Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Oct 2009 00:37 UTC
Features, Office In the comments on our editorial about language purism and the Psystar case, it became quite clear that language is a subject almost everyone has an opinion on - not odd if you consider that language is at the very centre of what makes us "human". Since this appears to be a popular subject, let's talk about the influence computing has had on two very minor aspects of the Dutch language.
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RE: Comment by kaiwai
by AnyoneEB on Tue 27th Oct 2009 04:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
AnyoneEB
Member since:
2008-10-26

I personally think it is great from the point of view of getting rid of cruft in the language - does it matter that a table is male/female? It reminds me when I was learning French, pointless parts of the language that added nothing in terms of content to the discussion - it was only there because, well, it is just there. I kept asking questions to my teacher (French himself) as to the purpose of it - why? what does it serve? the absence of that results in something lack in the content being transmitted?

Gender on inanimate objects can be useful: it lets you talk about more than one object with only pronouns like in English you can easily talk about a male and a female using only pronouns without being confusing, but talking clearly about two distinct objects using only pronouns is usually impossible in English. On the other hand, in French, they might have different genders, and therefore get different pronouns. Gender is one of the ways languages get more than one third person / a fourth person (not really sure on the terminology here) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_person ).

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