A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. "House" for instance, is feminine: la casa. "Pencil," however, is masculine: el lapiz. A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computadora) because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (el computador) because:
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 retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.The women won.
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; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
But I still want to know ... what's the word for computer in Spanish, and is it masculine or feminine?
Bonus for book lovers: Ten Reasons Why the Internet is No Substitute for the Library, by Mark Y. Herring