Re: Gender bias in language

Peter D. Junger (junger@PDJ2-RA.F-REMOTE.CWRU.EDU)
Sat, 8 Apr 1995 11:27:35 +0100

On Fri, 7 Apr 1995, Rosemary Gianno wrote:

> 2. Both "human" and "man" are nouns. However, "human" can be used,
> unmodified, as an adjective as in the phrase "human anatomy." If you tried
> to use "man" as an adjective, it would need to be modified to "male" as in
> "male anatomy." Perhaps this is the source of the idea that "human" is more
> representative of both females and males than "man" is.

Unfortunately perhaps, I was taught many years ago that ``human'' is an
adjective that should not be used as a noun. This was not just a
prescriptive rule, it seemed to catch the actual usage. ``Man'' was the
noun, ``human'' the adjective, and ``human being'' the sort of
unfortunate term that was used by psuedo-scientists.

Aren't any of the sensitive souls out there aware of the fact that
attempting to prohibit the old uses of established terms is a
rather vicious form of discrimination against the elderly, among whom I
must in these degenarate days count myself.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
Bitnet: junger@cwru