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Old 01-07-2015   #201
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Re: Warriors of Love

Quote Originally Posted by Odalisque View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Nemonymous View Post
I think the -ess suffix for femininity is a pretty one that would be a shame to avoid. Although there are exceptions, like 'manageress', as you say, that is a bit of a mouthful. (I think the "-trix" suffix ugly by comparison).
Perhaps because of its bizarre angularity, I rather like the '-trix' suffix. Possibly another attraction, for me, is the irregular plural '-trices'. If it were generally applicable to words ending in 'x', we would be putting things in bocices, perhaps, which might be pronounced like 'boxes', but has quite a different look. Also, I rather like the letter 'x', which is more of an ornamental embellishment to the alphabet that a utilitarian necessity. A box could perfectly well be a bocks, but it would be sad day that the substitution was made. People (not just me) seem to like the 'x' so well that it is assigned the additional duties of signifying a kiss, marking the spot on pirate treasure maps, and so on.

All of that said, I use (I'm sure) the suffix '-trix' very little in The Warriors of Love. In fact, there is (I believe) only one pre-existing '-trix' word to be found in the entire series. That is 'genetrix'. It means 'female parent' (the male form is 'genitor'). The word isn't my invention, but seems handy for a female parent who is not the mother. I think though, that the word is only written in full as 'genetrix' a time or two in the entire series, and not at all until Volume 11. Contracted as 'genny' the word is important and used frequently from Volume 3 Daisy onwards. Daisy's genny is Modesty Clay.

There is also a '-trix' neologism which first appears in Volume 2 Margaret, but possibly doesn't figure in any of the later volumes. That is 'Surretrix' which means the same as our 'lesbian'. An association with Surrey, rather than Lesbos, is appropriate for these books.
Talking of feminine endings, particularly with 'trix', I like 'executrix'. This article lists some others:

http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/womens_suffixes.php

I hadn't heard of 'aviatrix' before.

Another word of feminine connotation and specialist usage that I quite like is 'matriculate', which apparently has roots in 'matrix'.

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Old 01-07-2015   #202
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Re: Warriors of Love

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
Talking of feminine endings, particularly with 'trix', I like 'executrix'. This article lists some others:

http://www.cjr.org/language_corner/womens_suffixes.php

I hadn't heard of 'aviatrix' before.

Another word of feminine connotation and specialist usage that I quite like is 'matriculate', which apparently has roots in 'matrix'.
Thank you, that's an interesting little article. I was rather surprised that the writer takes the feminine suffix as being '-tress', rather than '-ess'. A lot of examples do end with '-tress', but others don't (amongst those springing immediately to mind are manageress, goddess, lioness and tigress).

My reading has taken in the history of aviation (one of my interests), and so I had encountered 'aviatrix'. Both the masculine (aviator) and feminine forms of this word have passed from contemporary usage.

Both 'matriculate' and 'matrix' stem from the Latin 'mater'. Perhaps interestingly, a person may matriculate into an alma mater. The language of motherhood runs deep in our mother tongue.

I was pleased to read the conclusion of the article:

In the end, it’s not about sex at all. As a wise editor used to say, “Nouns have gender. People, bless their hearts, have sex.”

Indeed! People too often confuse sex and gender. Sex (male, female) is biologically given. Gender (masculine, feminine) is socially or linguistically constructed.

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Old 01-07-2015   #203
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Re: Warriors of Love

That's got me more enamoured of the -trix female suffix. An interesting article.

Of course, in many non-English languages, the male and female 'forms' are part of every noun. I've noticed that at the end of a classical concert, there is often the cry of BRAVO from the audience. Often, though, if it is a female soloist, BRAVA is shouted. Of course, in 'Warriors of Love', one cannot imagine much call for the use of BRAVO!

The following from earlier in the thread seems very interesting. By the way, the opening of the gospel is here. Should we replace John with Jane?


Quote Originally Posted by Odalisque View Post
Take, if you will, what I believe to be the start of St John's Gospel. (I own many books, but the Bible is not amongst them, otherwise I'd check.) If memory serves, it goes somewhat in this manner: "In the beginning was the word..." How much more sense would this make, if we substitute "womb" for "word", and alter "God" to "the goddess"?

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