 March 2017 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 15  

And if it's any kind of 'bot', android or gynoid are both technically the wrong term.

Androids and gynoids are artificial humans, made not born. Star Wars seems to have mutilated the term into meaning human-form robots... but that's just a robot. An andoid should have a brain, lungs, a heart, eyes, the whole works. Maybe not a navel :)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 March 2017 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 16  

This battle is lost. Dictionaries define androids as robots with human forms.

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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 2:09am | IP Logged | 17  

Androids and gynoids are artificial humans, made not born.


_____________________________


Quick question. Is a genetically engineered human that was created and grown in a lab considered to be an android?

Edited by Rick Whiting on 15 March 2017 at 2:10am
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 15 March 2017 at 4:46am | IP Logged | 18  

Rick W: " Is a genetically engineered human that was created and grown in a lab considered to be an android?"

I'm not a lexicologist, but I would call such a being a clone. Or possibly deserving of a word not yet created for a event far, far from existing.

Andriod etc. imply to me created entities that are mechanical (or mostly so) that are specifically designed to mimic human form.

Cyborg implies to me beings that were originally humans and have significant mechanical replacements. No, I don't have a percentage , but such occurrences are pretty rare these days... maybe artificial limbs at our current degree of technology might be a qualifier, but those users would qualify themselves as human, I believe.

Synthezoid is the Vision. It's a unique word, and a subset of android.
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