The Great Debate UK
Jacinta Nandi lives and works in Berlin, and her first book will be published by Periplaneta this month. The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters will host a follow-the-sun live blog on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2011.
It’s quite interesting to compare what’s considered sexist language in Germany with what’s considered sexist in the English-speaking world.
The main difference is a grammatical one: whereas English is basically a gender-neutral language, German nouns are always gender-specific. So, a lot of the time, when English speakers talk about professions, such as, for example, doctor or pilot, the terms they use have always been gender-neutral and probably always will be.
There are, however, some jobs which used to have female forms – classic examples being words such as authoress, sculptress, poetess – but this usage is considered old-fashioned and sexist nowadays.
from The Great Debate:
Higher taxes? Lower public spending? Devaluation? Inflation? Investment in green growth?
European governments are pointing in very different directions as they debate an exit strategy from the global financial crisis. Despite European Union efforts to coordinate economic policy, there are clear signs that the main European economies will charge off in disarray towards separate exits.
Arcandor’s chief Executive Karl-Gerhard Eick has warned that if his department store group is forced into insolvency, it will do to the retail sector what the collapse of Lehman Brothers did to finance. It is hard to know whether Eick really believes this, although one has to hope he does not.