I have a hate-love relationship with my computer. It’s an Apple laptop.
I love the portability, the fact that no matter what picture I upload they ALL go into iphoto (not into folders that I don’t know how to create or programs I never heard of) I never get viruses (I know cuz I have a virus-detector-thingey and I got a flu shot).
I hate my computer because it holds me hostage for hours making me search all sorts of cool & fascinating weird things and fills the “inbox” with hundreds of e-mails that I can’t keep up with (of course, if I stopped searching all the weird things I might have more time but my inbox rarely has cool & fascinating weird things, just weird.)
I never thought of my computer having gender. That is the limitation of the English language, everything (except people) is IT. French, Spanish, Greek and almost every romance language on earth gives a gender designation to objects.
My friend Joyce sent me this funny piece on whether computers are HE or SHE. I asked but my Apple won’t say, so I suspect it’s an IT.
Here’s the funny thing Joyce sent:
A Teacher was explaining to her adult Spanish Language class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.‘House’ for instance, is feminine: ‘la Casa.’ ‘Pencil,’ however, is masculine: ‘el lapis.’ A student asked, ‘What gender is ‘computer’?
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether ‘computer’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men’s group decided that ‘computer’ should definitely be of the feminine gender (‘la computadora’), because:
- No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
- The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
- Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for possible later retrieval; and
- As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
The women’s group concluded that computers should be Masculine (‘el computador’), because:
- In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
- They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;
- They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
- As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
What gender is your computer?
El computador o La computadora?
Thanks Joyce for sending this smile!