English thread. Why not?

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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Ravick » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:12 am

What would be a common word to call a female friend? I mean, just like "dude", "man" or "pal" to a male friend.

(BTW, thanks for the grammar tips about the "advance" issue you all! :) )
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:17 am

Gez wrote:It's basic grammar,



... which I can tell from my own experiences at school a lot of people have difficulty comprehending.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Rachael » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:56 am

Ravick wrote:What would be a common word to call a female friend? I mean, just like "dude", "man" or "pal" to a male friend.

Unfortunately, not a lot of them are very flattering.

In America, the slangs "chick", "female friend", "woman", and "gal" all work when the speaker has no sexual interest in her. (Calling her "girl" is valid if the speaker is talking directly to her, but this is more commonly done when both speakers are women) If the speaker does have a sexual relationship with the subject, often terms like "girl", "lady", "ho", "girlfriend" and "bitch" all work. ("Bitch" is also used derogatorily when the speaker hates the person they're referring to, though - yes, it's used adaptively to refer to either situation the speaker has with a woman)

It's usually best to refer to a female friend as a "friend" and just leave it at that - and that's by far what's most commonly done.

(And before you ask - yes, women do have slang for how they refer to men who are of sexual interest to them)
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Gez » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:04 am

From what I've seen, some male terms like "dude" and "guys" tend to become unisex as forms of address. As in, you might be able to use "hey, dude!" to address a woman friend, but you wouldn't refer to her as "a dude".

I'd strongly advise against using terms like "bitch" or "ho" if you're not sure you can use them. Using insults as terms of endearment is risky. For girlfriends, old staple like "babe" or "love" are probably safer.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Rachael » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:24 am

Gez wrote:Using insults as terms of endearment is risky. For girlfriends, old staple like "babe" or "love" are probably safer.

I would definitely agree there - but I would take it a step further and using anything beyond purely dispassionate terms to anyone you do not know is very risky - regardless of your own or their gender.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Reactor » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:59 am

I'd never call a female friend of mine "bitch" or "twat", and of course, "dude" is out of the question as well. I usually say "chum", so far, I never had any problems, and the girls didn't seem to mind. AFAIK, the word "chum" doesn't have any meaning of masculinity.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Gez » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:13 am

This is interesting on this topic:
https://debuk.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/guys-and-dudes/

Here I want to pause and make a general point about the relationship between language and gender. The fact that a linguistic form is used more by men than women, or vice-versa, does not justify the conclusion that what the form actually expresses is masculinity or femininity. In many cases, what the form directly expresses is what linguists call ‘stance’: an attitude, a feeling, a point of view. But since many attitudes and feelings are culturally coded as either ‘masculine’ (e.g. aggression) or ‘feminine’ (e.g. modesty), the forms which communicate them may acquire a secondary association with gender. This is how Kiesling approaches the meaning of ‘dude’. What ‘dude’ directly expresses is not masculinity, it’s cool solidarity. But it’s associated with masculinity (and used more frequently by men than women) because its primary meaning, cool solidarity, has been culturally coded as a ‘masculine’ attitude.

I’m making this slightly theoretical point because it helps to explain why I don’t agree with Sherryl Kleinman’s suggestion that women who use terms like ‘guys’ and ‘dude’ are trying to claim ‘honorary man’ status. Rather I agree with Scott Kiesling, who argues that women use ‘dude’ for the same reason men do: because they want to express cool solidarity—especially, the evidence suggests, with other women. Rather than displaying internalized sexism, they’re like the little girl who sometimes wants to play with toy cars rather than dolls. It’s not that she wants to be a boy, she just doesn’t see why girls shouldn’t play with cars.

The question feminists should be asking about women calling each other ‘dude’ or ‘you guys’ isn’t why they’re talking like men (they aren’t), it’s why they can only express cool solidarity with other women by using prototypically male address terms. Aren’t there any female terms that would serve their purpose just as well?

Thinking about that, the only serious candidate I could come up with was the African American ‘girl(friend)’. If we leave aside obscenities and formal titles, most of the terms used to address women in English are terms of endearment: ‘baby’, ‘cookie’, ‘darling’, ‘doll’, ‘duck’, ‘hen’, ‘honey’, ‘pet’, ‘sweetie’, and so on. When they’re used between female friends these terms convey intimacy rather than cool solidarity, and when they’re used to women by male non-intimates, they also convey that the addressee is being belittled, sexually objectified, or both. Either way, they don’t do the same job as ‘guys’ or ‘dude’. Or ‘bro’, ‘bruv’, ‘buddy’, ‘fella’, ‘mate’ and ‘pal’. The difference between ‘bro’ and ‘baby’ is like the difference between a fist-bump and a pat on the head. Perhaps that’s another reason why women have adopted male address terms: to avoid being patronized, infantilized and sexualized.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Rachael » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:44 am

That is very interesting and I had not thought about it - and I really agree with a lot of it.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Ravick » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:05 pm

I was not expecting such an interesting discussion. I wonder how even more interesting this linguistic discussion could evolve as an academic topic for anthropology. Is it just a cultural issue, or are there biological definitions ("instincts"?) that are actually being verbally expressed by men and women? The anthropological stereotypes of 'hunter-warrior men who need to cooperate and trust each other without fearing too much intimacy of the colleague' and 'women who interact more deeply with each other while protected within the village' come to my mind.

