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Re: unsusribbe

roberto wrote:
>It is extremely fascinating to look at the etymology of words, it gives us
>chance to use the precious language to faithfully represent what we really

So true.  For instance, going back a bit further in time to Sanskritic and
Proto-Indo-European roots (linguistic ancestors of Latin), the word "man"
has the meaning of "the mind," "the heart," "deepest or inmost soul," etc.

>To remain on the issue of "the gender of words" it's interesting to see 
>in Latin languages (not to mention more complex idioms like Japanese!) not
>only most objects have a gender but most of these objects can "change sex"
>according to the circumstances. Things like a table or a chair can either
>male or female according to the use they are put to; once you grasp the
>reasons behind this you have learnt a lot about a culture.

This is something most native speakers of English have a difficult time
dealing with in learning a new language.  I remember my Latin teacher in
high school telling us "There's no logic behind it -- don't drive 
crazy trying to figure out why a dog is masculine and a cat is feminine, or
why a door is feminine and a stone masculine -- just memorize the correct
word endings."  Good advice, though it *did* bother me for a while.  After
studying some modern languages I saw his point -- there really is no logic
or reason behind gender of words.  I guess in English it's just one less
thing to worry about, which is fine, since our spelling baffles most new
learners (and many native speakers as well).  I was surprised when learning
Hindi to find that not only do objects (nouns) have different genders, but
the verbs used to speak about the actions these objects perform also change
gender to match the object.  Very intriguing.

My apologies for being WAY OT