Queer Language and E-Primitive


#21

Amazing. That really blows my mind and inspires me. I still hate english-it, but I love your monstrous, terrifying IT! Like Uncle It from the Adam’s Family, or the Swamp Thing.

You know, in a way, this really reveals that English does exactly what it means to…the word “it” DOESN’T mean INANIMATE, as the textbooks claim. It means UNKNOWN, unfathomable, INHUMAN.

It allows us to ‘dismiss’ these things comfortably. I think you’ve done much the same thing as feminists reclaiming ‘bitch’ or similar endeavors though their success varies. Yours seems to have worked on your own terms.

I guess I looked for this kind of insight, that you’ve shown me, when I started this thread. I feel like the people (human and non-) that our culture stigmatizes and marginalizes bear the secret EXIT sign, whether they know it or not. If a culture has abandoned you already, how much work do you really have to abandon your culture?

Not much.

Unfortunately my culture loves me, saddled me with all its hopes and ideologies, sees in my white male english-speakingness the shape of domination to come. I don’t feel guilty about this, it just means I always have an out. I can capitulate at any time, rejoin the flock, plug back into the matrix. ITs don’t have this choice. They have a gun pointed to their head, whether they say yes, or no, to its requests, this culture will still pull the trigger.

RANT RANT RANT RANT! Maybe I should post this over in Jana/yarrow’s grief and praise thread. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!


#22

Ha ha. Can you believe we wrote these two sentences at exactly the same time?

:slight_smile:


#23

FUN!!!


#24

I kinda like the idea of user created language : )

edit: actually I really like it, you don’t get to discuss these things at ‘school’ it’s just kind of fed to you. Your world is shaped for you, instead of you shaping your world.


#25

Ai’m a little offended at peoples’ prejudice against the word ‘it’. Old English was a gendered language that consisted of masculine, feminine and neutral. “It” was simply the neutral gender of singular 3rd person pronouns and was said in reference to any neutral gender noun. A related incidence is why “man” can refer to the two leged people: “man” was the Old English word for the two legeds, but it happened to be masculine gender (prolly because of gender bias) so the main meaning switched to an adult male when gender was gotten rid of. Ai say we just eliminate the distinction made between animate and inanimate beings and call everyone “it”.

Or we could go with my earlier constructed pronoun “hey”. (pronunciation in parentheses)
he - him - his -his
she - her - her - hers
hey - hem - hir - hirs
(hei - hem - heer - heerz)
pl. : they - them - their - theirs

Its almost the same as the Middle English version of they and them, but altered to fit with the modern pattern.


#26

Offended? Wow, it doesn’t take much, does it? :slight_smile:

To take you literally, calling everyone ‘it’ poses a challenge for me, as currently my mind reads ‘it’ as ‘nonliving, nonperson’. Rather than use that on everything, I’d rather just abandon it. Whatever its roots, it means what it means to me, right now, today.

Looking in context, I see you may not mean that literally. In that sense, I think several folks have suggested just that: one pronoun for all beings, whether ‘ki’ or your ‘hey’ or whatever. Chinuk Wawa uses ‘yaka’ and ‘klaska’ for all singular and plural third-persons. Sign language uses a pointing thumb or finger, if I remember right.


#27

oooh, i like the idea of throwing ki into everyday language (even if not substituting for “it” all the time). ki feels like an apt choice. when i lived in japan and was learning japanese, i loved learning about how ki embodies not a static state but a feeling or modality… the equivalent to asking “How are you doing?” is “Genki desu ka?” Gen-ki (元気) means something like “original spirit.” Likewise, the word for weather is Ten-ki (天気), which means something like “heaven’s spirit” (or we could take it to mean the ‘mood of the air’). I don’t know if this explanation helps, but I always found ki fascinating, and I’m glad to see ki appear here.


#28

I have several friends gay and lesbian friends in college, one of whom reads much on transgender issues.

The usage of gender-neutral pronouns becomes a bit contentious depending on who you ask, but a wide-spread and common form of such pronouns are Ze for the active and Hir for the possessive. When spoken they are pronounced like “Zee” and “Here”. These are not the only ones, “s/he” is also popular but hard to speak. The previous two are the nouns of choice as endorsed by transgender author Leslie Feinberg.

A good sentence example was explained by the character Alice on “The L Word”:

“So you could say ‘Ze said ze didn’t like my dress, so I told hir to go fuck hirself’”.

Oh and “he-she” is considered naive and under NO circumstances do you EVER say “it”.

Now I’m bad enough with gender pronouns as it is, so it might take me a while to incorporate that AND E-Prime :slight_smile:


#29

[quote=“Willem, post:23, topic:610”][quote author=Nodal Nim link=topic=653.msg7643#msg7643 date=1200691193]

Calling something (or someone) “ki” labels it (or she or he) not as a thing, animal, or person, but as a pattern of energy, a process. “Ki” applies to all things, all life forms, all abstract non-things (ideas & such). It means we’d no longer call these “things,” but rather “ki,” patterns of energy, vibrations.
[/quote]

FUN!!![/quote]

Yeah I like this too :slight_smile:


#30

isn’t ki the tree symbol? OR looks like tree:


#31

i believe there are two symbols which are pronounced “ki” in japanese. the ki Nodal Nim and I refer to is æ°—. But “ki” means tree when associated with this symbol: 木.


