Why We Southerners Are Apparently the Least Misogynist Americans

Because we say y'all, not you guys.

Thank the stars that we don't have gendered nouns (and thus adjectives and articles) as do Spanish, Italian, and German, among others.  Beyond the extra memorization hassles (the frickin' Germans have 3 genders to remember), what would the modern American Left do with that mess?



  1. donald:

    Coyote...I know Phoenix is south of a typically northern latitude, but I don't know that we would call y'all southerners...From Tennessee, a border state with the Yankees.

  2. J K Brown:

    From Alan Macfarlane's 'Invention of the Modern World:

    "Females do not, as in most societies, have to address males in a special deferential language; the entire world is not, as in France, gendered with male and female nouns. English language is uniformly neutral, at least from the thirteenth century onwards. It may partly account for the attraction of English around the world as the position of women improves, and the way that English-medium schools seem to help the self-confidence of girls."

    Not to mention, English was language of both high and low born, although class distinction via accent does make it seem like different languages sometimes.


  3. AuricTech LIC:

    If you want to complain about foreign languages with genders, try Russian on for size. Not only does it have three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), nouns in those genders are declined in six cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, prepositional* and instrumental). Russian adjectives are declined to match the gender and case of the nouns they describe.

    Personally, I deplore the debasement of English vocabulary that the incorrect use of the word "gender" exemplifies.

    Nouns have gender; people have sex. Nouns that have gender are declined; people who don't "have sex"** were probably declined.

    *The Russian textbooks my school used back in the late 1970s used the term "locative case" in lieu of "prepositional case," for two apparent reasons. The first is that most prepositions that use this case refer to being somewhere, and the second is that nouns following many Russian prepositions are declined using one of the other cases.

    **Yes, I admit to throwing a linguistic curveball, but I did so with humorous intent.

  4. SamWah:

    With luck, their heads would explode. Without, they'd have to make up really strange new words. They'd like that.

  5. Daublin:

    From speaking with French teachers who are native French speakers, it is a really tricky issue even if you aren't a cultural warriorlooking to get offended everywhere.

    I wish I could remember some specific examples, but gender is a constant land mine for anyone trying to speak clearly. Many words just obviously have an artificial gender, such as knife and fork and spoon, so for those you don't worry about it. At the other end of the spectrum, you have words like the English "fireman" where the masculine version is inclusive and the feminine version is definitely for a female.

    For French in particular, there's also just a lot of overtly sexist crap baked into the norms of the language. The word for spouse has a masculine and feminine form: "mari" versus "marie". In France, a woman describing her husband would use "mon mari", but a man describing his wife would *not* use the feminine version of that. Instead of "ma marie", he'd say "ma femme", meaning "my woman".

  6. mesocyclone:

    Having lived in the Southwest almost all of my life (and most of that in Phoenix), I say "you guys" usually. It's you'all only when I'm, storm chasing in Texas.

  7. obloodyhell:

    }}} the frickin' Germans have 3 genders to remember

    True, but they only apply the gender to articles, so, while you have to remember a gender, you don't have to recall all sorts of additional information as you do with, in particular, French. With french, you have to not just recall the two genders, but you have to recall exactly what idiotic change that makes to each and every word in the sentence -- the adjectives, the verbs, the nouns, and all the other CRAP that takes a French sentence from 30 characters in English to 347 characters in French.

    So I'll suggest German, if I was going to suggest which "common" Euro language to learn. I'd actually recommend Japanese as the most rational language other than English (whose primary issue is the French spelling idiocy that was nailed to it during the Norman Conquest), though.

  8. obloodyhell:

    Yeah, the idea of Arizona as "southern" in anything but pure geography lessons is... amusing.

  9. Nehemiah:

    Come on you guys, quit kidding around. Y'all need to come to grips that we have way more than 2 genders now. Guys, gals, guys who want to be gals, gals who want to be guys, guys who want to be gals so they can have lesbian sex with a gal, and gals who want to be guys so they can have gay sex with a guy. Did I leave anyone out?

  10. Bruce Anderson:

    In German, the gender and number of a noun modifies all words that modify that noun, and all pronouns which use the noun as an antecedent. Not only that, you also have to take into account the case in which the noun or pronoun is used--not just the gender. So a masculine noun, such a the word for boy, used in the nominative case with a definite article and the adjective for small is "der kleine Junge," and the pronoun would be "er." However, the same noun, used in the accusative with an indefinite article, would be "ein kleinen Junge," with pronoun "ihn." And so on--using dative with definite article "dem kleinen Junge," with "ihm", genitive and definite article des kleinen Jungens," pronoun "dessen". The dative and genitive of masculine nouns may also require that the noun be changed, for instance in a letter addressed "Sehr geehrtem Herrn _________," or the prepositional phrase "wahrend des zweiten Weltkrieges," but not for every masculine noun, it is irregular. Da die Ausnamen bestätigen die Regeln.