22 November 2014
Apparently, the current hot project for Those Who Don’t Have Enough To Do At City Hall, is making our language completely gender-neutral. “Harbourmaster” is the latest word to fall under the gender axe. While I wouldn’t dream of suggesting “Harbour Mistress” (this is a family column) I am not so sure about HarbourPerson either.
No doubt about it, that man in “woman” has got to go. Probably the first place to be hit will be public washrooms. Better get used to “Persons” and WoPersons”.
If that isn’t confusing enough, imagine what is going to happen to all of our great tunes? Are we really going to be singing along to “Hey Mr/Ms Tambourine Person”? Frankly, “When a Person…loves a Person” just doesn’t do it for me. “I’m a Solitary Person” might squeak by, but “Pretty Person” doesn’t have a chance.
Not to mention the effect this will have on our great literature. Hemingway will have won the Pulitzer for “The Old Person and the Sea.” “Little Persons” will be read by persons of gender everywhere, and “The Person of LaMancha” may sweep Broadway. My own personal <sic> favourite has got to be Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Persons.”
All this could result in a new branch of philology, with its own name, of course – SEpersonTICS…and since my Canadian government is so insistent on being politically correct, surely Winnipeg deserves to reside in “Personitoba?”
You see, the problem is personifold. You can’t just draw the line here. ALL things must be included and made equal.
It’s simple, when you get the hang of it. Fireplaces will have persontels, the rich can live in personsions, and those of us with long fingernails can go for personicures. “Manuella” may not be too happy about becoming Personuella, but what the heck. We’ve got a persondate.
(This is a leash-free day, so go for it, and add your own gender-free word changes in the comments.)
When she is not cracking the whip as Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada, Melodie Campbell spends her time writing funny novels like The Artful Goddaughter, for Orca Books.