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  1.  (10170.201)
    If I made a pie chart of difficulties of writing, working around this term gap would be the kitchen that the pie is in.

    Usually I end up wanting to reach for the word "girl" for "female young person." Then I realize, 'now this sentence looks creepy and/or unaware of what an adult female is.' This is how serious the inadequacy of the word "woman" is -- I find it easier to use the different word that also includes "seven year old humans selling cookies at Walgreens."

    There are shorthands for "young __" but every one of them is part of the "American Dictionary of Beer or Taco Advertisements" -- e.g. bro, lady, dude, chica, etc. Related conflict: the actual phrase "young adult" implies teenagers.

    To answer my own question I would make a guess that the vast difference in status between non-old adults and all other adults is extremely new. Culturally, the norm for forever in not just the anglosphere but languages we like to borrow from, and especially for females* is that you are a child until you are 16 and then you are being married to a baron who has a white mustache and shingles.

    *I spent two minutes deciding what to type there!

    Followup question:

    How can we fix this? Does anyone know of a non-English term that covers these gaps?
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      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
     (10170.202)
    #windows8preview

    Has anyone else tried the Windows Developer Preview? I am in it right now, for about 3 minutes so my opinion is not ready yet.
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011 edited
     (10170.203)
    #English Talking
    I'm willing to start a compendium of words-for-females, but I'm not willing to post it on Whitechapel, for fear of getting people all up-in-arms about PCness and crap. It happens here but rarely, but I feel like this will be one of those times.

    Also I've started using the phrase "eighteen-to-twenty-fours" as a noun. As in, "I think the 18-to-24s will hype the shit out of this."
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
     (10170.204)
    #camera

    I love my Nikon D40. It's entry-level and it was $500 and I am super-impressed with it. I'm not planning on upgrading the body for a very, very long time. The kit lens lasted me three years, as well.
    Cheaper than $500, you say? Get it used.
    •  
      CommentAuthorArtenshiur
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
     (10170.205)
    #MartialArts

    What kind of detail are you looking for? Pretty much everything Japanese is ranked on the kyu/dan system (Go players are ranked this way, for example). How high the dans go and how low the kyus go vary by school, and anything else about a ranking system will be idiosyncratic. Karate and kobudo are both very wide fields with many schools, and so you'll find a lot of variation within.
  2.  (10170.206)
    #English Talking (plus related question)

    I suppose that's the vacancy left when "lad" and "lass" were dropped by much of the English speaking world. We really do need those words, though, and people often fill that vacancy with slang, like Brian Mowrey lists, or colloquialisms, like "young'un," but those are all only useful in specific contexts, unfortunately. Perhaps there is more serious slang that could be sufficient, though I can't think of any just now... I'd be interested in that compendium of words for females, and a comparable one for males, allana. PC be damned, do it for Science! (I can't imagine a reason to be offended by an exploration of language, anyway.)

    Speaking of English, is there a term for a long time romantic partner that doesn't have the TMI quality of lover, but sounds more serious than boyfriend/girlfriend and less ambiguous than partner?
    •  
      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.207)
    #camera

    @allana - I think I just saw a store listing for a used D40 at $200, actually. Maybe I'll grab that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.208)
    #English Talking
    People are offended by explorations of language because language is democratic, which means some idiot's always going to be mucking shit up, lowest-common-denominator-style. Specifically, terms for females are created by men, often as ways of indicating sexual value. It's, like, history, and fact, and stuff. On the internet, it's hard to separate things presented as history-and-facts-and-stuff from things presented as single-point perspectives, like rare-but-extreme anecdotal evidence, etc.

    (And anytime you attempt a contemporary folk-documentation you put yourself at risk of being shit on, because people like trusting Wikipedia and the big illusion of consensus, without understanding the time and process needed to get there. "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History" party later, anyone?)

    But, y'know, you had to go and throw the S-word into it, didn't you? I'll be back with what will undoubtedly be a rough, rough draft.


