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 Post subject: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:37 pm 
Lebom
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This word apparently came from a nonrhotic pronunciation of the word "girl". How did nonrhotic "girl" give rise to "gal" however? It seems like a major change in the vowel. The word seems to be nearly extinct now. I mainly hear it among old people.


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:58 pm 
Sumerul
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I hear/see galpal every once in a while. Gal is common in fiction and I guess in dialects far from where I live.

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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:31 am 
Osän
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ə > a isn't such a big change :?:


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:59 pm 
Sanno
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finlay wrote:
ə > a isn't such a big change :?:

[ɜ] > [æ] is even less of one. Just look at a vowel chart.


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:09 pm 
Avisaru
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...huh?

I hear 'gal' all the time, generally as the feminine counterpart to 'guy'. Then again, I work in an industry that's male-dominated, and with terms that have historically used "guy"—so, at my company when using those terms, we'll throw in 'gal' also. For example, "We're looking for a couple of iOS guys/gals to come work on this project".


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:05 pm 
Smeric
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Axiem wrote:
...huh?

I hear 'gal' all the time, generally as the feminine counterpart to 'guy'. Then again, I work in an industry that's male-dominated, and with terms that have historically used "guy"—so, at my company when using those terms, we'll throw in 'gal' also. For example, "We're looking for a couple of iOS guys/gals to come work on this project".

Sounds like an ironic usage, though, especially since for most non-Southerners "guys" is gender neutral (see: "you guys"). I definitely associate unironic use of "gal" with being 60+, sort of like "fella."

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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:21 pm 
Sumerul
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Actually, guys is usually either gender-neutral or male specifically dependent on context rather than just gender-neutral.

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:15 pm 
Avisaru
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"Guy" is not gender-neutral. When you say something like "we need a Linux guy", everyone will picture a man. My example was bad because of the use of the plural; I much more often hear it in the singular. Another example is that our weekly reminder to fill out our timesheets frequently includes something like "If anyone doesn't do their timesheets on time, then one of us has to work the weekend. Don't be that guy/gal!"

I'll accept that "guys" when used in the vocative ("Hey guys, come check this out") is more-or-less gender neutral, but in most other circumstances, the only people I know who claim it to be gender-neutral are men. But, it's not.

(Here's one of my tests for whether or not a term is gender-neutral: construct a sentence with that word asking about a behavior that is exclusive to one sex. For example, when I ask people who claim that "guys" is "always gender-neutral" things like "How many guys do you know who menstruate?", the answer is frequently "none" (or "I see what you did there"), which belies the "gender-neutral" point)

Why yes, this is a hill I'm willing to die on.


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:52 pm 
Sumerul
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Well I'm the weirdo who will answer "I haven't tried counting, but probably between 2000 and 200."

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:28 pm 
Sanno
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Axiem wrote:
I'll accept that "guys" when used in the vocative ("Hey guys, come check this out") is more-or-less gender neutral, but in most other circumstances, the only people I know who claim it to be gender-neutral are men. But, it's not.

Same.

"Guy/gal" definitely strikes me as characteristic of a place with more strictly-defined gender roles. In my circles, we'd say "Don't be that person". Epicene terms are the default and sound quite natural to most people.

I'm not really sure what counts as "ironic" or "unironic" usage any more, but I do hear "gal" from under-60s, though not especially frequently.


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:35 pm 
Sumerul
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Axiem wrote:
behavior that is exclusive to one sex.
...
"How many guys do you know who menstruate?"

*cough*trans men*cough*


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:39 pm 
Sumerul
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KathTheDragon wrote:
Axiem wrote:
behavior that is exclusive to one sex.
...
"How many guys do you know who menstruate?"

*cough*trans men*cough*

I thought of that, too (and I guess more specifically pre-op trans men), but in my case at least, the answer would still be "zero" because I don't know any.


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:58 pm 
Sumerul
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As far as I know, I don't know any trans men.

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kårroť


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:44 pm 
Smeric
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To clarify, what I meant is that "guy" (singular) is never gender neutral, but "guys" (particularly but not exclusively in the phrase "you guys") can be based on context. The only people I've ever known to get upset over the phrase "you guys" are Southerners, where the default second person plural is "y'all" or "all y'all."

