I Trigotti

Necessaria precisazione: e sia ben chiaro noi non siamo bigotti.

Mese: Ottobre 2007



Psychologists have made a substantial contribution to documenting sexism in the structure and use of the English language. Research has refuted the belief that gender-specific terms are invariably interpreted by the reader as generic and in particular, that the male form includes the female. These and other conventions have been shown to reflect and reinforce sex-role stereotypes, and the weight of the evidence is sufficient to justify the effort entailed in writing non-sexist prose.
Help the reader to focus on the content of your paper by avoiding language that may cause irritation, flights of thought, or even momentary interruptions. Such sources of distraction include linguistic devices and constructions that may imply sexual, ethnic or other kinds of bias.
Language that reinforces sexism can spring from subtle errors in research design, inaccurate interpretation or imprecise word choices. An investigator may unintentionally introduce bias into the researech design: for example by using stimulus materials and measures that suggest to one sex or to the other what responses are “appropriate”; or, in interpretation, an investigator may make unwarranted generalisations about both men and women from data about one sex. Imprecise word choices, which occur frequently in journal writing, may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory or demeaning, even if they are not intended to be.
Sexism in journal writing may be classified into two categories: problems of designation and problem of evaluation. When you refer to a person or persons, choose words that are accurate, clear and free from bias. Long-established cultural practice can exert a powerful, insidious influence over even the most conscientious author. For example, the use of “man” as a generic noun can be ambiguous and may convey an implicit message that women are of secondary importance. You can choose nouns, pronouns and adjectives to eliminate, or at least to minimise, the possibility of ambiguity in sex identity or sex role. In the examples, problems of designation are divided into two sub-categories: “ambiguity of referent”, when it is unclear whether the author means one sex or both sexes and “stereotyping” when the writing conveys unsupported or biased connotations about sex roles and identity.
Scientific writing, as an extension of science, should be free of implied or irrelevant evaluation of the sexes. Difficulties may derive from the habitual use of cliches or familiar expressions, such as “man and wife”. The use of “man” and “wife” together implies differences in the freedom and activities of each and may inappropriately prompt the reader to evaluate the roles. Thus “husband and wife” and “man and woman” are parallel but “man and wife” are not. In the examples below problems of evaluation, like problems of designation, are divided into “ambiguity of referent” and “stereotyping”.
The task of changing language may seem awkward at first. Nevertheless, careful attention to meaning and practice in rephrasing will overcome any initial difficulty. The result of such effort, and the purpose of the guidelines, is accurate, unbiased communication.
Examples of common usage
Problems of designation: ambiguity of referent
1 The client is usually the best judge of the value of his counselling.
The client is usually the best judge of the value of counselling. (Comment: his deleted).
The client is usually the best judge of the value of his or her counselling. (Comment: or her added — use sparingly to avoid monotonous repetition).
Clients are usually the best judges of the value of the counselling. (Comment: changed to plural).
The best judge of the value of counselling is usually the client. (Comment: rephrased).
2 Man’s search for knowledge has led him into ways of learning that bear examination.
The search for knowledge has led us into ways of learning that bear examination. (Comment: rephrased in first person).
People have continually sought knowledge. The search has lead them into ways of learning that bear examination. (Comment: changed to plural and rewritten in two sentences).
3 man, mankind
people, humanity, human beings, humankind, human species
man’s achievements
human achievements, achievements of the human species
the average man
the average person, people in general
man a project
staff a project, hire personnel, employ staff
man-machine interface
user-system interface, person-system interface, human-machine interface
work force, personnel, workers, human resources
(Comment: various terms substituted for each example).
4 males, females
men, women, boys, girls, adults, children, adolescents (Comment: specific nouns reduce the possibility of stereotype bias and often clarify discussion. Use male and female as adjectives where appropriate and relevant (female experimenter, male subject). Avoid unparallel usage as 10 men and 16 females).
5 mothering
parenting, nurturing (or specify exact behaviour) (Comment: noun substituted).
6 chairman, chairperson, chairwoman
Use chair.
Problems of evaluation: ambiguity of referent
7 The authors acknowledge the assistance of Mrs John Smith
The authors acknowledge the assistance of Jane Smith (Comment: use given names).
8 men and women, sons and daughters, boys and girls, husbands and wives
women and men, daughters and sons, girls and boys, wives and husbands (Comment: vary the order of content does not require traditional order).
9 ambitious men and aggressive women
ambitious women and men, ambitious people
aggressive men and women, aggressive people
cautious men and timid women
cautious women and men, cautious people
timid men and women, timid people
(Comment: some adjectives, depending on whether the person described is a man or woman connote bias. The examples illustrate some common usages that may not always convey exact meaning when paired).
10 woman driver
(Comment: if specifying sex is necessary, avoid biased cliches. Use female driver or write “The driver was a woman”).
11 women’s lib, women’s libber
women’s movement, feminist, support of women’s movement
(Comment: noun substituted).
Like language that may be interpreted as sexist, language that may be construed as ethnically biased can be classified into problems of evaluation. Styles and preferences for nouns referring to ethnic groups change over time. In some cases, even members of a group disagree about the preferred name at a specific time. You should try to ascertain the most acceptable current terms and use them. Consideration for your audience should prevail.
The majority of instances of implied irrelevant evaluation seem to occur when the writer uses one group (usually the writer’s own group) as the standard against which others are assessed. Unfortunately, the basis for negative comparisons is usually established during the planning of the research, for example, by the choice of empirical measures.
At the writing stage, avoid language that suggests evaluation. An example of implied evaluation is found in the term “culturally deprived” when it is used to describe a single group rather than to compare two or more groups. Using the term to describe one group of subjects without the supporting data required in scientific writing implies that one culture is a universally accepted standard against which others are judged. As a test of implied evaluation, substitute another group (eg your own) for the group being discussed. If you are offended by the revised statement, there is probably bias in the original statement.

