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.
Permalink for comment 391261
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 27th Oct 2009 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

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 ).


But you haven't explained *WHY* it is important - what extra information does it provide to me in my understanding of the information you're transmitting to me. If you say that the table is blue with tongue and grove top and french style table legs - telling me that it is female or male is going to add what benefit to me? If you want to talk about more than one object then say, "I have 4 objects, the first object is.... the second object is .... and the third object is ....."

As for an addition person - I'd love to know where I'd need to use it. I'm not attacking you but every argument I have seen as been the defence of the fluff of old than a robust defence to an otherwise useless piece of syntax sugar.

Edited 2009-10-27 04:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2