Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Computer is masculine or feminine in French?

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:

1.. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2.. The native language they use to communicate with other computers
is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3.. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for
possible later review; and
4.. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending
half your pay cheque on accessories for it.

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

1.. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2.. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;
3.. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time
they ARE the problem; and
4.. 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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