[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing "neutral gender"
sustel at trimboli.name
Tue May 28 12:17:45 PDT 2019
On 5/28/2019 2:52 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> A person using English to talk about an entity needs to know whether
> that entity is a “he”, a “she”, or an “it”, or you can’t replace the
> noun with a pronoun, and talking about the entity gets awkward.
Style guides have begun recommending the gender-indeterminate /they/ for
> You gave no indication what the relevance is of the alien being male
> or female or not.
No, he didn't, and he doesn't have to. He just asked if there is a way
to say someone is of neutral gender. This is a perfectly reasonable and
complete question. It doesn't require special context to answer.
> I made no reference as to whether a Klingon would culturally feel an
> interest in the biological sexual category of an alien. As a human
> using the Klingon language, without any context, I didn’t understand
> what the interest is in the sexual category of an alien. That’s really
Okay, so you were not answering his question, you were pontificating on
some completely different question.
> I was just trying to point out that while speaking English, because of
> the unusual way that English ties grammatical gender to biological sex
> classification, you might have a bias pushing to you want to focus on
First of all, English using biological sex in its very limited system of
genders is not all that unusual.
Second, mayqel's native language is Greek, not English.
> I’m not saying that the Klingon language lacks sex-based grammatical
> gender for a reason. It’s completely arbitrary, as is the case in
> every language.
Not the case. Languages develop the way they do for reasons, not
arbitrarily. "Singular /they,/" for example, is becoming common as a
reaction to the perceived sexism of using "impersonal /he./" /Thou/ and
/thee/ disappeared in part due to social classes becoming more equal.
I said earlier that English effectively has no gender, but it actually
does have some, also based on biological sex: /widow/widower;/
/steward/stewardess; waiter/waitress/ (a whole bunch of /-ess/ endings
in fact) and so on. And the female forms of these are starting to
disappear as reactions to the perceived sexism of the language.
This stuff isn't arbitrary.
> Do you care if a chair is a boy chair or a girl chair?
No, he cares if an alien is neuter. How do you translate /The alien is
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