Computer Gender

Start the New Year with a laugh.

I got this from a relative of mine who occasionally sends funnies in e-mail. I thought I’d reproduce it here. I have no idea what the source is, but if you know or if it’s yours, let me know. I’ll either properly attribute it or remove it as required. (Unlike other Web site owners out there, I comply with copyright law.)

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.

Apologies to the men out there.

And to keep thing straight, I need to point out that my computer’s built-in translator claims computer, in Spanish, is el ordenador.

What do you think?