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Dudgeon

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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:50 pm

The problem is that in other languages "masculine" and "feminine" are random grammatical categories that grammar insists on respecting. Kniga "book" in Russian is "feminine" and stol "table" is masculine even though they are unsexed.

Grammarians in centuries past misnamed these categories because women are usually categorized as "feminine" and men, "masculine". If a noun is feminine the corresponding pronoun must be ona and, if masculine, the pronoun must be on even if the noun is unsexed. Translating these pronouns as "she" and "he" is a mistake.

English doesn't have this kind of "masculine" and "feminine" distinction, so we can argue that he always refers to men and she always refers to women. The problem arises when gender is irrelevant. (It is never irrelevant in other European languages.) For example, "The PU student can be proud of [his?/her?] degree." The general rule is that in these cases agreement resorts to masculine, since student has no gender in English.

English provides a generic pronoun for most of these situations: they.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:40 pm

It also explains why newcomers to English from languages with gender can be caught saying things like "the car, she is going fast." Or "the truck, he cannot stop."
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby gailr » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:49 pm

I like: the jig, she is up.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby MTC » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:11 am

gailr wrote:I like: the jig, she is up.


That's a real kick in the pants or skirt as the case may be.

I have been entertained over the years by my Chinese relations' seemingly random use of he and she. Somewhere in their brains they flip the gender coin, emasculating males and masculinizing females, willy-nilly. "John Wayne, she," "Angelina Jolie, he..."
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:55 am

And of course all ships are 'she'.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:03 pm

Now Gail has me wondering why the jig, she is up but not down or all around. Anyone got a clue or clew?
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby MTC » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:06 pm

About the origin of the idiom: http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_boar ... s/720.html

But the article does not address your specific question about "up," Perry. For that I went to Dictionary.com which records the 34th definition of "up" as "concluded; ended; finished; terminated: The game is up. Your hour is up."

Why "up" and not "down?" Good question! From a spatial, metaphorical standpoint it would seem "down" is more appropriate.

P.S. To Luke, my grandfather, an old salt, used to ask me as a boy, "Why do they call ships 'she'?'' The politically incorrect 1950s answer, "Because it takes a man to handle her." Well, I'll be going now before..."Splat!" Too late!
Last edited by MTC on Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:55 pm

Best answer I've ever heard (sorry gail).
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby bamaboy56 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:05 am

If we were all neutered it might be easier.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby misterdoe » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:01 pm

call_copse wrote:I can only raise a state of indifferent dudgeon as to your quest for advanced dudgeon levels.

Meh, I believe Americans are wont to say.

Some of us are wont to say it... but I won't. :wink:
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby misterdoe » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:07 pm

Slava wrote:To add to the confusion, Russian has a plural for one. :shock:

So does English: ones :?
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:24 pm

The dudgeon thread surely has taken a different tack. It seems it was sidelined, perhaps even blindsided, by the gender problem.

Of course there is a plural of one in English. One might say, "I have seventeen dollars, all in ones." We also have onesies and twosies.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Slava » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:58 pm

Different kind of plural. The Russian one is for plural nouns, like glasses or scissors.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:51 am

I don't follow you Slava. Please explain or give an example.
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Re: Dudgeon

Postby Slava » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:27 am

Philip Hudson wrote:I don't follow you Slava. Please explain or give an example.

One use of "odni," the Russian plural for one, would be translated as "some."

Odni dumayut, chto oni luchse drugikh. Some think they are better than others.
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