Re: Gender in language

Dick Gray (
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 07:27:26 -0700

Kathryn Aegis confers a cute epithet in honor of my daring to disagree with
her remarks:

> Kick Graybull:

Well, Ms. Aegis may not be very mannerly, but she certainly is opinionated.

For anyone who's really interested in the history of the word "man" in
English, I suggest a quick survey of English literature from Beowulf to
Spencer. Judge for yourself whether the word ever fell out of use or was
introduced or reintroduced (not sure what her contention here is, she seems
to equivocate).

As for the "superposition" of Latin grammar on English, yes, certain
self-styled "grammarians" of yore tried to impose a Latin paradigm on
English, with ludicrous results. The grammar of the language bent not a bit
to their whims, but continued its natural evolution. Such newfangled "rules"
as managed to gain some circulation in "cultured" discourse (no prepositions
at end of phrase, etc.) are matters of usage and style, not grammar.