A French teacher was explaining to her college class that in French, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. House is feminine â€œla maison.â€ Pencil is masculine â€œle crayon.â€
A student asked, â€œWhat gender is computer ?â€
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups male and female – and asked them to decide for themselves whether â€œcomputerâ€ should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for their recommendation.
The menâ€™s group decided that â€œcomputerâ€ should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computer) because:
1.. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2.. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3.. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later review; and
4.. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay cheque on accessories for it.
The womenâ€™s group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine le computer) because:
1.. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2.. They have a lot of data but still canâ€™t think for themselves;
3.. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
4.. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.