Re: virus: humyn experience

Richard Aynesworthy (
Sun, 9 May 1999 00:38:16 -0400 (EDT)

>From Websters Online:

please examine the etymology.

Main Entry: 2human
Function: noun
Date: circa 1533
: a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) : MAN; broadly : any living or extinct member of the family (Hominidae) to which the primate belongs
- hu·man·like /-m&n-"lIk/ adjective

Main Entry: 1man
Pronunciation: 'man, in compounds "man or m&n Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural men /'men, in compounds "men or m&n/ Etymology: Middle English, from Old English man, mon human being, male human; akin to Old High German man human being, Sanskrit manu Date: before 12th century
1 a (1) : an individual human; especially : an adult male human


Main Entry: 1nig·gard
Pronunciation: 'ni-g&rd
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hnøggr niggardly; akin to Old English hnEaw niggardly Date: 14th century
: a meanly covetous and stingy person : MISER - niggard adjective

Main Entry: nig·ger
Pronunciation: 'ni-g&r
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of earlier neger, from Middle French negre, from Spanish or Portuguese negro, from negro black, from Latin niger Date: 1700
1 usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : a black person

...As I hope the above illustrates, your analogy is incorrect. Your choice of the words "niggardly" and "nigger" is apt though it illustrates the point you wish to make, there is indeed no etymological relation between these words. can be seen with the various definitions of "human" and "man" there are deeply inbuilt assumptions about which members of the group have moral weight in this pair. The default setting in the English language refers membership in the species to a gendered division of beings. Further:

Main Entry: wom·an
Pronunciation: 'wu-m&n, esp Southern 'wO- or 'w&- Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural wom·en /'wi-m&n/ Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wIfman, from wIf woman, wife + man human being, man
Date: before 12th century
1 a : an adult female person

...the traditional spelling "woman" applied as a descriptor directly relates the subject to a dominant gender (ie. man).

...some memes are deep rooted, the structure of our language is based - like any other symbolic system - on assumptions about the way things in our world are related. my address I'm trying to cover all communicating beings, so in addition to trying to structure my language to omit exclusionary constructs I make the conscious and deliberate decision to reconstruct the language to be inclusive. you jump on every bandwagon dismissive of new concepts just because they're uncomfortable?


> Well, I know I am not supposed to be an ass - BUT - THAT IS A JOKE
> c'mon - do you jump on every bandwagon in the hopes of not
> offending people who have modified a word to appease their own
> sense of self worth? I suppose you wont type the word "bananna"
> because the press book says some people look at that word as
> sexual? Human's are a species, not a sex. This is like the guy
> getting fired for using the word - "Niggardly" - a word with no
> racist definition or connotation, but sounds like the word
> "nigger". I tell you what, when you get an androgenous language
> all worked out, and all the world signed on with no-one getting
> offended, then I'll take it seriously. Until then, I'm trashing
> that concept - a bad meme to start.

...I don't need to construct an entire language to include everybody to begin to structure MY language that way.

> Bill Roh Fastmail's Free web based email for Canadians