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Posted: 08 August 2011 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I don’t think the OED entry for doctress has been updated since the first edition. It’s still marked as current, but the latest citation is from 1879.

I doubt doctress was ever very common, due to the simple fact that until the latter half of the twentieth century female doctors (of any type) were exceedingly rare. The OED has the sense of female academic falling out of use after 1689. The use to refer to female physician remained into the nineteenth century.

By the time women started entering into these fields in any number, feminism was going strong and they would surely object to not being given the same title as their male counterparts. The same is not true of women in the acting profession, which has had large numbers of women since the seventeenth century.

And with singing, there is actually less of a distinction between the sexes than in acting roles. The important quality is the vocal range, not the sex. Of course there are more women sopranos and male basses, but among altos and tenors you’ll get a mixing of the sexes.

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Posted: 09 August 2011 12:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Interesting mix. I might have to read Bunk.

An autogyro features prominently in the movie Mad Max: The Road Warrior.

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Posted: 09 August 2011 03:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Are you sure? I think an autogyro has a non-driven overhead rotor - there may be an auxiliary PTO at takeoff, but in flight the rotor’s just a free-rotating wing. Propulsion is by an ordinary prop on a horizontal axis. I think that contraption in Mad Max - The Road Warrior (wonderfully imaginative movie! I’ve seen it at least 3 times) was a true helicopter.

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Posted: 09 August 2011 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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According to Wikipedia, it’s an autogyro.

Sean Connery also pilots one in You Only Live Twice, which may be the most racist of all the Bond movies. (Not that that has anything to do with aviation.)

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Posted: 09 August 2011 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Then again, maybe I won’t read Bunk, if this review on Amazon is anything to go by.

Despite some interesting contrarian financial notions and definitions of capitalism (read Chapter 13), BUNK was not well written (see spelling error on page 86 - “You know what au [sic] automobile battery is?") and lacked originality. The author, W.E. Woodward, used the Socratic method (or more precisely, the Maieutic method) throughout Chapter 13 ‘Adventures in Reality’ between philosopher Michael Webb and businessman Thomas Hunter for eliciting Webb’s views & opinions on the way economics and American capitalism ought to be (according to W. E. Woodward). Woodward’s favourite word seemed to be ‘Psittacism’ (p. 350) for which he gave no explanation!

“which may be the most racist of all the Bond movies”

Speaking of cinema records, I think Bruce Spence (who is the Gyro Pilot in Road Warrior) might hold the record for “little known actor to appear in greatest number of blockbuster movie series other than in the first of the series”. Mad Max 2 and 3, the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie, Matrix Revolutions, Star Wars Episode 3, the 3rd Narnia movie…

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Posted: 09 August 2011 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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And the existence or otherwise of gendered terms seems quite random.  Why do we differentiate between actors and actresses but have only the unisex term singers?

Yes, exactly.  There is no need for the word “actress”; “She’s an actor” makes perfect sense.  The felt need is the unconscious need to make sure women and men are kept separate, which is at the root of sexism.  (Note: I am not calling anyone who uses the word a sexist, just pointing out what lies beneath it.)

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Posted: 09 August 2011 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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it’s an autogyro.

my mistake.

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Posted: 09 August 2011 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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An understandable mistake, given that they fudged the flight characteristics.  You can see images and read a discussion of the Road Warrior autogyro at http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max-2-the-road-warrior/cars-and-vehicles/gyrocopter/index.html

You can see in the pictures that it does have a horizontal-axis (pusher, in this case) prop, as an autogyro would require.  However, as noted on that page, in the movie it flew more like a true helicopter: whereas an autogyro requires a runway for takeoff and landing, the craft in the movie did not.  I’m not sure if we actually see it take off or land, but it’s implied that it can do so within the walled refinery compound, even when carrying two people.  A true autogyro couldn’t manage such vertical takeoffs and landings.

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Posted: 10 August 2011 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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And the existence or otherwise of gendered terms seems quite random.  Why do we differentiate between actors and actresses but have only the unisex term singers?

Yes, exactly.  There is no need for the word “actress”; “She’s an actor” makes perfect sense.  The felt need is the unconscious need to make sure women and men are kept separate, which is at the root of sexism.  (Note: I am not calling anyone who uses the word a sexist, just pointing out what lies beneath it.)

I’m not convinced. I agree entirely that ‘She’s an actor’ makes sense, but there are times when adding a gender-qualifier is clumsy, and calling the same person an actress is perfectly valid, and non-sexist. Mostly there is, indeed, no need to differentiate between people on gender lines, and indeed in such circumstances differentiation can not only be clumsy but sexist. There are, however, times when it’s not only valid but vital, and the term actress might be the most elegant way of doing so. It’s a question of context, surely?

With regards singers, however, I suspect that the gender differentiation is (often) implicit - a counter-tenor may have the same range as a soprano or (more usually) a mezzo-soprano, but no-one would call them a soprano or mezzo-soprano, because the vocal quality is completely different, and unique to a man. The castrati, of course were something else entirely ... something specifically and rather unpleasantly de-gendered ... (in a certain rather important sense). It’s perhaps in ‘non-serious’ (and yes, it’s daft term, but classical doesn’t work) music where there’s no gender-specific nomenclature.

There’s nothing wrong with referring to difference, just so long as it’s not taken as an indication of inherent inferiority. Difference is good. Just Ask Derrida. And as his mum pointed out, he couldn’t even spell it ...

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Posted: 10 August 2011 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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On the other hand we do have songstresses…

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Posted: 12 August 2011 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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pete langman - 10 August 2011 09:22 AM


...Difference is good. Just Ask Derrida. And as his mum pointed out, he couldn’t even spell it ...

I think I still have a soft spot in my head for Derrida.  Of course, the soft spot in my head is probably soft before, or it might not have even been soft before, during or after, and maybe I’m wrong even wrong about the dichotomy soft/hard after all (maybe, I mean before all) and (to quote Vonnegut:) “So it goes.”

Incidentally, my mother was not a philosopher.  Nor could she have easily been…

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