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 flynn on Tue 27th Oct 2009 14:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
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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?

If the French gender system provokes this much hostility from you, then I suggest you never try to learn Polish. Our gender system is much more complex and in addition to three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), every noun is also identified by its personhood (person vs non-person) and animacy (animate vs non-animate). This is all in addition to the seven noun cases that a noun could fall into (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative and vocative).

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