It's all in your mind

Years ago (and I mean many, many years ago), I had a college classmate named Allison who was, shall we say, a little bit radical. She thought that many languages were fundamentally sexist because (she felt) that there weren't many ways for women to be present in grammar, and that that meant that if a language tended to favour masculine forms, the language caused people, in turn, to think in a sexist way.

That idea may appear to be radical, but it's not a new one. As this New York Times article shows, people have been trying to make the connection between language and thought for a very long time (http://tinyurl.com/33adeud.)

It's a good article, maybe a bit long, but works well in describing why that idea (called the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) isn't always correct.


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