November 20, 2003
Guess the gender!
Those crazy Europeans and their gender-specific languages! If a native English speaker was confronted with, say, a pair of scissors, what gender would we assign them?
See if you're with the majority.
13 years ago
I'm going with masculine plural, because "les ciseaux" is the first equivalent to "scissors" that comes to mind. But if you said "feminine", don't worry, you're just of a more Germanic cast (eine Schere). Funny thing to be voting on, if you ask me.
It is a funny thing to be voting on. It always puzzled me how even among the various romance languages gender assignment is not consistent. The other thing about languages I find interesting is the impact that grammar has on how ideas are expressed. For example, to express the idea "I dropped the glass" in Spanish, what comes out of your mouth is "the glass fell from me". I've always wondered how much the grammar reflects or affects the surrounding culture. (apologies for the slight derail.)
I studied German for six years and Spanish for one (and I remember almost nothing of either). I always thought of German as a more active, take-charge language and Spanish as sort of languid and overtly masculine. (A derail from the derail.)
Oh crap. I skipped this one. Goddammit.
Coffee breaks are legal.
If you don't do them in order, don't you have to go back and start from the beginning?
And in fact, that's what I'm doing, I thought of this when I went to move my car. It's a few dozen posts ahead.
"Oh man, things were really screwing up here! I don't remember exactly what was happening, I think this was during the Meter Maid strike, is that right? Anyway, BearGuy's time machine was all kinds of screwed up, and um... Huh. I just noticed that's tracicle in the background. She, by the way, just really great to work with. I mean, what an amazing person. She... she's got like four kids and... doesn't she raise goats or something? Yeah- pretty sure she's got some kind of goat farm, really profitable, like if you drink goat milk, then it's probably from tracicle's goat farm. Anyway, she does all THAT and she's still got time to run things over MOFI. God, what an amzing person. And so great to work with. Just really, really, just really professional. Really amazing."