#32

[quote=“Willem, post:26, topic:610”][quote author=chase link=topic=653.msg7720#msg7720 date=1201043912]Ai’m a little offended at peoples’ prejudice against the word ‘it’…Ai say we just eliminate the distinction made between animate and inanimate beings and call everyone “it”.
[/quote]

Offended? Wow, it doesn’t take much, does it? :slight_smile:

To take you literally, calling everyone ‘it’ poses a challenge for me, as currently my mind reads ‘it’ as ‘nonliving, nonperson’. Rather than use that on everything, I’d rather just abandon it. Whatever its roots, it means what it means to me, right now, today.

Looking in context, I see you may not mean that literally. In that sense, I think several folks have suggested just that: one pronoun for all beings, whether ‘ki’ or your ‘hey’ or whatever. Chinuk Wawa uses ‘yaka’ and ‘klaska’ for all singular and plural third-persons. Sign language uses a pointing thumb or finger, if I remember right.[/quote]
Thats not what ai said at all. Ai meant to use “it” as its old context ONLY - a gender neutral third person , modified use: if you do not know the gender or it is ambiguous or doesnt matter. The same with the chart that ai put in my earlier post. Also, ai am somewhat offended when people want to get rid of things just because civilization has corrupted them, instead of studying what it meant before European expantion and industrialism and reclaiming it.


#33

Ah! Ok. So not as a substitute, but simply as we already use it, you mean? Hmm. Personally ‘it’ doesn’t do much for me. I’ve had lots of experiences where ‘it’ has framed other beings as less-valuable, less-alive, and I want to get rid of that, get it out of my brain. I understand that you value the original sense of the word; in my language-world, the connotation has moved far beyond that original sense.

Also, ai am somewhat offended when people want to get rid of things just because civilization has corrupted them, instead of studying what it meant before European expantion and industrialism and reclaiming it.

I don’t think civilization corrupted Old English - I think civilization made Old English. I do what I can to honor the part of my heritage that comes from that soil (and that language), but I have no problems junking most of it (philosophically anyway). I use extant indigenous languages as my guide for linguistic sanity, and see what shakes out when I filter English through them.

I don’t know what to do with your offense - I respect it, but I don’t really understand it. Could you tell me more about your connection to this history/lineage, and why you value it?

I think Tolkien did the most to make me value the oral tradition of my Northern European ancestors. :slight_smile: I love that guy. Kings and all. Sigh.


#34

Th way I see it, th word “it” has developed th connotation of “thing”, “object”, “less than a person.” Many people (but of course not all) would find some offense in getting called “it.”

“I’m not an it! I’m a human being!”

I’ve noticed th pronouns people use when they refer to th dogs I walk. When they say “it,” they usually do so in a context such as, “Does it bite? Please keep it away from me.” When they don’t say “it” (usually they say “he,” demonstrating our unconscious sex bias - another story) they’ll say more positive things, like, “Can I pet him? What’s his name? He’s so cute!”

I think “he/she” grants personhood & “it” denies personhood.
Many people relate well with dogs (man’s best friend, & whatnot), so they will call them “he” or “she” (but not if they hate dogs or fear them). But how often have you heard someone refer to a spider as “he” or “she”? Not very often, & usually not in th context of, “Let’s smash her!” If you intend to smash a living creature, you’ll probably call it “it,” thus objectifying it & denying it personhood: “Let’s smash it!” When someone calls a spider “he” or “she”, that person grants it some degree of personhood: “No, don’t smash her. Let’s just let her outside.”

So th problem some of us have with “it” stems from th objectification that “it” implies. Why wouldn’t we call a spider “he” or “she” (or “ze” or “ey” or “ki”, etc)? Why not a tree, or a rock, or a pair of boots, or a computer? Doing so shows more respect for th entities in our lives.

Think about when a person does call an object, “he” or “she,” like a boat or a guitar. It shows that th object means something to th person. To some extent, th person has granted th thing some degree of personhood. I respect that. In this overwhelmingly materialistic culture we’ve created, we all need to figure out how to more fully love th entities of our world, living & non-living.

Thus have I spent my two cents.


#35

I just want to bump this thread up a bit. I continue to get good stuff from it. I’m especially interested in a game like we have with e-prime where we use the gender nuetral pronoun “ki.”

Maybe we could even combine the games and add ki into the e-primitive challenges? Ooooh. Now that sounds like fun!


#36

I was re-reading this old thread and how interesting and relevant it still is. I was surprised there was no link to this NPR story about the pronoun, “Yo” invented by kids in Baltimore. :smiley:

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/04/25/178788893/yo-said-what