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
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.
"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.
Do You Yahoo!?
Everything you'll ever need on one web page
from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts