Ironically, there may be less space for feminist lexicography in the limitless expanse of cyberspace than there was in the olden days when dictionaries were books. In this case I think they should, and I hope they will.
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Why do you only write about the linguistic injustices suffered by women? The short answer is that we live in a world that treats men as the default humans , and that is reflected both in our use of language and in our public conversations about it. But what those standards embody is the same sexist and misogynist belief-system that oppresses women.
They police the boundary between the dominant and the dominated, with a view to maintaining the patriarchal status quo. There are forms of language policing which are clearly related to the Prime Directive. This quest is based on a simple assumption: the deeper the voice, the more masculine the man. Going lower is desirable, not only because it underscores the all-important difference between men and women, but also because it enables men to claim a higher status among their peers.
As I explored this subgenre of verbal hygiene, I found two things particularly striking. First, it seems to be an all-male affair, a case of men policing other men. Of all the top tips I read, I think my favourite was probably this one :. Step 1: Tilt your head back as far as you can. Ding, Dong. King Kong. Step 3: Repeat step 2 but at a deeper pitch Step 4: Repeat again, this time at your deepest possible pitch. Congratulations, you now have a deeper, manlier and sexier voice. At least for the next day or so. A deep voice is an inherently masculine strait [sic], being a symptom of both size and testosterone levels.
Deep voices elicit attraction from women and respect from men. I was born…with a typical, merely average pitched voice. I was also born with a perfectionist streak which when met with discovering game and self-improvement meant maximizing all my attributes as best I possibly could, so having a merely average pitch voice was no longer good enough. Your investment will be repaid in actual money. Analysis revealed, as the researchers had predicted, that larger companies typically had lower-pitched CEOs. These deep-voiced men did earn more than their higher-voiced counterparts, but the income differential was not directly linked to voice-pitch.
Rather it was a by-product of the link to company size, reflecting the fact that big companies generally pay their executives more. Apart from anything else, the study only makes claims about one particular group of men, namely CEOs of public companies. Why would we expect a deep voice to confer the same financial benefits on Joe the Plumber or Jon the IT guy? In America it would be fair to say that this enthusiasm is the cultural norm. But there are a few dissenters, one notable example being Dr Morton Cooper , a practising speech pathologist who is also the author of a best-selling self-help book called Change Your Voice, Change Your Life.
Cooper is a controversial figure in his profession, not only because of his celebrity clients and his popular writing, but also because he is seen as a crank.
One reason for this is his forcefully-expressed belief that a cultural bias towards deep voices is leading millions of Americans to damage their vocal apparatus by speaking at an unnaturally low pitch. But to judge from the items I reviewed while writing this post, the main reason voice-deepening advice is popular is not that it promises men increased earnings or higher social status; in most cases its central message is that going lower will improve your sex-life.
The proposition that deeper-voiced men are more attractive to women is generally presented as a truism: why else, after all, would this form of sexual dimorphism have evolved? As it turns out, though, this is one of the many mysteries of human evolution about which scientists do not agree.
There are competing theories, and the evidence is not clear-cut.
One frequently-cited piece of research on this subject is a study conducted with the Hadza , a hunter-gatherer group in Tanzania, which found that deeper-voiced male members of the group where according to the researchers no one used any kind of contraception fathered more children than those with average voice-pitch.
Low-voiced speakers were generally judged to be better hunters, but there was no clear preference for them as husbands. In fact, when Apicella divided the women into two subgroups, those who were currently nursing infants and those who were not, she found that the nursing mothers actually preferred men with less deep voices. Some scientists believe that the low-pitched male voice did not evolve to make men more attractive to women, but rather to make them more intimidating to other men ; a super-low voice suggests high levels of testosterone, which are potentially associated with high levels of aggression.
Evolutionary scientists often assume that women are attracted to aggressive men, but feminists might think there are reasons to question that assumption.
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Their ideas on that subject belong in a museum, and their advice belongs in the bin. Until last week I had never heard of Elizabeth Holmes , the year old former CEO of a company called Theranos which claimed to have developed a revolutionary new blood-testing technology. But then it all unravelled: the technology was revealed to be a fraud. Last year Holmes and her partner were charged with a number of criminal offences. Is her voice-pitch noticeably low for a woman of her age? In my opinion, no. But when the shit hit the fan, it began to be suggested that her baritone was as dodgy as her blood-testing device.
Women in business, politics and the professions are constantly told that their high-pitched voices are a problem, undermining their authority and making them sound like silly girls. They are explicitly encouraged, and sometimes coached as Margaret Thatcher famously was to lower their pitch so that people will take them more seriously. But as her story suggests, actually taking it can have a downside.
Ah yes, the classic mixed message so beloved of advice-givers everywhere: change yourself while also staying true to yourself. How are women supposed to balance these contradictory demands?
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They showed a clear preference for the speaker whose voice was lower. The conclusion might seem to be obvious: ambitious women should adjust their voice-pitch downwards. But at the same time,. How can women extricate themselves from this double bind? The article goes on to inform us that. PMS pneumatic pneumonia poach poacher P. Senate senate Senator senator senatorial send send-off senile senility Senior senior senior citizen senior high school seniority sensation sensational sensationalism sensationally sense senseless sensibility sensible sensibly sensitive sensitively sensitivity sensor sensory sensual sensuality sensuous sent sentence sentiment sentimental sentimentality sentry separable separate separated separately separation Sept.
September sequel sequence sequential sequoia serenade serene serenely serenity sergeant serial serial killer serial number series serious seriously seriousness sermon serpent serrated serum servant serve server service serviceable service charge serviceman service station servicewoman servile serving servitude session set setback setting settle settled settlement settler setup seven seventeen seventeenth seventh seventieth seventy sever several severance severance pay severe severely severity sew sewage sewer sewing sewing machine sewn sex sexism sexist sexual sexual intercourse sexuality sexually sexy Sgt.
That's a lot meaning much , many , often , and so on. Two words — all right — is preferred. Avoid beginning sentences with also. There's nothing illegal about it, but it tends to be inelegant.
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The suggestion is that your writing is just a list, and this next item is merely an afterthought. Much better is to find a logical transition from one sentence to the next. Alternate as an adjective traditionally means going back and forth between two things, as in alternate Mondays i. Alternative means other. Traditionalists prefer an alternative to an alternate plan. Real traditionalists insist that alternative can be used only in cases where there are two options. The simple rule will rarely fail you: use between for two things, among for more than two.
The word amount refers only to mass nouns , not to count nouns : it's an amount of stuff but a number of things. One word or the other will almost always do just as well. See Slashes. A technical term in grammar for the word or phrase to which a relative pronoun refers. For traditionalists, to anticipate something is to get ready for it, or to do something in advance; this isn't the same as expect. If you expect changes, you think they'll be coming soon; if you anticipate changes, you're preparing to deal with them. William Blake certainly didn't expect Modernist poetry, but in some ways he anticipated it by doing similar things a century earlier.
The use of anticipate for expect is now so widespread that it's pointless to rail against it. Still, expect has the advantage of being shorter and more to the point.
Don't give in to the business writer's love affair with the longer word. I prefer to avoid using anxious when I mean eager.
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You can be anxious about an upcoming exam, but you probably shouldn't tell friends you're anxious to see them this weekend. It's not that it's wrong , but it runs the risk of confusion. It's usually inappropriate and much wordier than necessary. There's also the opposite case: when a singular noun ends in s. That's a little trickier. Most style guides prefer s's : James's house.