Source Unknown September 15, 1999 NA

Computer Gender

From: Joe Esposito;

A language instructor was explaining to her class that French nouns, unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine. Things like "chalk" or "pencil" have a gender association, although in English these words are neutral.

Puzzled, one student raised his hand and asked, "What gender is a computer?"

The teacher wasn't certain which it was, and divided the class into two groups; one group all male, the other all female. They were to decide which gender should be applied to "computer" and give four reasons for their decision.

The results:

The group of women concluded computers should be referred to in the masculine gender because:

  1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

  2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.

  3. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.

  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

The group of men decided computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender because:

  1. No one understands their internal logic.

  2. Their native language to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

  3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it."