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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:36 pm 
Smeric
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I remember watching one of the Mighty Ducks movies and a girl character getting upset over "you guys", so the feeling extends at least as far as 90s LA.

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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:05 pm 
Šriftom
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So Haleza Grise wrote:
I remember watching one of the Mighty Ducks movies and a girl character getting upset over "you guys", so the feeling extends at least as far as 90s LA.

Movie scripts should not be taken as an accurate depiction of actual usage.

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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:17 pm 
Lebom
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Axiem wrote:
"Guy" is not gender-neutral. When you say something like "we need a Linux guy", everyone will picture a man. My example was bad because of the use of the plural; I much more often hear it in the singular. Another example is that our weekly reminder to fill out our timesheets frequently includes something like "If anyone doesn't do their timesheets on time, then one of us has to work the weekend. Don't be that guy/gal!"

I'll accept that "guys" when used in the vocative ("Hey guys, come check this out") is more-or-less gender neutral, but in most other circumstances, the only people I know who claim it to be gender-neutral are men. But, it's not.

(Here's one of my tests for whether or not a term is gender-neutral: construct a sentence with that word asking about a behavior that is exclusive to one sex. For example, when I ask people who claim that "guys" is "always gender-neutral" things like "How many guys do you know who menstruate?", the answer is frequently "none" (or "I see what you did there"), which belies the "gender-neutral" point)

Why yes, this is a hill I'm willing to die on.


Yes. If someone says "there's a bunch of guys over there", it refers to males, never females or a mix of males and females. "guy" in "bad guy" can be gender neutral. "She's the bad guy."


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:20 pm 
Sumerul
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Again, it may be that way for most people, but not for me.

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:19 am 
Smeric
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Travis B. wrote:
So Haleza Grise wrote:
I remember watching one of the Mighty Ducks movies and a girl character getting upset over "you guys", so the feeling extends at least as far as 90s LA.

Movie scripts should not be taken as an accurate depiction of actual usage.


They should be taken as accurate reflections of what screenwriters are exposed to in the culture, IMO. If they had made up the idea that anyone could be offended by it, it wouldn't work as something you would put in the script as a throwaway line (which this was). It would need to be recognised.

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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:29 am 
Avisaru
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KathTheDragon wrote:
Axiem wrote:
behavior that is exclusive to one sex.
...
"How many guys do you know who menstruate?"

*cough*trans men*cough*


Yes, I thought of that at the time I wrote that. Though that doesn't particularly change its ability to suss out non-gender-neutral language: even if the answer is "one", you've identified that the word is not in fact gender neutral.

(And in regards to "exclusive to one sex", my understanding is that transmen would refer to their gender, not their sex; I used the word "sex" quite intentionally there for that reason. However, I could be wrong in my understanding.)


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:32 am 
Niš
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I often hear things along the lines of, "Hey guys, c'mere!" referring to a collective of people of indeterminate gender (or of whom gender is irrelevant). But I agree, in the singular it is typically used to indicate males in informal speech. "When a guy goes shopping..." refers to the prototypical male, and is usually followed by, "...they go in, get what they need, and leave."

Most of the time, "gal" is used as a counterpoint to "guy", very informally. My wife has on occasion talked about going "out with the gals" referring to her female coworkers, usually to lunch. Used by men in conversation with their girlfriend/spouse, "gal" can refer to "a coworker or friend that poses no credible threat to our relationship."

Referring to a female directly as "female" is too clinical; "woman" is insulting; "lady" demands respect (or can be ironically demeaning); "girl" is (depending on context) insulting, chiding, or flattery; "dame" and "broad" are 1920s slang and where did you pick up such strangeness anyway; "madam" has negative connotations of a mature nature; "ma'am" is acceptable but marks you as Southern (even if you aren't); "babe" or "baby" is sexist; "miss", like "girl", can be insulting or flattering depending on context.

In today's day and age, it is probably best to use the person's name or an avoidance strategy when speaking directly to them.


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 Post subject: Re: The word "gal".
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:00 pm 
Sumerul
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SylbanQuin wrote:
... "ma'am" is acceptable but marks you as Southern (even if you aren't) ...


Ma'am is used pretty often in California and considered neutral, though a few older people find it odd that younger women are fine with being called ma'am instead of miss. At least that's how it was about 5 years ago when I was living there, and that was true of both So Cal and Nor Cal.

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