Author Topic: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"  (Read 4171 times)

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Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« on: October 07, 2009, 06:58:20 PM »
We should define ourselves together based on what we do, not our gender. Instead of "traceur" and "traceuse", let the terminology be "male traceur" or "female traceur". It is confusing for those unfamiliar with parkour terminology.

Let's come together under one term. We all do parkour. We are all traceurs.

/discuss

Edit:

As a note, this isn't a terribly important topic. Just a fun discussion.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 08:26:53 PM by David Echols »
At the center of parkour lies training and the results thereof -- all of your efforts in parkour should be aligned with this central theme.

Offline Elet ET

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 07:02:44 PM »
language represents "being", saying male or female delineates the same thing as traceur and traceuse. 


Gender specificity will be there until gender disappears, and i know im not exactly counting down the days until that... ;)
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 07:03:56 PM »
English doesn't do it as much, but words in most other languages changed depending on gender. It's not segregation, it's just for increased understanding.

Offline Dan Elric

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 07:13:39 PM »
Traceur and traceuse derive from French, which has a separation of gender.  As such, it is for increased understanding.  I see no need to merge the terms since there is a difference between male and females.  Not just physically, but also in personality.  There is nothing wrong from distinguishing from male and female.  There is a fine line between distinguishing and sexism.  It is when you start thinking one is better than the other is there a problem.  Additionally, traceur is generally used to include all parkour practitioners.

When traceur is applied to an individual it means a male practitioner, when applied to a group it isn't necessarily so.

Offline Mitchell

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 07:39:26 PM »
Traceur and traceuse derive from French, which has a separation of gender.

To expand, they do this for every profession and activity. All French nouns are either masculine or feminine. No need to change what was never meant to be sexist to begin with. It's just language structure.
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Offline Brett Mitchell

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 07:54:09 PM »
Although he does have the point of this being English in which there are no masculine and feminine distinctions. It is something to consider, but with parkour's very solid foundation in French culture I doubt it will change any time soon. Possibly in the future.
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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 07:55:08 PM »
English doesn't do it as much, but words in most other languages changed depending on gender. It's not segregation, it's just for increased understanding.

It's the opposite of increased understanding. It's ambiguous.

Of course, no one here has the intent of segregation, and that's not what I'm speaking about -- that's entirely another topic. We're talking about lexicography here -- and within it, a separation by definition. I think a good example of this is the many "actresses" today who are fighting to be called "actor". What has ended up happening is that both "actor" and "actress" can refer to female actors, thus making the word actresses completely pointless and the word actor ambiguous. (More on this here)

In lexicography, having a word stand for a single term is the most efficient method when there are other adjectives to describe the term. A single term also lowers lexicographical information costs (IE: When someone is trying to understand what a traceur is, it's easier because they don't have to remember there's a specific term for each gender).

I suppose that because of the original French that we will be doomed to the same fate as actors. (Now guess which gender of actor I'm talking about)


Also a note: in no way is this a super important topic.  I thought it would just be a fun discussion.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 08:03:55 PM by David Echols »
At the center of parkour lies training and the results thereof -- all of your efforts in parkour should be aligned with this central theme.

Offline Andy Keller

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2009, 08:25:09 PM »
So you call all servers at a restaurant "waiter," not the females "waitress?"

Also, check this out for more info on gender-specificity in general: Wikipedia's article on the subject.

I'm waiting for Muse to jump in on this. This is just her kind of topic. ;)
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2009, 09:17:36 PM »
Splitting hairs, imo. Even some that don't exist.

If you make a big deal about language, it will become a big deal. If you simply use it according to the understanding that the rest of the population does, the world will go round.
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Offline Elet ET

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 09:20:34 PM »
If you make a big deal about language, it will become a big deal. If you simply use it according to the understanding that the rest of the population does, the world will go round.

