Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wifman and Werman


Androgynous Language for a Sexual Species

In old Anglo-Saxon a Wifmann was female and a Wermann was male.  Wif gave us wife and Wifmann was eventually corrupted into wi'man and finally woman over time.  Perhaps due to laziness, we seem to have lost our Wer and refer now to males simply as man and men. Mann or Monn simply meant person, as in the Jamaican "What's Up Monn?"

Washington State is becoming Androgynous

For the past six years Washington has been neutering their language in use by the state.  Dairymen have become dairy farmers, freshman are now first-year students, even sillier Ombudsmen are now Ombuds.  I suppose the heavier one's are Ombuds while the thinner among them are now Ombudlites.  They continue to struggle with coming up with appropriate replacements for terms like manhole (utility hole), penmanship (now simply handwriting), and a term like man's past becomes the somewhat clunky humankind's past.

Git Yer Language "Fixed"!

The obvious solution to the feminist hang-up would have been to reinstall the word werman, because wer and its local variations and derivations are still a common indicator of the male gender in all Germanic languages: werewolf in English, Wehrmacht (male power, army) in German, weergeld (a former conscription-tax) in Dutch, etc, are some, still current, examples.

If our feminists hadn't been so ignorant they would have insisted on reintroducing werman as a male indicator, rather than bastardising the English language with the introduction of neo-logisms such as chairwoman, chairperson, wimmen, etc.
Matt Bruekers

As indicated by the illustration for this post, you can change the words, you can't change the facts.

Personally my favorite term thus far for s/he is the quite puzzling "Mixter"... as in Hey Mixter, can you spare a dime?


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