Thinking of similarities with Portuguese, my mother language, I see that there are also no perfect equal-meaning words to "cara" (translation for "dude") between women, and that women also sometimes use it, but it is very unusual. I mean, I bet it happens in many cultures. Woa, how intriguing would be to see anthropologists get their hands on those linguistic discussions and publishing!

Anyway, back to the subject, I thought that "bitch" was always pejorative. I also thought that "chick" and "babe" were always used to "belitle" (another word I didn't know) women. Again comparing with Portuguese, it is intriguing that "twat" (another one I didn't know), and the word "babaca" (one of the possible translations for twat) also means either "vagina" or "jerk".

And, I asked that words because I was writing this dialogue here. In that plot, the player is a male, and must invite some NPCs to a party. Some of them are female, and I was using the term "sis". But I guess it doesn't sounds very natural, do it? Does not feel very "male", I guess? Would "gal" be more natural instead?

Oh, and thanks in advance! :)
Last edited by Ravick on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Reactor » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:04 pm

Heh :) it's funny that Portugese also don't have so many terms guys or girls could use on each other signifying friendship. So far the word "dude" was used by guys amongst themselves, even if they're complete strangers. Uh, much like "buddy". So "dude" or "buddy" doesn't necessarily mean the two are friends IMHO. Sometimes even the word "chum" is used between strangers, though it is used between good friends more frequently, much like "pal". The Hungarian word "haver" is roughly an equivalent - it may be a friendly term, but also can be used between strangers, and sometimes it may even have pejorative uses. Usually it depends on the textual environment or the situation :)

"Bitch" is always pejorative, yes, it has no positive meanings whatsoever, even if used on inanimate things..."this level was a real bitch to get thru!". The "twat" or "cunt" words are more or less the same deal, except they're only used on girls, like "prick" used on guys. About "gal"...I don't know. I guess "chick" and "babe" are okay to go, but if you really desire to be polite, "lady" or "darling" are perfect (not sure, but they may be used by men on women who are older than them). Sometimes I also heard "doll" as a fondling term to girls, but not that frequently, so I can't really decide whether or not it's a good title to use.

Interestingly, I had the same problem a few weeks ago, when I was writing dialogues for the story-blocks within the campaign, and among the adversaries, women are ranked higher than men with the highest majesty being the Evil Empress. To circumvent this problem, I simply used their titles, when a male character addressed a female one. It'll turn out...OK, I guess, but of course, I'll send the dialogues to someone who wishes to read'em and ask her opinion.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby lil'devil » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:08 am

Reactor wrote:The "twat" or "cunt" words are more or less the same deal, except they're only used on girls, like "prick" used on guys.

It seems that australians in particular use these words for all genders and they use them so frequently that it's hard to tell if they consider these words pejorative at all. One aussie guy I know calls virtually everybody a cunt, even calls the people he likes 'good cunts'.
Reactor wrote:About "gal"...I don't know.

Female equuivalent of 'guy'.

Also, from the above Gez's post:
terms of endearment: ‘baby’, ‘cookie’, ‘darling’, ‘doll’, ‘duck’, ‘hen’, ‘honey’, ‘pet’, ‘sweetie’, and so on.

Ahahaha, calling your girlfriend a 'hen' sounds so ridiculuous to me.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Reactor » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:50 pm

Aussies also like to use "mate", at least men use it to title other men. Not sure about girls.
I like to call my girlfriend "sweetie" or "sweetness", I think it's cute.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Reactor » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:02 am

New question, akin to the "heavy desert" dilemma.

I met this area in Catacomb 3D, I bet you recall the level "The Fens of Insanity". There are two locations named "Dark, thick fens" and "Black thick fens" which quite honestly I couldn't really understand. AFAIK fens are swampy flatlands, like a bog or quagmire. How can it be thick? The "sticky fens" made sense, usually fens are muddy and it's sticky alright, but...thick fen?
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Gez » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:35 am

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/what-is-a-fen-1.249936

At the next stage, lighter peats are dominated by smaller sedges and brown mosses, and groundwater is directed beneath "a floating mat of vegetation". Peats formed during these two stages are known as fen peats, and the areas in which they form are called fens.


So you've got a thick layer of decaying vegetal matter completely covering a lake.
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Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Reactor » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:35 am

Oh I see :) thank you! I've never seen a "thick" fen before, but now I know it does exist. Also the words "sedge" and "peat" are shiny new for me. At least I expanded my vocabulary a little!
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