kaigou: please hold. all muses are busy, but your inspiration is important to us. (3 all muses are busy)
[personal profile] kaigou
Like askerian, who bestowed this gem of wisdom upon me this evening:
English cheats because it comes in little chopped-up bits that you can reassemble just about any possible way (and some that really shouldn't be but why not.) English is flexible and comes with interchangeable pieces, like someone wearing belts around their thigh, sunglasses as a hairband, and colored socks on their hands as funny gloves because it's fashionable and even if it doesn't catch on it's fun right now and so long as people know what it's saying then it's all good. French is a dowager countess with petticoats and a corset, and god forgive you if you dress her up wrong, because she won't.

I swear, I'm gonna frame that paragraph.

And for the other bit of trivia this even, from [personal profile] hl, about what I thought was a typo... but wasn't. Instead, it's a very cool adaptation of the language:
[Invitad@ is] to get around to referring to the person as male or female. In Spanish male is neutral, except it doesn't work so well (mostly like in English -- except that in Spanish you've to refer to gender in a lot of places), so in some net places, specially if the writing isn't formal, the '@' is used to get around that. It's because the male ending of the phrase would require an 'o', and the female one an 'a', and the '@' looks like an 'o' with an 'a' inside. It's like writing invitado/a except slightly prettier and slightly shorter...

I love what humans do with language.

And another one, this time from German:
The AutorInnen / AutorIn is a shorthand for saying Autoren and Autorinnen [male author and female author]. The capital i in the middle means that it is supposed to stand for both forms. It *looks* like a generic femininum with the i (which usually you can recognize the femals version of the word by) capitalized, but is specifically meant to include males, too. It's just a stylistic form that not everyone is fond of (it's a bit leftist/feminist. also, possibly "out"). But I think for the purpose of keeping the lines as short as possible it would be preferrable to always saying "Male and Female Authors".

One of the most fascinating aspects of language, especially in gendered languages, is how people have figured out ways to adapt those gendered forms into a world where we're starting to incorporate -- explicitly incorporate, that is -- both men and women. Just like the old English argument over whether "him" and "he" really is inclusive for "her" and "she", or how saying "the world of man" is supposed to automatically include women, even if the message becomes that only men are worth mentioning and women are an afterthought... the ways we take language and poke here and pull there to make it start changing to reflect new priorities, sheesh, I could go on about man's human linguistic inventiveness all day.
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kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
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to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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