Ten things NOT to do in Italy

Old Jan 6th, 2015, 09:22 PM
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And there are small ones, baby doctors.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 09:59 PM
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On another thread someone used the term serial posting and on this thread I am very guilty of that. But why on earth is there no edit function on this site, or cancellation function?

Rereading NewbE I was struck by this: <<.....or decry the fact that anything feminized is generally viewed as inferior.>>
Is it? I shouldn't have thought so. It certainly isn't here.
Personally I'm all for distinguishing rather than standardizing (which only diminishes the infinite variety of the English language).
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 01:50 AM
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Avvocato/avocatessa. Poeta/poetessa.>>

Appia - this is one I always have trouble with. If I tell people I'm an "avocatessa" they tell me that the correct form is now "Avvocato" [as with actresses now being called actors]. If I say I'm an "Avvocato" they tell me ....well, you've got it.

Yes, people here do still talk about male nurses, which must really p them off. As it did me to be called "Sir" by my clerk for my first 12 months. it was 35 years ago, but it still rankles. [well, only a tiny bit].
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 01:55 AM
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<<as with actresses now being called actors>>

annhig......you are not serious, surely?!!

Have you ever felt life is passing you by? I don't understand anything anymore.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 02:18 AM
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you're having a laugh, Appia. you hadn't heard that? it's been current in the UK for at least 10 years, and in the US probably longer.

They are all actORs now.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 02:24 AM
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No, honestly, I hadn't heard that.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 02:31 AM
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I think I need another lie down! "Budgie Smugglers" and now actresses turning into actors.... what is happening to my native language?
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 02:51 AM
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I got into trouble with my daughter-in-law for referring to somebody as an ancestress.
I wouldn't refer to a poetess, but I think that went out of fashion decades ago. I still can't accept actresses turning into actors, and what happened to "heroine" ?
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 02:59 AM
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Has "heroine" gone as well? What a shame.
Vive la différence!
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 07:25 AM
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"Heroine" is gone, "actress" is on the ropes... I can't say I care much, personally, but as I said above, I don't really understand the point, either. The idea seems to be that to promote true parity between the sexes, we must eliminate gender-specific terms that might encourage a separate-but-equal state of affairs, which we all know ends up being not equal at all.

On a related note, never fret about the state of the English language It is a robust, adaptable beast.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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NewbE, i used to hate being called "Madame Chairman" and other such stupid terms - it really rankled. the assumption is that chairMAN is the norm, a woman in the job some sort of exception.

I think that language can impose restrictions, not necessarily deliberately, but they are still there.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 08:11 AM
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France is dropping Mademoiselle, or so they were planning. Decisions like these change often.

Doctor and mayor and several other professions are always masculine regardless of the gender of the person in the profession or role. As in "Bonjour, Madame le maire." "Mon médecin est Madame Gris."
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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Please don't squeeze the chairman.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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lol, I see that a pretty innocent comment of mine [using word play about "heroine"] has been removed. I think that' the first time i've been censored on Fodors!

anyway, I found an amusing discussion about the use of masculine words for jobs done by women on the forum of the About.com Italian website [which I use to help me learn italian], specifically about how the masculine words "soprano" and "contralto" are used to describe singers with those sorts of voices, even when the singers are almost exclusively female.

So Maria Callas is described as "il soprano bravissimo" which to me is ludicrous.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 11:35 AM
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Maria Callas was a lovely bloke ...
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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LOL, that does hit the ear funny, doesn't it??
<I think that language can impose restrictions, not necessarily deliberately, but they are still there.>
I agree completely.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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it got even odder, as apparently, the correct plural for il soprano is i soprano, leading to the sentence "i soprano bravissimi". How barmy is that?
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 01:36 PM
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annhig/appia - avvocato is both m/f as is chirurgo hence the classic - http://www.youmath.it/gioca-con-la-m...dovinello.html

But don't call the Italian language barmy. How about English with sheep/sheep and fish/fish with fishes appearing only in the Bible.

My wife (who is Italian) always asked if you say house/houses why you can't say mouse/mouses. I could never provide a convincing answer!
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Language is usually historical, cultural, and religious not necessarily logical. But it could be.

Language used to change from the bottom up, but for the last 50 years or so it been under attack by government, computer people, businesses, advertisers, and the democratization of the Internet. Of course, some of the changes are clever, necessary, and reflect changing mores. Others are sloppy and lazy usage.

Gender neutral nouns can be awkward, stilted, and even confusing. So they will evolve as some gain currency and others are just silly to repeat.

An amusing situation will result if Hillary Clinton is elected President. The wife of a President was commonly called The First Lady, will d be Bill be called The First Man? Sounds more like a reference to Adam.
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Old Jan 7th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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nochblad - I've heard the same joke in english, of course.

>>But don't call the Italian language barmy. How about English with sheep/sheep and fish/fish with fishes appearing only in the Bible>>

the difference, nochblad, is that English doesn't purport to be regular or sensible. whilst not as regulated as german, italian is pretty regular. I can [just about] cope with le citta [sorry no accent] belle, and il problema, but il soprano has me beat.

<<annhig/appia - avvocato is both m/f >>

therefore I am un avvocato buono? [at least, I hope I am].

barmy I said and barmy I repeat.

that does not mean that english is in any way sensible. The point is, we don't purport to be.
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