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men, elves, wolves, and robots; was: man, etc.

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Sunday, December 26, 2004, 19:58
----- Original Message -----

> Quoting Andreas quoting Sally: >> In writings contemporaneous with Wulfstan's and afterwards, the term is >> wer/ver- as in NG Werwolf, also Wehrwolf. Wulfstan's spelling is >> interesting and piques my curiosity, which is why I'm blatting on. For >> instance: we have middle Dutch weerwolf, MHG werwolf, West Frisian >> waerul, >> Danish and Norwegian varulv, and Swedish varulf. > > Act'ly, a spelling reform of about a hundred years ago made the Swedish > spelling > |varulv|.
I was quoting medieval spellings, Andreas, but this is interesting! Obviously to reflect pronunciation, right?
> This spelling reform managed to cause some phonetic splits; the (now not > much > used) cognate of "wolf" became |ulv|, but the men having it as their given > name > overwhelmingly retained the spelling |Ulf|, which soon enough acquired the > pronunciation [8lf]. We also got the doublette |alv| "elf" and |Alf| masc > name; > you also see |alf| with reference to beings in Norse mythology.
Yes, indeed. So are you saying that with the change in vowel pronunciation that the names Ulf and Alf threatened to become confused with one another? That would be something! Forgive my asking what [8] sounds like. Elves and Wolves. Alfred and his priest Werwulf. :) Ray and Tom wrote on another dimension of this thread:
>> From: Remi Villatel <maxilys@...> >>> I couldn't say any better. But instead of "eurocentric", I should >>> have used "anthropocentric" which according to its roots means >>> "centered around man". >>
>> Actually, no. Greek _anthropos_ meant something more like 'human';
>..and no need for the past tense. This is still so. _anthropos_ is a > 'human person', irrespective of age or sex. 'Anthropology' is the study > _human_ behavior, culture etc, not just that of the menfolk. An > 'anthropocentric viewpoint' is looking at the universe as though we humans > were the the reason for its existence.
I had an interesting dispute with someone once about the term gynoid. He insisted that all female robots be called gynoids, because the term android meant "like a male human." So the phrase "female android" was tautological, he argued. I conceded that he had a point, but that "gynoid" was so ugly, and "android" had unfortunately lost its gendered sense. And besides, it was so ingrained in science fiction and popular parlance that he would have a tough time establishing it. However, how many of you SF fans out there find that "gynoid" is gaining ground as the preferred term for female android? Uck! It reminds me of "gynecology." He suggested that we could call these creatures (that fascinate me almost as much as the werewolf does) ANTHROPOIDS (like a human) but I told him this term has been coopted by English primarily for referring to the great apes. Is that true? ! Sally


Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
# 1 <salut_vous_autre@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>