Out of the Flying Pan into the Flyer

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Schnurrbart, Apr 9, 2021.

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  1. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    I see the RAAF is to, or has banned the word airman and replaced it with the "neutral" word aviator. I know that Down Under people are rightly proud of some new words for a new country: but didn't any bright spark in the RAAF do a search in TROVE for "Aviatrix"? Or, Amy Johnson, Amelia Earhart, or their homegrown Mrs Florence Terry and Miss Nancy Bird?
    Oh well I suppose it's like there are no more actresses, only actors: which surprises me that a profession which relies on spoken English has been and gone and butchered it.
     
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  2. mikejee

    mikejee Well-Known Member

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    Sorry. But av,iator does , to me give an image of a Jules Veren character in a balloon
     
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  3. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    There has been a strong push in Britain, the United States and Australia during the past five years to change the language used in defence forces such as referring to female pilots and ground crew still as “airmen”, female sailors as “able seamen” or a using term such as “manned” or “unmanned” or “manpower”.

    The British airforce has been debating similar changes because it was argued if someone joined the armed forces in a combat role they could either be a soldier, a sailor or an airman. It was argued the latter might deter some female would-be recruits from joining the RAF, because the title implied it was a man’s game
    From The Sydney Morning Herald April 8 2021
    Watch out ;) .
     
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  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Of interest maybe to you is that my sisters sixteen year old grandson has just got his pilots license, passed three, so far out of the six exams to join the RAAF. Ill ask how he feels about this when he is flying as one of their 'aviators'. Im sure he wont care what he is called as long as his lifelong dream is realised.
     
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  5. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    Sorry too; Jules Verne "Aeronaut" Five weeks in a balloon.
     
  6. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    After serving with the CEF in WW1, my great uncle gained a commission in the RAAF during WW2. So, well done your sister's grandson, I wish him well in pursuing his dream. As a bloke, the term aviator would fit him down to a T.
    To labour the point (and probably kill this thread) Aviator is masculine, the feminine form is Aviatrix, ergo the use of aviator in place of airman is not a gender neutral term.

    Lessons in pedantry are available
     
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  7. Auburn

    Auburn Well-Known Member

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    I understand your point of view- but there are always two sides to any argument (or more when it comes to gender these days!).
    Back in the early 1980s I was a distribution manager for a motor parts manufacturer.
    In those days that was very unusual for a girl - and no way was I going to be called a manageress!
     
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  8. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Back in the mists of time, I used to help people find work.

    One day, I had a fully qualified HGV driver come in - who was female. I rang the employer advertising the vacancy, using the term "they" instead of she - as in "they have held their licence for 5 years and they can rope and sheet" etc.

    The employer was very enthusiastic and offered an interview saying, "can he make it tomorrow?" I confirmed and was asked what "his" name was. The employer was taken aback when I gave him her name but could not back out without me coming down on him like a ton of bricks! :D

    She got the job ;)
     
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  9. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Firstly, my apologies but from The Cambridge Dictionary

    aviator
    Noun. An Aircraft Pilot.
    'Amy Johnson was a pioneering aviator who made record breaking flights to Australia and South Africa' quote.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  10. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    The point I was making was not about the people doing the job. When I interviewed graduate engineers, I found that female interviewees, on the whole, out performed their male counterparts and then went on to prove it.
    It's not for an old F*rt like me to tell the armed forces what to do, but to point out the irony of substituting one masculine term for another and saying it's gender neutral, seems a valid criticism.
     
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  11. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Oops hit the wrong button again, sorry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  12. Auburn

    Auburn Well-Known Member

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    And you are quite right about that.
    From another old pedant!
     
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  13. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    It's the Boat Race all over again. My physical The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary shows:
    Aviation Flying in an Aeroplane - So Aviator a) a flying machine b) the pilot of an aeroplane (so -tress, -trix)
    A look at contemporary newspapers as per my earlier post the terms used are pilots and aviatrix.
    Act II, Scene II O, be some other name! What's in a nam? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Of course as I give way on this, it does raise another question "If an aviator is a pilot, what do you call engineers, navigators, ground crew, etc?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
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  14. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest known use of aviator was in 1887.

    The derivative forms are much later (aviatrice 1910, aviatress 1911, aviatrix 1927). Other than in connection with ballooning, airman and airwoman seem to date from 1910, so reverting to aviator doesn't seem such a bad idea.
     
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  15. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Personel?
     
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  16. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    Do you feel that it has enough pazzazz compared to soldier/sailor?
     
  17. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    I can't find anything that says that aviatrix is obsolete, ditto its variants. Whatever the use, or misuse of aviator now or in the past. From a convention point of view, -tor is the suffix forming masculine nouns of agency and -trix ditto for feminine forms, hence by convention aviator is male and aviatrix is female. As far as the words themselves are concerned, neither form is gender neutral. To replace one masculine word with another masculine word and to claim that the replacement is neutral, is to my mind, rather ironic.
    But as they say, "if you have to explain the joke ....."
     
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  18. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    In putting this to bed, a heart felt plea to The Powers That Be, don't ask the public. After Boaty Macboatface, do really want
    AquaBod, TerraBod and AeroBod?
     
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  19. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    :D
     
  20. Schnurrbart

    Schnurrbart Well-Known Member

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    Slow on the uptake, MoD review trailers Space Command and Cyber Security, so AstroBod and CyberBod,
     
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