[lit-ideas] Re: The Philosophy of Bachelor

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 18:01:18 +0000 (GMT)

 From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>

>Ona laments the poverty in English in this field.

And Eugene. But is English so poor anyone is seriously misled here?

> Not to be pedantic, but bachelor isn't the same as unmarried male. (There is 
> a divorced male, a widower, and a male child who is too young to marry)

Perhaps the "unmarried male" is understood (one hesitates to use the term 
'implicature', but may be even is understood by implicature) as denoting not 
any male of any age etc. who is currently unmarried [which definition might 
include children, widowers and the divorced male] but only a male of 
marriageable age who has never married. [Compare spinster, which has a specific 
meaning that would not be appropriate for a widow]. "Unmarried male" is thus a 
compendious way of expressing this somewhat more specific meaning.

As Henry Root notes, this usage of batchelor is what underpins its general use 
in English and which gives rise to some of its more recherche offshoots like 
"old style batchelor don", which is a term not appropriate for a divorced or 
widowed don but one with an other than heterosexual orientation.

Not to be pedantic.

And if no one is seriously misled is this alleged poverty so lamentable?


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