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 Contents - Dec 2006AD2000 December 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The first Christmas - Peter Westmore
Benedict XVI challenges 'de-Christianisation' of society - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Sydney RCIA conference for 2007 on authentic formation of new Catholics - Paula Flynn
'Lost!' controversy: Archbishop Bathersby's reply - AD2000 Report
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: the Montessori method for RE - Anne Delsorte
A 'best practice' guide to priestly vocations
Modest dress: Suitable attire for Mass: the moral dimension - Bishop John W. Yanta
Religious Life: Tyburn Sisters' communities spread around the world - Tess Livingstone
2006 National Church Life Survey: important questions overlooked - Michael Gilchrist
Shrines: Marian Valley: Queensland's centre of pilgrimage - Peter Westmore
Letters: Vatican guidelines on Holy Communion for politicians - Vincent Bemowski
Letters: A must read for faithful Catholics - Frank Bellet
Letters: Liberal Catholicism - Paula Gartland
Letters: News from India - Fr Francis Pinto CSsR
Letters: Church teaching - Mark Moriarty
Letters: Infant Baptism
Letters: Community? - Peter Gilet
Letters: Christian differences - Alan Barron
Letters: True Church - E. Makaus
Letters: Linguistics - Matt Bruekers
Letters: Liturgical language - Ted Hayhoe
Letters: Why apologise? - Concerned Catholic
Books: The Shroud Story, by Brendan Whiting - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: COME, LORD JESUS:Reflections on the Advent and Christmas Seasons, James Tolhurst - Michael Gilchrist
Events: Advent and Christmas Ceremonies - Priestly Fraternity of St Peter
Books: SACRED PLACES, PILGRIM WAYS: Catholic Pilgrimages in France and Belgium - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: New Titles from AD Books
Reflection: Jesus' law of love and the Ten Commandments - Fr Dennis Byrnes

The argument about 'politically correct' language has been going on for a long time; yet, there is a simple solution because the problem derives from an ignorance of Anglo-Saxon (English) linguistics.

To a European, who by now has spent more than fifty years in Australia, it is surprising to observe how little local English-speaking people appear to have been taught about grammar and the Anglo-Saxon roots of their language; for the Saxon languages (the English and German varieties alike) are as 'politically correct' as any diehard feminist could ever hope for.

In Germanic languages there always was a clear distinction between the sexes. In Saxon, a male was a werman, a female was a wifman. (Wer, wher, weer, vir, etc, are all derived from the Sanskrit vira, meaning male.) Lazy usage of the language dropped the wer from werman and changed wifman to wife and woman.

The obvious solution to the feminist hang-up would have been to reinstall the word werman, because wer and its local variations and derivations are still a common indicator of the male gender in all Germanic languages: werewolf in English, Wehrmacht (male power, army) in German, weergeld (a former conscription-tax) in Dutch, etc, are some, still current, examples.

If our feminists hadn't been so ignorant they would have insisted on reintroducing werman as a male indicator, rather than bastardising the English language with the introduction of neo-logisms such as chairwoman, chairperson, wimmen, etc.

Let me close with a quote from a medieval Anglo-Saxon legend about the martyrdom of St Agatha, which relates that her final prayer included the sentence: 'I thank you God, for having created me a man.'

Readers who would like to get a more complete idea about the interaction between the Saxon language and its English heir should read the, sometimes hilarious, 13 page article, 'In the Image of God: Male, Female and the Language of the Liturgy', in which the self-proclaimed feminist Suzanne Scorsone trashes the idea of an inclusive language (Communio, Volume XVI, #1, Spring 1989, p.139).

Lesmurdie, WA

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 11 (December 2006 - January 2007), p. 16

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