Computer Gender in French
A language instructor was explaining to her class that in
French, nouns unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically
designed as masculine or feminine.
"House" in French is feminine -- "la maison".
"Pencil" in French is masculine--"Le crayon."
One puzzled student asked, "What gender is computer?"
The teacher did not know, and the word wasn't in her
So for fun she split the class into two groups, appropriately
enough, by gender, and asked them to decide whether "computer"
should be a masculine or feminine noun.
Both groups were required to give four reasons for their recommendation.
The men's group decided that computers should be definitely
be of the feminine order ("la computer"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate to with
other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term
memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find
yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
The women's group, however, concluded that computers
should be Masculine ("le computer") because;
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half
the time they ARE the problem; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you'd
waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.