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Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur, at isti ne possibilia quidem perficiunt.

Questo saggio sullo scrivere pretenzioso, analogo a quello dei mandarini cinesi, non è stato abbastanza meditato. Quindi non è purtroppo servito a nulla come contravveleno. Anzi, lo scrivere mandarinesco e nebuloso, per nascondere il vuoto cranico dietro una nube di chiacchiere pretenziose, continua a dilagare. Anche in Italia ne abbiano vari esempi: gente che scrive l’italiano come fosse turco. I cialtroni stanno portando la geografia (e l’università nel suo insieme) allo sfacelo.

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Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur, at isti ne possibilia quidem perficiunt.





DAL 1981 AL 1995

Da pubblicazioni del prestigioso Institute of British Geographers, collegato alla prestigiosissima Royal Geographical Society di Londra (prima che tali pubblicazioni intraprendano il loro irreversibile viaggio verso la pattumiera) riportiamo alcune lapidarie citazioni, che mostrano a quali punti sia giunto l’Alzheimer nelle cosiddette “scienze” sociali. E pensare che negli anni Sessanta e Settanta, e in certa misura anche negli Ottanta, la geografia accademica britannica era, quanto a serietà scientifica, il meglio del meglio. Poi — tra soggettivismo, postmodernismo, finocchiaggine (pardon, “diversità di genere”), femminismo, correttezza politica e relativo stupro del vocabolario — è cominciata la frana. Il disastro, però, covava da tempo, come dimostra il saggio di Mark Billinge sul “dialetto mandarinesco”, in questo stesso sito. Non per niente, ci sono sempre stati imbecilli presuntuosi che sparano frasi incomprensibili per nascondere il nulla che hanno nella cucurbita. Costoro meritano gratitudine, perché offrono abbondante materiale per il più ricco studio antropologico che si possa fare: quello sull’imbecillità umana.

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Abbiamo deciso di premiare con opportuni segni del nostro apprezzamento le opere letterarie e cinematografiche che hanno attratto il nostro interesse. Questa rubrica viene aggiornata quando ci pare e il nostro giudizio è inappellabile.



And the winner is …….


Ecco i vincitori della prossima Vipera di latta:
il regista Antoine Fuqua, il soggettista David Franzoni, il produttore Jerry Bruckheimer, colpevoli del film “King Arthur”.
Segue un commento su questa ennesima sparata hollywoodiana scritto da Emilio Biagini:

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Saccenti sono quelli che, credendo di sapere, coltivano la pianta rachitica della loro presunzione e dei propri comodi, senza rendersi conto del male che fanno a se stessi e agli altri. Questa è una piccola galleria di tipi del genere, con qualche esempio contrario tale da far comprendere, per contrasto, cosa sia l’autentica saggezza e dove risieda la vera letizia.

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E se la natura potesse parlare? Siamo certi che direbbe quello che gli ecologisti si attendono? Il libro è vivamente sconsigliato al dottor Dulcamara, ai lettori di fondi di caffè, agli ambientalisti e agli impresari del gioco delle tre tavolette.

Bacilli del colera di tutto il mondo, unitevi.

Rallegratevi ed esultate, zanzare, le vostre sofferenze sono alla fine: prima c’erano le bonifiche, adesso arrivano le malifiche.

La serietà scientifica degli ambientalisti è pari al loro senso del ridicolo.

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Europa. Ungheria. Budapest.

Cattedrale di Santo Stefano.
Monumento al Cardinale Mindszenty, martire del comunismo.


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In tanto splendore di comodi, pace, sicurezza, un solo punto oscuro: la Chiesa cattolica, il grande “nemico dell’umanità” che pretende che l’uomo non possa essere Dio, ma che vi sia un vero ed unico Dio trascendente. I cattolici sono inorriditi dal materialismo che bandisce Dio dal mondo, e al tempo stesso scimmiotta la religione cattolica, adottandone le espressioni di adorazione e distorcendole ad onore non di Dio ma di Felsemburg. Costui si rivela per quello che è, ossia l’anticristo, e non esita ad ordinare lo sterminio dei cattolici, a cominciare da Roma, la quale, su suo ordine, viene rasa al suolo. Più tardi, anche l’ultima traccia del Papato e della
Chiesa, ormai ridotti alla clandestinità, vengono scoperti e sterminati.

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