Sunday, March 01, 2009

bulletin from the linguistic wars

Pica, over at The Magpie Nest put up this interesting post on Friday:

"Delighting in a New Vowel

Hanging around the hispanohablantes on Ravelry has introduced me to the gender-unspecific vowel that is apparently now being widely used in Spanish texting: @.

Spanish, like many Romance languages, has an obligatory masculine/feminine divide in nouns. Sometimes the endings are unintuitive (la mano [the hand], el drama [drama]) but mostly “a” is feminine, “o” is masculine. This being a culture where historically the masculine incorporated everyone, in the 60s if you said “hola a todos” it was assumed you meant hello world, or hello everyone, masculine feminine and neuter.

I’m delighted to see new Spanish-speaking knitters chime in on Ravelry with the “hola a tod@s,” the ‘o’ encompassing the ‘a’ as a perfect, ambi vowel. It’s particularly heartening because in fact not all Spanish-speaking knitters are female, nor are all of them straight, and I love the inclusiveness that’s implied…"

As a refugee from the non-gender-using lingo of el Norte, the "o" and "a" dilemma can be a source of amusement along with confusion. I don't know if there are many locals who do either texting or emailing, but I'm going to ask around to see if anyone recognizes this trend.

Regarding last nights Carnival, after my delicious massage (I fell asleep on the table), I ate an early supper and was in bed by 8 PM. Next year . . .


At 9:38 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Oh, this is so interesting, thanks!


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