I came across this blog, and I thought the idea was fascinating. The blog makes what I feel is a very good case, and the proposal appears to be well thought out (i.e. the reasoning behind the choice of the word).
Before you point out the criticism (which you’re welcome to do—at least, you’re welcome to do it in the comments section of my blog), consider this.
It might not be realistic to replace the word “woman” with a new word.
What’s more realistic is for people who support this idea to spread the word about it, and for some authors in some contexts to slowly apply it (and explain why), so that eventually this new word is used enough that it becomes an addition to the language. This seems plausible for the not-too-distant future. In the far future, perhaps it could replace the current word, but I think just getting it used enough to gain acceptance would be a giant leap.
Back to possible criticism. Such might just get the new word the publicity it needs.
I wouldn’t go out and write any novel using this word. Maybe there are a limited number where this word would gain more support from readers than it may put readers off. But if you write something where this word might fit the context and you support this word, there are small ways that use of the word could grow.
Maybe I’m in the wrong gender to advocate the use of the new word. I just thought the idea was fascinating and wanted to share it. Feel free to dislike the idea. 🙂
Note that we do already have a three-letter word for woman. It’s “fem,” short for female… Maybe they can get into the three-letter club with this? But “fem” may not be entirely suitable. Plus, like “woman,” which includes “man,” “female” includes “male.”
It’s an…intriguing concept. I have no problem with the word “woman,” but they make some interesting arguments. New words are added to the dictionary all the time. If “twerk” can be added to the dictionary, I don’t see why “vef” couldn’t be too.
Excellent point. 🙂
“Vef” is one of those words that makes me feel like I’m chewing on wool. Fuzzy teeth. Nails on a chalkboard. Instant word aversion, which has nothing to do with meaning. Right up there with “silkily” and “ointment.” BLAGH.
It also sounds like a creature created by Dr. Seuss. 🙂
I have no problem with the word “woman,” but I understand people who do. I just really, REALLY wish they’d chosen another word to replace it with! I’ll never use it. *shudder*
Oh, dang. They used the word “womb” in their argument. That’s right near the top of my word aversion list, too. Fuzzy mouth EVERYWHERE today! (Yes, I have issues)
That’s a great point. It’s the same hurdle with gender-neutral pronouns: Sound appeal is very important for people to adopt this in speech.
It would be a handy word in Scrabble, though… 🙂
So true! I wonder if I could use that website as justification for that one…
That was an interesting post. I also don’t mind the word “woman.” I agree with Kate though. Vef sounds a little like the sound you make when you’ve got something stuck on your tongue that you want to get off: “Vefffff.”
Yeah, just write a short paragraph that uses the word vef several times and try to say it aloud. I can see that being an obstacle; maybe there is a word with better sound appeal. 🙂