Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gender Bender

A French teacher was explaining to her College class that in French,unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

House is feminine "la maison." Pencil is masculine "le crayon."

A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?" Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups-male and female-and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for their recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computer) because:

  • No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

  • The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

  • Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later review;

  • As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (le computer) because:

  • In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

  • They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

  • They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem;

  • As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.

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