Since the concepts people live by are derived only from perceptions and language and since the perceptions are received and interpreted only in the light of earlier concepts, man comes very close to living in a house that language built.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2009, 09:24:41 PM »
Sorry but is that meant to contradict or add to my statement?
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Offline Elet ET

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2009, 09:25:58 PM »
Language represents everything we "know" language is a very big deal
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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 09:37:21 PM »
lol at the topic I don't think it's a big deal. I like having the two distinctions/words whatever you call them.
Females are still getting into parkour and there's not nearly as many as males/traceurs, so it's nice to know there are emerging traceuses.
I haven't heard about the actor/actress subject, if that's true, I think it's lame.
Like Daniel said, "I see no need to merge the terms since there IS a difference between male and females.  Not just physically, but also in personality.  There is nothing wrong from distinguishing from male and female."
and what Mitchell said "To expand, they do this for every profession and activity. All French nouns are either masculine or feminine. No need to change WHAT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE SEXIST to begin with. It's just language structure."
:)

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 09:41:37 PM »
But still, it's not. Modern language is the result of an incredibly complex network of interactions and events. The work is done and we don't need to actively create artificial rules which in all likelihood will not prove to be useful.

And still, your apparent argument backs up my position. This is how it's been in more than just English:
guy(s): masculine
girl(s): feminine
guy(s) & girl(s): masculine

That's how it is and has been, which is the result of all language ever. It is the "house" your quote says we live in.

You CAN change it, but why? Is it really useful? Plus, I've seen the stupidity caused by "Political Correctness" so I am usually not in favor of anything like this.


Just like anything in life, it is a problem if you make it a problem.


And say this does go through. You will still end up saying "female/girl/woman traceur" and never "male/guy/man traceur" as it will be typically assumed (at least now) that the person being referred to is a man. Congrats, you added a word. That's not parkour :P (but seriously).
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Offline Elet ET

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2009, 09:46:42 PM »
I should have been more clear.

I agree that this is totally frivolous.
I just didnt want you thinking language wasnt a big deal...
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 09:59:45 PM »
It's not... :D I guess depending on how you look at. It plays a tremendous role in how we interact today... but it's more in the background and we tend to not actively influence it. I don't think the person who first wrote pwn instead of own did so intentionally. It was just something that happened, people picked it up, and we all moved on.

Maybe I just have a weird outlook on the subject...


And my tone was pretty attacking, looking at what I wrote... I didn't want it to be (especially since we agree...). It's been a long day :-\
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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 03:50:18 AM »
The debate over things like this goes on in every occupation/setting. Waiter and waitress, actor and actress, etc. I'm not going to get into the linguistics like everyone else, I'm simply going to say that even though Alec is a Traceur and I'm a Traceuse, I don't think about what we do any differently. He does parkour, I do parkour. We both practice parkour, so why does it matter so much what we're called?
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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 04:26:15 AM »
For the last time, Parkour and Freerunning are the same thing!  >:(

...

Wait...this is a linguistics argument about something else? [WTF]
 :-Sarcasm

Honestly, I understand the argument that it should all be one word. Although I usually end up calling myself and others "practitioners" instead of traceurs or otherwise. Guess I don't place as much emphasis on specialized words for describing who we are as compared to what we do.

Offline TraceuseDS

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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2009, 07:50:57 AM »
As a traceuse (and professional editor), my opinion is that the traceur/traceuse distinction is just fine.


First of all, these are French words, just like lache, planche, and saut de chat, and French already has established grammatical conventions that make the distinction clear:
Traceur and traceuse derive from French, which has a separation of gender.

To expand, they do this for every profession and activity. All French nouns are either masculine or feminine. No need to change what was never meant to be sexist to begin with. It's just language structure.


I agree with Alec:
Modern language is the result of an incredibly complex network of interactions and events. The work is done and we don't need to actively create artificial rules which in all likelihood will not prove to be useful.

[...]

You CAN change it, but why? Is it really useful?

[...]

And say this does go through. You will still end up saying "female/girl/woman traceur" and never "male/guy/man traceur" as it will be typically assumed (at least now) that the person being referred to is a man. Congrats, you added a word. That's not parkour :P (but seriously).
If we say "male traceur" and "female traceur" we're adding an extra word to make a distinction that is already clear.



Though...on a side note, has anyone read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four? This all makes me think of Newspeak: eliminating words that make language more complex, in favor of modifying the same one or two words with different adjectives and prefixes...
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Re: Semantics - "Traceur", not "Traceuse"
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2009, 07:53:55 AM »
i agree with the op on some aspects....it doesnt really mater about the gender of any traceur(e), but its just a title and nothing more. look at the shinobi and kunochi, they were (for the most part) the same thing. i dont really worry about it though, cause like i said its just a title.
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