Re: Watchhounds

Ruby Rohrlich (rohrlich@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU)
Thu, 8 Feb 1996 13:31:21 -0500

Obviously, it doesn't include you, Sheldon, and is, just as obviously,
meant to reject the role of watchdog, and not the silly semantics that
have been circulating from the usual silly baiters. Ruby Rohrlich

On Thu, 8 Feb 1996, Sheldon Klein wrote:

> This may come as a bit of shock to those unfamiliar with technical
> terminology prevalent in some domains, including fox hunting:
> In the terminology associated with fox-hunting (descriptive report,
> no value-judgments about blood sports intended), the generic term
> is 'hound'. 'dog' refers to male hounds, and 'bitch' is used for
> female hounds. Incorrect usage of the any of these three terms is
> one of the marks of an 'outsider' to those knowledgable about the
> activity.
> Accordingly, the comment that 'watchdog' is sexist,
> and the counter comment that it is generic, can be
> characterized by the following analogies:
> A generic use of 'man' for humankind is analogous
> to the generic use of 'dog' for hounds--in the domains
> where such distinctions are made.
> If canines were concerned about such matters they might take offense
> at the use of the term 'watchdog'.
> (Alas, I have a background in Linguistics, but I hope
> Ruby's complaint about such folk does not yet include me.)
> __________________________________________________________________
> Prof. Sheldon Klein
> Computer Sciences Dept. Linguistics Dept.
> University of Wisconsin 1163 Van Hise
> 1210 W. Dayton St. University of Wisconsin
> Madison, Wisconsin 53706 Madison, Wisconsin 53706
> __________________________________________________________________