War on English: Goffstown selectmen - and women
August 19. 2018 10:58PM
The post-modern war on the English language opened a new front at the Goffstown Board of Selectmen.
The five-member board voted down a proposal to change its name to “Select Board” in order to be gender-neutral and supposedly more inclusive to women.
This is what happens when politics infects everything, including our grammar. It is an article of faith on the left that long-standing rules of the English language prop up the patriarchy.
Many languages assign genders to their nouns, masculine, feminine, and sometimes neutral. English does not. Some professions that used to be exclusively male retain labels linked with that history.
But times change. We used to pick selectmen to run town affairs. Now, we elect selectmen, male and female. Women can serve as policemen or firemen.
When Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind,” he did so on behalf of the ladies as well as the gentlemen. Male pronouns stand in as the default, gender-neutral choice. A law that refers to “he” or “him” also applies to women.
We wish our elected officials understood how our language worked before attempting to change it.