Sunday, 25 March 2012

It's time to prune our language.

All this time we thought women were "people" too. Turns out we were wrong! That is, according to the words we use on a daily basis.

"ACTOR"
Pronunciation: /ˈaktə/
noun
1 a person whose profession is acting on the stage, in films, or on television.

"ACTRESS"
Pronunciation: /ˈaktrɪs/
noun
1 a female actor.

"COMEDIAN"
Pronunciation: /kəˈmiːdɪən/
noun
1 an entertainer on stage or television whose act is designed to make an audience laugh.

"COMEDIENNE"
Pronunciation: /kəˌmiːdɪˈɛn, -ˌmɛ-/
noun
1 a female comedian.

"HERO"
Pronunciation: /ˈhɪərəʊ/
noun
1 a person admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

"HEROINE"
Pronunciation: /ˈhɛrəʊɪn/
noun
1 a woman admired for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

"POSTMAN"
Pronunciation: /ˈpəʊs(t)mən/
noun
1 a person who is employed to deliver or collect letters and parcels.

"POSTWOMAN"
Pronunciation: /ˈpəʊs(t)wʊmən/
noun
1 a woman who is employed to deliver or collect letters and parcels.

"CHAIRMAN"
Pronunciation: /ˈtʃɛːmən/
noun
1 a person chosen to preside over a meeting.

"CHAIRWOMAN"
Pronunciation: /ˈtʃɛəwʊmən/
noun
1 a female chairperson.

"MAYOR"
Pronunciation: /mɛː/
noun
1 the head of a town, borough, or county council, elected by council members and generally having purely ceremonial duties.

"MAYORESS"
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛːrɪs, ˌmɛːˈrɛs/
noun
2 a woman holding the office of mayor.

"MURDERER"
Pronunciation: /ˈməːd(ə)rə(r)/
noun
1 a person who commits murder.

"MURDERESS"
Pronunciation: /ˈməːdərɛs/
noun
1 a female murderer.

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

It's time we got rid of 50% of the above words. Can you guess which 50%?

1 comment:

  1. Well... the role of both murderer and murderess we could ideally do without. From the definition, mayor and mayoress appear to be purely ceremonial positions, and could well be abandoned. Both the postman and postwoman will soon be a thing of the past - which would leave only one left to hit your 50%. My vote would be on heroine, due to the (admittedly differently spelled) associations, and the widespread use of hero in it's place already.

    Do I win?

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