Kids gather around, well talk about gender, about what makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl.
Well, actually this is more simple than that, or not.
Unlike most mammals (except kittens, they are impossible to tell what they are) where it’s easy to tell what anatomically determines their gender, words are like reptiles. Unless you are an expert, it’s a pain in the neck to know what gender they are, and that was the dilemma of a friend of mine who was learning English.
I’ve never seen someone as puzzled as he was. He needed to know what words were girls and what words were boys. I kept telling him to let it go and just let the words be whatever they wanted to be. We have no right to judge words for what they are, they just are.
Words don’t care, they just are and they have the right to do so.
“Tell me” I said, “what are the words troubling?”
I was not expecting his answer and it sure made me ponder. I’m open minded but it made me think that probably I’m also discriminating against words because I choose to remain ignorant.
Leo, if the suffix -ess determines the gender of some words, why doesn’t it apply to all words?
Why if Lioness, Tigress, Waitress, Countess, Goddess are the feminine form of Tiger, Waiter, Count and God respectively, are Doggess and Passengeress not correct?
I was speechless, his reasoning was perfect.
I looked at him and said; “Don’t ask silly questions, what am I? A dictionary? No! So stopping questioning me!! I just told you, let the words be, do not put pressure on them, they are happy as they are.”
“You are such an ass” he said.
What’s the feminine form of ass? I asked
Booty, he replied.
I ask you now dear readers, why doesn’t that apply to all words? Why? Why?
Why if a Doctor feels the need to be a Doctress do we have to stop him?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.