Monday, February 25, 2008

Does anyone here know Spanish?

Okay, here's the joke:

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.
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.
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (el computador) 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; 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.
The women won.

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


Chrisbookarama said...

I love the women's answer.

Crafty Green Poet said...

that's very good, I'll remember that one.

Bonnie said...

How funny that you have a brother named Jimmy ! I'm the oldest of four as well. Bonnie, Jimmy, Ellie, Hannah. Two years between all of us except 4 between Ellie and Hannah. My initials used to be BSS. ( you can image how fun that was !! ) My initials now are BSG.

How cool that you have twins !

I live in Australia now. Moved here 10 years ago with my husband who I met in Japan. You can read a bit of our story HERE He's Australian.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely feminine - proven by the fact that a computer has a mother board. Love it!

Jeane said...

That's very funny. To answer your question, it's "la computadora". Feminine!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks, Jeane. I know you are right because (duh!) I remembered the Spanish teacher who's in the Sunday school class I've been teaching ... and I asked him. We may like the women's answers, but the guys (and Selma) were right that it's feminine.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're spreading smiles...and I see that someone told the answer...I knew feminine would be right!