Meet the Asterisks

30 10 2022

Cambridge, England; Dortmund

Yes, it does make anyone who tries to use it sound stupid.

But it makes them sound stupid in a woketarded way.

And that’s the rub here. Nobody here wants it, but the woketards do. And the woketards have access to institutions, powerful public broadcasters (which have been using it), two political parties in whole hog, the Social Democrats and the Greens, the CDU in part, and Die Linke in part, even though Die Linke is dying. Even the publishers of Duden, the German language dictionary of record, are starting to get on board with it. And now, Cambridge University is teaching it as “proper” German in its German as a foreign language courses.

So it’s going to be a Mexican standoff to see who prevails.

And by “it,” I mean what is referred to around here as “Geschlechtergerechte Sprache” (“gender-appropriate language” or “genderized language”).

Now, you might be asking the most obvious question right away: Do not the German languages already assign gender to nouns? I respond: Yes. You follow up: “So how is it even possible to ‘genderize’ a language that already assigns gender to nouns?”

Buddy, you don’t know the current year.

Let me walk you through it, Cliff’s Notes. It’s much more complicated than what I’m about to say, but this is good enough.

Take the many German nouns that use the -e/-ie/-in/-en/-innen system.

Let’s use the German words relating to a psychologist, simply because it looks the same, based on the late Enlightenment and early Romantic era absorption of ancient Greek terminology into languages all over the white world.

-ie is the discipline.

-e is a single male practitioner.

-in is a single female practitioner.

-en is multiple male practitioners.

-innen is multiple female practitioners.

So:

Psychologie means “psychology.”

Psychologe refers to a single male psychologist.

Psychologin refers to a single female psychologist.

Psychologen refers to multiple male psychologists.

Psychologinnen refers to multiple female psychologists.

Now, here’s the “rub,” least according to the woketards.

When speaking in general, or speaking of mixed sex company, or speaking in doubt, you default to the masculine. Called “Allgemein Männlich” (among other ways) here, (“general masculine” or “generic masculine”). And it’s the norm among languages that assign gender to nouns. You only use the singular feminine or plural feminine if you know for sure that they are a woman or women, respectively.

Examples of generic use:

“Ich glaube, Sie müssen einen Termin bei einem Psychologe vereinbaren.” (“I think you need to make an appointment with a psychologist.”) Notice it ends with just -e.

“Der Konsens der Psychologen ist, dass Kinder keine körperliche Züchtigung ertragen sollten.” (“The consensus of psychologists is that children should not receive corporeal punishment.”) Notice it ends with just -en.

That’s because, in this case, someone telling you you need to see a shrink comes at a time when nobody knows who is the particular shrink you’ll be seeing. Meaning that nobody knows whether it’s going to be a man or a woman. Generality, in doubt. So you use singular masculine to refer to an individual psychologist in general even though you know full well that there are women psychologists.

And the media article about the dangers of corporeal punishment will refer to the entire body of psychologists in general, which means you use plural masculine, even though everyone knows that there are both men and women that are psychologists.

Now, if you do start seeing a shrink, and it winds up that she’s a woman, from that point on, your conversation will refer to her as Psychologin, note the -in.

And if the group of psychologists that recommend against corporeal punishment just so happen to be a known group of all women qua women, then the media copy referring to their advice would refer to them as Psychologinnen, note the -innen.

Parenthetnically, here are some real world examples:

Olaf Scholz is the current “Bundeskantzler.” (“Federal Chancellor”). Before him, Angela Merkel was the “Bundeskantzlerin.” In general and plural they are referred to as “Bundeskantzleren.” Hypothetical discussion of who will hold the office fifty years from now uses “Bundeskantzler” even if it happens to be woman when the time comes.

Kamala Harris is referred to as the current or incumbent “US-Vizepräsidentin.” Before her, Mike Pence was the “US-Vizepräsident.” The collective of all American Vice-Presidents is called “US-Vizepräsidenten.”

Rishi Sunak is now the “UK-Premierminister.” Before him, Liz Truss was the “UK-Premierministerin.” And you know the drill, general-plural is “UK-Premierministeren.” That country had another recent change at the top, September 8, 2022 saw the sovereign monarch change from a “Königin” to a “König.” No separate-looking word for a female sovereign monarch, just the singular feminine form of the word that means King.

By now, you should understand the woketards’ problem.

They just don’t like the generic masculine, when in doubt or speaking in general or of known mixed company, to default to the masculine.

Their solution?

“Gendersternchen.” (“Gender Asterisks”).

What it means is that using asterisks as a wild card in grammatical situations where the normal habit is to use the generic masculine.

It looks like this:

“Psycholog*in” to refer to a single psychologist no matter what. Known man, known woman, in general, or in doubt.

“Psycholog*innen” to refer to plural psychologists no matter what. Known men, known women, mixed company, in general.

Yeah, it’s stupid as hell.

But I’ve learned in the current year not to be so quick in betting against woketards.

And, guess who else around here cares about this matter so much?

Worth a thousand words:

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