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From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, October 22, 1998, 20:55
Raymond A. Brown wrote:

> I assume we are using 'gender' with its original and proper linguistic > meaning and not in the way it is, IMO regrettably, now so often used as a > euphemism for 'sex'.
Well, I'll be a bit contentious here, and say that the meaning of "gender" to which you refer is logically as well as etymologically sound. As you of course know but others may not, "gender" < "genus, gener-" = "kind, class, category". We may therefore sensibly speak of gender in nouns whenever they are divided into categories that engender (:-)) differences in the surrounding syntax. Likewise, those who speak of "gender differences" between persons are referring not to biological sex but to socially constructed categories which often have some connection to biological sex but are by no means determined by it. "Masculine" and "feminine" are names of genders, either of nouns or of persons: they are not the only possible names. -- John Cowan You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn. You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn. Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)