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RE: International standards for various forms of profile data

From: Carl W. Brown <cbrown@xnetinc.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 17:01:26 -0700
To: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <FNEHIHOMIIDPDCIFEJEGIEMBCIAA.cbrown@xnetinc.com>
Asmus,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-international-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-international-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Asmus Freytag
> Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2001 4:31 PM
> To: Carl W. Brown; www-international@w3.org
> Subject: RE: International standards for various forms of profile data
>
>
> At 02:59 PM 8/30/01 -0700, Carl W. Brown wrote:
> >Merle,
> >
> > >Note to Carl: The *German word* for girls is neuter; *German
> girls* are,
> > >I promise you, 110% female.  If you woke up next to one who was neuter,
> > >then I'm guessing you had way too much to drink at Octoberfest !   :-)
> >
> >I suspect that the reason it is neuter comes from the German father's
> >desires, not reality.  ;-}
>
> There's a much simpler reason. Both words are diminutive forms (viz the
> "-chen" and "-lein" endings) and all such are neuter. Diminutive forms of
> words designating young males were very common about 200 years ago, but
> have fallen out of fashion since ;-).
>

It is understandable that diminutives would be neuter.  The issue it why
would it be dropped for boys and not girls?  I suspect that it is a cultural
attitude and not pure language mechanics.  Like why does the Iberian
Portuguese word for girl mean a slut in Brazilian Portuguese?  This is also
a recent development and I suspect it has something to do with national
animosity.

Carl
Received on Thursday, 30 August 2001 20:01:19 GMT

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