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Talking Gayglers with Google's Bennet Marks  (View post)

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

Monday, June 18, 2007
12 years ago4,451 views

Google Needs More Black People
flickr.com/photos/iamdonte/551 ...
<<I went to Google's Kirkland office for lunch Wednesday. The office wasn't quite as impressive as the one in New York, but it had that very familiar tech-company feel. The food was amazing, featuring locally caught salmon, a great seafood lasagna, and herbs grown on a campus garden. People seriously aren't joking when they talk about how great it is – it's truly a wonderful work environment from what I could tell. However, they really do need more black people. In the hour or so I was in the building (mainly spent in the lunch room during peak hour), I only saw one other black person there (a guy). It took all my restraint to not run up and get a picture with him. So Google, I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong, but damn, get some more melanin up in there. >>
by iamdonte, Some Rights Reserved
creativecommons.org/licenses/b ...

Ricardo Sanchez [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

Can anybody show some examples of 'gay-inclusive language'?

I am in favour of gay rights, but I don't see the point in modifying already stablished neuter linguistical forms.

With Spanish we have a similar issue. In our language all nouns have gender, and traditionally the male form of the noun is used to denote generality. But recently a 'political correctness' fever is changing the language, substituting sentences like "Todos los alumnos han hecho huelga" (All the students went on a strike) in favour of "Todos los alumnos y alumnas han hecho huelga" (All the male and female students went on a strike). Many language teachers disagree with this, and I do too, I just don't see the point.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Ricardo, something which immediately came to mind when I was reading that was this scenario:

You head-up an all-male team at Google and decide to hold a party. You send out an invite and say, "Guys, bring your girlfriends too if you like." I'm guessing (and I may be wrong or may have missed the point) that 'gay-inclusive' language would mean saying, "Guys, bring your partners too if you like."

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> In our language all nouns have gender, and traditionally
> the male form of the noun is used to denote generality.

We have the same here in Germany. What is lost in the language explicitly encompassing both genders through a "dual format" is a truly neutral form (which was available implicitly in the old "versions" of the language, if you believed it was indeed implying both genders): for instance, sentences like "Angela Merkel is the first female chancelorette" ("erste weibliche Bundeskanzlerin") were widely used but don't make sense, as there are no male chancelorettes, and you also can't say "Angela Merkel is the first female among all chancelors/ chancelorettes of the past" (because there were no chancelorettes in the past) or "Merkel is the first female chancelor/ chancelorette" (because she only carries a single gender, which is known). Similar, you also have troubles with sentences like e.g. "as a teacher-ette she has the responsibility to educate students" ("als Lehrerin...") because both male and female teachers have this responsibility, so the meaning becomes skewed etc. I wonder if somone will invent a workaround for this particular side-effect in German.

In English, this can all be done much nicer, you can say "she" and at other times "he" and sometimes you can say "their" ("their" even if you imply singular, but still it's a nice workaround), and you don't carry all the gender-specificness throughout the language (as you don't actually say teacherette or chancelorette in English, I guess, as the word "teacher" still implies generality if I understand correctly).

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