[extropy-chat] cryo cat

David Lubkin extropy at unreasonable.com
Tue Feb 3 04:32:39 UTC 2004

Spike wrote:

>  But I have been taking note of words my own language should have but 
> does not,

Sometimes the lack of distinctions in English can be *very* useful. in many 
other languages, you must determine immediately what the relationship is 
between you and the person you are speaking to -- superior/inferior, 
inferior/superior, peer, intimate -- because it is built into the 
grammatical forms. As in French, where you must decide whether "you" should 
be "tu" or "vous."

English used to have this, with "thou" (intimate, singular) and "you" 
(polite, plural). Our nearest equivalent now is the lesser fuss over 
whether to use "he," "she," or "they" to refer to an individual of unknown 
gender. There are also questions such as the asymmetries in whether someone 
is called by their first name, title and last name, or nickname, and what 
they call you in return. Usually you can stall or finesse your way around 
making a decision more easily in English than in other languages.

>such as the one I thought of after reading about Frosty
>the cryocat: what is the word for a female cat?  Frosty
>is a tomcat, what is his feminine counterpart?  Why do
>we have the word bitch for female dog, but what is her
>masculine counterpart?

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/painting/Animalbabies.shtml has a pretty 
good list.

-- David Lubkin.

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