A french teacher was explaining to her class that in French, nouns,
unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as
masculine or feminine.
For example,"House" in French, is feminine...."La maison". "Pencil"
in French, is masculine...."le crayon". One puzzled student
asked, "What gender is a computer?"
The teacher did not know, and the word was not in her French
dictionary. So for fun she split the class into two groups,
appropriately enough, by gender, and asked them to decide
whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Both
groups were required to give four reasons for their recommendation.
The boys group decided that computer should definitely be of the
feminine gender ('la computer"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers
is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for
possible later review;
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself
spending half your salaries on accessories for it.
The girl's group, however, concluded that computers should be
masculine ('le computer") because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time
they ARE the problem;
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited
a little longer, you could have got a better model.