Language Log discusses the way grammar and semantics/meaning get personified with distinct genders: Someone should investigate the ways in which the grammar/semantics distiction is personified. Grammar is often cast as a fussy schoolteacher (a schoolmarm, in particular: Miss Fidditch) or some other kind of authority figure, a legislator or judge or priest (almost surely male). But grammar can also be seen as empty form, which on its own produces mere chatter without substance - a female stereotype. Meaning, in contrast, is configured either as substantial and significant (so: agentive and male) or as "natural", even earthy (so: passive and female). ( Link , via Feministe ) I suppose there's something in the human condition that makes it easier for us to respond to abstract concepts (such as grammar) when they are described human characteristics, but it's interesting to see how stereotypes can get buried in these personifications. Of course, who pays any attention to
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