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Neuter girls (was Re: French)

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 28, 2002, 5:17
 --- Andreas Johansson wrote:

> Way to go, Christophe! I've always had a soft spot for Germans refering to > girls as "it" (_Mädchen_ "girl" being neuter 'cos of the dimunitive ending).
Same thing in Dutch: all dimunitives are neuter. Don't ask me why... It gets even worse: there are words meaning "woman" with a strictly negative connotation, that are neuter as well. A good example of this is |wijf| (in German, |Weib| is neuter, too, but has a neutral connotation). Another example: |mens|. This one can be both male or neuter. |De mens| or |een mens| (male) just means "human being", "mankind"; however, |het mens| (neuter) applies exclusively to a woman, and it is not a nice thing to say. Jan ===== "You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." --- J. Michael Straczynski __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts


Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>