quarta-feira, abril 30, 2008

Ideology is Madness

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Up, Down.

At some point I remember Frye making the point about pronouns, the general case 'he' and so forth; and deciding the least evil was to go with the older flow and let 'him' be.

Last night I was reading Gretta Vosper's book and got to the paragraph where she attempts an analogous rationale - determining to call God 'it' - and fails so utterly that I could not continue reading.

I will post both rationales here shortly.

Ai Ai Ai! It is IDEOLOGICAL MADNESS which has taken over the world.

University of Saskatchewan, Department of English, "Requirements" (not guidelines) for essays:

The use of he to refer to a person of either sex and the use of man or mankind to refer to humankind in general are no longer acceptable. To avoid the first problem, recast your sentence to change singular to plural forms: "The successful student submits his essays on time" can be changed to "Successful students submit their essays on time" or "Successful students submit essays on time." Do not fix the problem by substituting plural pronouns (they, them, their) for gender-specific pronouns unless you also change the noun to which they refer: WRONG: "A person needs their rest." REVISED: "A person needs his or her rest" or REVISED: "People need their rest." You may also replace he with he or she, and him with her or him. To avoid using the generalized man or mankind, use people, humankind, or human beings. "Man is a social being." REVISED: "People are social beings." Use gender-neutral nouns such as police officer, fire fighter, and speaker, and substitute representative for spokesman and chair for chairman/woman/person.

Unrelated (but unforgettable), from a blog called 'Waggish'.

The most egregious example I can think of is George Szirtes' translation of Deszo Kosztolanyi's Anna Edes, where a lothario seduces a woman by saying:
"I love you. Only you. I love thee." Having addressed her formally so far, he whispered the last pronoun ... "Thee, thee. Say it. Thee. You say it too. Say it to me. Thee thee ..."