    In terms of what to call a significant other: Girl/Boyfriend is about as serious as it gets with the under-30s. If he's not just "a guy that I see" or "someone I've been dating," but an expected part of my life/plans/social-duties, it's kind of a Big Deal. Alternatives....
    Partner: Not actually that bad. More serious than "date," less serious than official-sounding things (e.g. fiancee, common-law, live-in, mother-of-my-children, etc). The problem is that it's often used as a PC way to announce your homosexuality, so there's work to be done before it gets acceptance as a generic term. You could, of course, do that work.
    Significant Other: Weirdly formal, as unsubtle as "partner." "SO" is a good casual version, but you can only use the written form. Don't say "Ess-Oh" out loud. Just don't.
    Sweetheart: "My sweetheart?" Really? Ew.
    Other Half: Has weird associations with "the ol' ball and chain." "Better Half" is cheesy. So is "Best Friend," which, yes, I have heard. "Life Mate" is too bromance-y.
    My Old Lady: I actually like this one, though I bet there aren't a lot of women that would. I think it's cute, has a '70s-biker-gang air. Too bad "My Old Man" refers to one's father. (Common theme alert!)
  3.  (10170.209)
    #English Talking

    What about about "Life Partner". It's a bit stilted, but at least removes the ambiguity about whether you're talking about your lover or the person you happen to run a business with.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.210)
    #Wordpress

    Do you have a Wordpress blog? If so, I have a question for you: my spoiler-filled review of A Dance with Dragons on my Wordpress blog has been getting clusters of people liking it. They're strangely named and they always come in batches of threes. I'm assuming this is bot activity of some kind. Any experience with it?
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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.211)
    I forgot "My Lady Friend." No real male equivalent that I can think of. "My Gentleman Caller?" I am so gonna start using that.
  4.  (10170.212)
    #Wordpress

    Does "like" in that sentence mean some Facebookish plugin? Or just comments? Comments show IP addresses in Dashboard so you can tell when the same person is pretending to be three people.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.213)
    #wordpress

    It's a Wordpress plug-in for blogs hosted on the Wordpress.com site which then allows you to see all of the posts from the blogs on the site you liked.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.214)
    #camera - I second @allana - the D40 is a seriously solid bit of kit, easy to learn on, refuses to die. And, yeah, looks like you can get them used for a few hundo on eBay.

    NewQ: #video

    What should I use to turn a whole load of .jpegs into video? (that can be uploaded to youtube/vimeo/whatever)
    Preferably without the hindrance of cost.
  5.  (10170.215)
    #English Talking

    As wonderful as "Gentleman Caller" is, It presupposes that the gentleman doesn't live with you, so comes to call. While it wouldn't work for me, I encourage as many people to use it as possible; it's fantastic. Life Partner does suffice, but I already have a platonic one of those. Maybe "My Fella" to match "My Lady Friend"? Is that exclusively Southern?

    What about "Guys" and "Gals" for young men and women? Too informal?
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.216)
    I've always figured "Gal" could mean anyone from the age of 30-70, while "Dame" fits more of the 22-30 range. "Broad," of course, can mean anyone from 25-45.

    Then again, whenever I use Dame or Broad in polite company, I get punched in the kisser, so I'm not the best one to ask, maybe.
  6.  (10170.217)
    #English Talking

    Partner kind of works for me although sometimes seems a bit odd/forced. 'Girlfriend' doesn't seem right after 15 years and being in late 30s... Lots of people seem to insist on changing that to 'wife' even though they know she isn't, I think perhaps they can't entertain the thought that we've had three kids and are still living in sin...
  7.  (10170.218)
    • CommentAuthorMrMonk
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     (10170.219)
    #English Talking

    I think the choice of word becomes difficult because there are so many to choose from, each with different connotations and appropriate to different contexts. It seems to me (as a reader, not a writer) that part of the practice of writing is to know what context you want to build for the reader.

    @J0nCarp3nter - I would call any couple who lived as if they were husband and wife "husband and wife," regardless of their legal or sanctified status. Fifteen years together and three kids: husband and wife.
  8.  (10170.220)
    I call my girlfriend of the past three years +, "my old lady" and she digs it. She just refers to me as her man. It works for us.

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