Archive for Language and gender

Women's writing: dead or alive

Article in BBC yesterday:

"Nüshu:  China's secret female-only language", by Andrew Lofthouse (10/1/20)

Here's what it looks like:


Nüshu is a women's-only script that was passed down from mothers to
their daughters in feudal-society China (Credit: CPA Mediat Pte Ltd/Alamy)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

Audible endogenous motoric activity

D. Kimbrough Oller et al., "Infant boys are more vocal than infant girls", Current Biology May 2020:

Female humans appear to have an advantage in language, from early childhood through late adulthood, reported to include a larger vocabulary, more complex utterances, greater expressive language, and better verbal and pragmatic language comprehension [1]. Wakeful infants produce ‘protophones’ — precursors to speech that include vowel-like sounds, squeals, and growls — at a rate of four or five utterances per minute, more than five times the rate of crying, throughout the first year [2]. The massive number of protophones is in itself surprising, but equally surprising, given the presumed female language advantage, we found that, in the first year, boys produced 24% more protophones than girls. This sex bias was true of infants either at high risk (HR) or low risk (LR) for autism. Both genetic and cultural factors may be involved in this bias, and additional research is clearly called for to investigate the origins of the strong tendency of infants to produce protophones and the unexpected tendency for boys to do so to a greater extent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (11)

More on "écriture inclusive"

Following up on "Écriture inclusive" (10/9/2017), Eloy Romero Muñoz sent in a link to a June 2019 "Édition augmentée" of the Manuel d'Écriture Inclusive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (15)

Ladies' room

Photograph taken at the Los Angeles International Airport:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (8)

The League of Disappointing Authors

Comments (133)

Women's Romanization for Hong Kong

The Hong Kong extradition bill protests, with hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes even a million or two million people (out of a total population of 7.392 million) on the streets, have been going on for more than 11 weeks, with no end in sight, even though the PRC keeps threatening to invade.  One of the main problems the protesters face is how to deal with infiltrators from the north who pretend to be protesters, but promote violence and beat up the Hong Kong people.  Here's one way the Hongkongers are using to expose the intruders:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (18)

The rake and the vamp

Chris Brannick posted this photograph of a fan on his Facebook page:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

They triumphs?

Farhad Manjoo, "Call Me 'They'", NYT 7/10/2019:

The singular “they” is inclusive and flexible, and it breaks the stifling prison of gender expectations. Let’s all use it.

I am your stereotypical, cisgender, middle-aged suburban dad. I dabble in woodworking, I take out the garbage, and I covet my neighbor’s Porsche. Though I do think men should wear makeup (it looks nice!), my tepid masculinity apparently rings loudly enough online and in person that most people guess that I go by “he” and “him.” And that’s fine; I will not be offended if you refer to me by those traditional, uselessly gendered pronouns.

But “he” is not what you should call me. If we lived in a just, rational, inclusive universe — one in which we were not all so irredeemably obsessed by the particulars of the parts dangling between our fellow humans’ legs, nor the ridiculous expectations signified by those parts about how we should act and speak and dress and feel — there would be no requirement for you to have to assume my gender just to refer to me in the common tongue.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (68)

Nonbinary patronymics in Iceland

Comments (24)

Sign of the Times

Amy Harmon, "Which Box Do You Check? Some States Are Offering a Nonbinary Option", NYT 5/29/2019:

This is the first time that (I noticed that) the NYT used singular they as a reflection of  a specific person's pronoun choice — even if it is in an article about non-binary gender options.

 

Comments (51)

Policing women's voices

Katie Heaney, "What Kind of Person Fakes Their Voice?", The Cut 3/21/2019:

There are many fascinating, upsetting details in the story of Elizabeth Holmes, but my favorite is her voice. Holmes, the ousted Theranos founder who was indicted last year on federal fraud charges for hawking an essentially imaginary product to multi-millionaire investors, pharmacies, and hospitals, speaks in a deep baritone that, as it turns out, is allegedly fake. Former co-workers of Holmes told The Dropout, a new podcast about Theranos’s downfall, that Holmes occasionally “fell out of character” and exposed her real, higher voice — particularly after drinking. (Holmes’s family recently denied these claims to TMZ, insisting her voice is naturally low, just like her grandmother’s.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (45)

Wo'men's'da'y

Tong Wang ran into this picture today in Beijing:

image.png

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2)

Mee Tu flavor

A tasty visual pun found on Facebook:

(originally posted by Wayne Hudson)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (14)