dander grammar up — plural or emasculated husbands

Are we too afraid to admit that our husbands are male in English?

The article Times Square confetti to contain New Year’s wishes at CNN.com says:

“Another person wrote that they wanted their husband to get a green card so that they could join them here in the states,” Tompkins told WABC-TV.

Look, I know we’re all squeamish about gender-specific pronouns (let alone common nouns) in English. But this article is about husbands — people who are necessarily male. Hello, English speakers? Speaking on behalf of all husbands (I feel I’m qualified here), it’s OK for you to refer to us using pronouns indicating our gender. In fact, we like it and encourage it.

I don’t know if I can really blame CNN here; presumably this awfulness came directly from Tim Tompkins, the Times Square Alliance spokesthem.

this is not just because I’m the son of an English teacher

From a CNN article:

Pop star Boy George was due to appear in court in London on Thursday accused of falsely imprisoning a 28-year-old male escort by chaining him to a wall.

See, there would have been no problem had he simply conformed to accepted principles for imprisoning one’s escorts. I presume he should have chained him to the floor, or used zip-ties or something like that.

From another one:

Police seized Khan last week after he appeared at a student rally at the University of Punjab in Lahore, police said. He had been on the run after escaping from house arrest days after the November 3 emergency order was imposed. He faces anti-terrorism charges.

ol_perve.jpgI thought ol’ buddy Perv was our ally in the war on terror. Strikes me as weird his opposition would face anti-terrorism charges.

I know, I know. I have such high standards and low resistance to hairsplitting.

But somebody does get paid to write this stuff.

blogspam / German-class show

Last week while killing time at Frankfurt am Main’s central station on my way back from a meeting with the new masters (who actually so far have all seemed quite pleasant to work with), I picked up the book pictured at left. Pure language nerd stuff. I’d already read the first volume of the book, and liked it enough to amuse myself with volume two while waiting for a train.

Then last night while surfing German TV we came across a game show featuring audience members (who are also participants) in groups of teachers, government employees (Beamte), school-aged students, Austrians (not kidding, they are measured separately), and a panel of celebrities from all walks of German life (TV stars, athletes, even politicians). The goal: get a good grade on their German language homework. Categories included vocabulary, dictation, capitalization, and the especially tricky Punctuation Round.

I’m proud to say — I rocked. Having just read the above-mentioned book helped a lot. I’m still weirded out by the concept of the show, though. Want to play along at home (or wherever you are?) Try it online yourself: der große Deutsch-Test.

In other news, even with the Akismet anti-spam plug-in on ye olde Regensblogge, which usually works like a champ, we’ve been getting spam like crazy recently. Hate that. I’m trying an additional anti-spam measure (another plug-in, specifically designed to augment Akismet) programmed by the guy who did the flickr plug-in I use for embedding images. I’m hoping you won’t have any trouble posting your comments and all here as a result of the extra security measure. As long as you post some real content and not stuff that appears to be spam, there should be no trouble. Still, please contact me if anything seems amiss.