Feminine or masculine? A language teacher was explaining to her
class that in French, nouns, unlike their English counterparts, are
grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.
For example, "House" in French, is feminine........"La maison".
"Pencil" in French, is masculine...."le crayon".
One puzzled student asked, "What gender is a computer?" The teacher
did not know, and the word was not in her French dictionary 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 a feminine noun.
Both groups were required to give four reasons for their
The boy's group decided that computer should definitely be of the
feminine gender ('la computer"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers
is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for
possible later review;
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself
spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
The girl'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;
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited
a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
The girls won.
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