Language: January 2005 Archives

Update: Apparently, even though some seem to have understood what I meant from the outset, others did not. I'm not going to remove any words, but I'll clarify in brackets, in a few places at length.

I'm de-linking World Magazine's blog, and I'm encouraging anyone who feels strongly enough about this to do the same. There's a fairly reputable view that the English language has no semantically gender-neutral but grammatically masculine terms. I think that's true of the dialects of most people I interact with on a daily basis, though I don't think it's true of every native English speaker. They think the view is false altogether [and have a history of very harsh comments to the effect that those pursuing translations according to this view are pursuing an anti-Christian agenda].

I have no problem with that view [though their language has been way over the top in the past]. I disagree with the views expressed on that site from time to time. That won't stop a link. Most of the sites I link to express views I disagree with. One of the reasons I wanted to link to them is because I really like Gene Veith, who posts there regularly, and Marvin Olasky was the source of what George Bush calls compassionate conservatism, which I think is generally the right sort of view to take and why I like him so much. It really came from George Will, but Bush got it from Olasky. [I should also say that they're one of the best news sources in the Christian blogosphere, largely because of the amount of content.]

Language question

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A question for all you language gurus out there: when discussing a corporation or university or other institution, do you conjugate as a singular or as a plural? Basically, which is correct, "Microsoft is releasing product X", or "Microsoft are releasing product X"?



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