Thursday, March 4, 2010

canuck national anthem: a gender controversy.

The speech promised to look into the wording of 'O Canada' to make it more gender neutral, suggesting the line, "all thy sons command" could be replaced.

"Our government will also ask Parliament to examine the original gender-neutral English wording," said Canada's Governor-General Michaelle Jean.

D: why stop there? There are many lines that are similarly exclusive.

Official Lyrics of O Canada!

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

The History of the National Anthem


"O Canada" was proclaimed Canada's national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880.

D: home and native. Not nice to immigrants.
True patriot love. Well that's patronizing- sorry to the matrons out there.
Sons... yup.
On guard for thee. Only for military personnel?

Here we see a nice fringe benefit of an aux-lang.
A new language is a fresh start, devoid of cultural conservativeness.
Suddenly discussing gender implications becomes a mere linguistic exercise.
Besides, Decimese defaults to gender-neutral.
Some natural languages do too.

Maybe aux-langs are best understood as the chance for a fresh start.
And a chance to remove very justified anxiety about learning a natural language!

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