Seven years ago, in the public agency, financed by the state, where I was working at that time we were asked to apply gender neutral language for all our written communication both for internal messages and for external too.
It was in a French speaking country.
I found that completely boring, complicated, in every day life and especially in writing scientific articles.
How about you? Have you been asked to write in gender neutral language in college or at work?
Do you find it easy, useful or not?
I suggest we adopt the following changes immediately
manager = personager
man-hole = person-hole
mansion = personsion
workmanship = workpersonship man-made = personmade
Roman = Roperson
Other new words would include: personual, personure and personiac
male= gender neutral female =fegender neutral
boyfriend and girlfriend are both re-written as youthfriend
And the following alteration should be carried out
health - s/health heart - s/heart heterosexual - s/heterosexual.
I think that with a little consistency in this approach to political correctness we could turn our lives into a living s/hell !
Thanks, KP. My sentiments exactly.
I wish you hadn't started me, Aliph, because I could go on and on about this. For example, there used to be the female form of hairdresser: "Friseuse". However, this was considered disrespectful. For - get this - the sole reason that the only other German word ending in "-euse" was "Masseuse" (female masseur) which may be used as a euphemism for prostitute. And even though to my knowledge, nobody had ever associated female German hairdressers with prostitutes, nowadays, the word for a female hairdresser is "Friseurin" - a French-German bastard of a word, misbegotten by adding the German female ending "-in" to the French-derived word for male hairdresser "Friseur". And yes, you will get corrected, emphatically so, if you happen to use the old form.
Luckily I didn't experienced something like that myself but it exists to some extent.
I think this whole gender-stuff is completely useless and getting out of hand, nobody has an advantage from that whatsoever.
A first world problem par excellence.
In Arabic, the masculine is often closer to the base form, and the feminine is created by adding a suffix.
كتب /kataba/ ("he wrote")
كتبت /katabat/ ("she wrote")
مكتب /maktab/ ("office"; masc)
مكتبة /maktaba/ ("library"; fem)
If Arabic speakers decided that they wanted to make the language gender neutral, I think the most efficient way would be to eliminate the feminine gender and just use the construct of the masculine gender. Although that would lead to a loss of many nouns. Making the word masculine sometimes completely changes its meaning, just as in the case of مكتب and مكتبة.
Additionally, gender in Arabic is often purely grammatical. It has nothing to do with the qualities of the object. No one thinks of libraries as having feminine qualities and offices as having masculine qualities. As a matter of fact, some things have different names with one name being masculine and the other feminine.
مكتوب /maktoob/ ("letter"; masc)
رسالة /risaala/ ("letter"; fem)