Pet Peeve; Blonde/Blond

Blonde = female. Blond = male.
Brunette = female. Brunet = male.


*temp e ""
*temp te ""
*if gender="woman"
 *set e "e"
 *set te "te"
*set blondhair "blond${e}"
*set brownhair "brunet${te}"



I often use “pale hair” or something similar to avoid this with gender-changeable characters. Need to double check that I’m not overusing it to avoid the dreaded blond(e) situation…


Well, hope the code will help if you want to use the description.
It’s a really short, simple code. Really, it’s worth the few lines ; - ;

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Not necessarily. I know the French derivation suggests that, but “brunette” usage in English has often been used for men.

Some citations from the Oxford English Dictionary:

1915 J. London [Star Rover] 173 A cold-blooded, chilly-poised, dark brunette of a Dutchman.

1744 M. Collyer *[Felicia to Charlotte] iii. 22 His hair (for he is so unpolite as not to wear a wig) is of a dark brunette.

1916 [Lantern] May 36 Quite possibly he [ sc. the red-head] comes into the world a disappointment to his parents who dreamed of a blonde girl baby or a brunette boy.

1971 tr. C. Baudelaire in J. Alexander *[Affidavits of Genius] 111 His complexion was a light brunette.

And “blonde” for men in English has a few really early citations, the first from 1481, and from Caxton at that. “Blonde” is pretty common for men in English.

1481 Caxton tr. [Myrrour of Worlde] ii. xvii. 103 The rayes of the sonne make the heer of a man abourne or blounde.

1683 J. Evelyn [Mem.] (1857) II. 192 Prince George of Denmark…had the Danish countenance, blonde .

Today’s New York Times! – August 11, 2019: “James was a boat builder, blonde and slight.”


I do concede the point about brunet/brunette, but it’s still a peeve. Especially blond/blonde.
Having being used doesn’t mean it’s right (I mean, it can become so with enough time and more popularised usage, but you know. Origins.).


Unfortunately, it isn’t 1683 anymore. We can’t get away with the things we once did.


If you want to argue that way, you have to use the Old English word for brown-hair, brūnhær. :grin:


Funny thing first time in my life i read brunete as male I have always read brunette as unisex.Good to know. Brunete in Spanish was one of most extremist tank division under Franco… So for me is bizarre as hell. :wink:

Also a question for all of you natives. Is wrong used dark hair Black as Ebony or raven hair in English? Because some people are puzzled if I used them.


Yes, what the English language really needs right now is more gross, unnecessary, archaic gendering of terms that have nothing whatsoever to do with gender. Please.


You win fifteen pedant points. Come back and cry about when “pour over” becomes standard over “pore over” which will happen in like twenty years.

descriptivism ftw


If someone cries is me as I have so many problems trying to make sense of some chaotic way of gender words and that in English. Still, I think I am improving but sometimes I just don’t appreciate gender subtlety like one time a guy insulted me because I said blonde guy

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One I’ve seen a lot the last few years, and find really grating, is “passed” instead of “past”, as in “I walked passed the tree.”

In regards to blonde/blond, while I understand the frustration of words being used incorrectly, it does seem like unnecessary gendering to me. And as such it’s a bit annoying, and gets really complicated, as soon as you introduce the concept of non-binary people.


I’ll add a few pet peevs of mine: “peeking one’s interest”, “wrecking havoc”, “board vs bored”, “feeling badly about something”, “could care less”.

As a linguist and French native speaker, it always surprises me when English speakers talk about grammatical gender that way. In French (and many other languages) a word’s gender doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sexual gender. For example “table” is a feminine noun but not because we see a piece of furniture as a girl. “Oiseau” is masculine regardless of whether you speak of a male bird or a female bird, it’s “un oiseau”, “une mésange” (feminine word) is a specific bird breed, again whether the animal is male of female is irrelevant, etc. It’s a completely different concept of gender. If an English word comes from a language that genders its nouns, it seems appropriate to keep the orthographic distinction. I’ve seen “brassière” written as “brassier” a few times which makes no sense because it’s an entirely different word (a “brassier” is a manual worker).

To be perfectly honest, I find it quite baffling that a CoG staff member would say something like that since moderators always tell us to keep comments directed at the thread’s topic, NOT at people and to avoid saying things in a way that might cause frictions or else the thread might be shut down.
At the risk of winning some of those points, CoG are commercial products so it doesn’t seem unreasonable for customers to expect/want decent writing from their purchase.


One thing is that and another is to expect a hardcore linguistic professional language in a colloquial enjoyment literature games with many of readers, not natives and using them to improve English. There is also young adults. Each language level have their place and these games are not place for a pedantic old English Language literature review.

Surely writing “blond” for a man and “blonde” for a woman is not merely grammatical gender, though. It’s not like we’re taking about der Löffel, die Gabel, and das Messer here. I agree that grammatical gender does often get confused with non-grammatical gender, though, in common chit-chat.


It is grammatical gender, actually. It’s blond for a man and blonde for a woman because it’s a French adjective which gender should match the noun’s. Homme (masculine noun) blond (masculine adjective because “homme” is grammatically masculine), femme (feminine noun) blonde (feminine adjective because “femme” is grammatically feminine). When it was imported to the English language, that orthographic distinction remained.


No, I get that, how the adjectives must agree with the nouns. My point is that we’re aren’t only talking about grammatical gender in the same way as un oiseau when we are talking about whether a man or a woman’s hair color is spelled differently.


Okay, I get your point, and you might very well be right about it but I don’t see anything that suggests that it’s not exclusively about grammatical gender. I understand it might seem that way at first glance given the very nouns involved (‘man’ and ‘woman’) but since it’s a rule that applies to words that don’t have such a connotation as well, I see no reason to assume it stops being purely grammatical in this specific case.


Does this thread allow me to get touchy with the comas?


Just about two weeks ago, I ran across an opinion piece that put forward the following: Grammar rules were invented by a bunch of elitist scholars in ivory towers in the 1700s as a way to secure themselves a lot of money. ( Through Grammar book sales.)

After further research and some thought on the matter, I tend to agree with this conclusion.

Promotion of standardization in writing is helpful in many ways but trying to enforce layers of rules upon layers of rules sometimes results in a fanaticism that is more harmful than good.

Having “House Rules” when involved in publishing or other such endeavors is a good thing because it unites a group of people attempting to work towards a common goal. This is why I fully endorse the CoG’s style manual but that doesn’t mean much outside of CS game development.

The English language is a living language that is constantly changing and evolving, whether we like it or not.

Once English joins the rank and file of dead languages, we will have lots of time to fixate on solidifying the rules. Until that time, we should be spending our time more productively.

Here is the opinion piece I referenced above: