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Full Version: [split] Names, pronouns, articles... and gender
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Re: even and odd & gender - The Finnish social security number contains information on one's gender. It consist of your birth date and then there's a series of three numbers and a letter. If those three numbers are odd you're a male,if they're even you're a female. So someone with the number ending 072X is a female but someone with 639P is a male.

Farseer: the dragon in my avatar is the same dragon that is the site's logo (used in the layout & banners etc). It comes from a freeware font set that can be downloaded from here (search for "mythology one").
Whoa I missed so many posts on this topic it's hard to respond now!
Scarily I realised later that night after I made that initial post that Chinese uses a gender neutral pronoun........... it's funny how much you forget about something you studied at school for 5 years! GAH!
I think school has faded into oblivion in my mind.......

(Mar-03-2011, 09:05 PM (UTC))Mervi Wrote: [ -> ]Hehee, I think I should split the conversation since we're so off-topic now. Just to add a few bits to the pot:
- As similar as Mervi looks to Mervyn (and its variants) or Merve (which is in use in Turkey and was also an ancient city somewhere in modern Iran I think) it has nothing to do with either name. It was first used as a first name in 1911 and is said to be derived from the name of a medieval mansion here in Finland - but no one seems to know the actual etymology (which bothers me quite a bit).

Interesting!
I suspect I thought Mervi was a female name because it ends in 'i' .... I don't think there's many male names in Australia that end in i

I thought thul was male, but not because of the name, just general impression.

(Mar-03-2011, 09:05 PM (UTC))Mervi Wrote: [ -> ]- I've always thought that the obsession that some languages have (I'm looking at you, German and Spanish) to define EVERYTHING with a gender and then letting it affect how the rest of the sentence is formed is rather silly. Stirring How can I know whether lettuce is "female" or broccoli "male" in the minds of Spanish people? (For the record, I don't, those were just examples.) The first few words in German I learned were: das Auto, der Hund und die Katze. Look, I understand that non-living objects are gender-neutral. But animals? I think labeling dogs as masculine and cats as feminine has HUGE implications, both for the animals and for what is considered "feminine" or "masculine" in humans.

Yup!
Also, I wonder if there's any language that assigns genders to nouns that would make cat male and dog female? I'm guessing not. Weird isn't it.

(Mar-03-2011, 09:05 PM (UTC))Mervi Wrote: [ -> ]- That being said, while we only have gender-neutral pronouns and don't use gender-defining articles (err actually we don't have articles at all OH THE SHOCK, THE HORROR P ) we do have rather strict name laws that prevent (among other things) giving a "girl's" name to a boy or the other way around. Most, although not all, Finnish names are clearly boy or girl names. There have been a couple of recorded males with my name in the past though, before the name laws changed and there are still a handful of names that, when you hear them you can't be sure of the gender (especially since you can't use a gendered pronoun to give that detail). Those are mostly "old people's names" though and not fashionable so it's almost rare to hear them now.

Name LAWS? Whoa! I wonder if we have any laws about naming children? I am sure we don't have laws about specific names for males and females. That's really interesting........ I guess it puts a whole new perspective on what sort of assumptions could be made about a society where there are no gender specific pronouns?
Most countries have some regulations on names... Like disallowing names like "@" or clear girl names for boys and visa versa... You would not want to end up with a boy named sue...
(Mar-09-2011, 12:53 PM (UTC))Nuytsia Wrote: [ -> ]Yup!
Also, I wonder if there's any language that assigns genders to nouns that would make cat male and dog female? I'm guessing not. Weird isn't it.

You could use specified names for male cats and female dogs: toms and bitches.

Quote:Name LAWS? Whoa! I wonder if we have any laws about naming children? I am sure we don't have laws about specific names for males and females. That's really interesting........ I guess it puts a whole new perspective on what sort of assumptions could be made about a society where there are no gender specific pronouns?

And here I was thinking of naming my prospective daughter and son Dick and Susie, respectively Whistling

I suppose it would be interesting to find out the statistics of names given to babies born within the past decade to see whether there is any change between parents choosing gender-specific names or androgynous/unisex ones. If there is a rise in the usage of unisex ones, what sort of implications would that tell us? Or perhaps if there is a rise in gender-specific ones? Or little change at all?
Iceland has pretty strict naming laws. Usually someone's last name is [Father's first name]-son for boys and [Father's first name]-dóttir for girls. The first name of the mother is also allowed. First names should be 'Icelandic', and "may not cause its bearer embarassment".

See:
http://eng.innanrikisraduneyti.is/information/nr/125
http://eng.innanrikisraduneyti.is/laws-a...nal-names/
Crikey...I've never seen so many posts...wish I had me a Tardis so I could go back and read them all! Blink What a change a couple of days makes!

I don't know why but I love that Icelandic way of doing things, joost, and thought it something special when I found someone with names such as those way, way back in my family tree.

I can't even tell where I'm typing...! Radar [/align]P
Icelandic phone books are sorted by first name. Unlike most countries, Iceland does not operate with family names... The system used in Iceland dates back to the age of vikings... If not further back...

(Mar-07-2011, 01:44 PM (UTC))Mervi Wrote: [ -> ]Farseer: the dragon in my avatar is the same dragon that is the site's logo (used in the layout & banners etc). It comes from a freeware font set that can be downloaded from here (search for "mythology one").

Thanks Mervi! Maybe the person who made up one of the 'crest' sites I viewed found the image from the same source. Smiling

As for vikings, I tend to really enjoy stories that have viking-like characters and plots within them.

(Mar-13-2011, 08:58 AM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]As for vikings, I tend to really enjoy stories that have viking-like characters and plots within them.
In case you haven't read them yet:

Mickey Zucker Reichert - The renshai books (Completely based on norse mythology: The complete norse pantheon is present, patronyms, Ragnarok, the whole shebang)
Jude Fisher - Fool's gold (The north is a viking-like society, the south is a muslim-like society. Of course they clash, and there's a war)
I haven't read any of those so thanks, joost! I think you've mentioned Fool's Gold before, somewhere here on thePlenty, and I had meant to try and find it as it sounded like my kind of novel. Will add that to my 'to read' pile. Flowers

Oh, would you also care to share the background behind your new avatar? Turned
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