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Alma Graham

  • If a woman is swept off a ship into the water, the cry is 'Man overboard!' If she is killed by a hit-and-run driver, the charge is 'manslaughter!' If she is injured on the job, the coverage is 'workman's compensation!' But if she arrives at a threshold marked 'Men Only,' she knows the admonition is not intended to bar animals or plants or inanimate objects. It is meant for her.

    • Alma Graham,
    • "The Making of a Nonsexist Dictionary," in B. Thorne and N. Henley, eds., Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance ()
  • The man in manager, management, manuscript, manufacture, and manifest comes from the Latin manus, meaning hand. The man in mandate derives from the Latin mandare, in command. Manhattan comes from a proto-Algonquin word menahanwi, meaning island, and human comes from the Latin humanus, which goes back to an Indo-European root meaning earthling. I'd be glad to concede maniacal to males, but it happens that the Greek mania means madness, which is found in members of both sexes. That leaves us only man-of-war, a warship or a jellyfish capable of inflicting severe injury. That man undeniably comes from the word meaning adult male human being — and I'd be content to leave it that way.

    • Alma Graham,
    • in Publishers Weekly ()
  • It is no accident that the -ette form used to mean female in majorette is also used to mean small or diminutive in kitchenette and to mean imitated in leatherette.

    • Alma Graham,
    • in Publishers Weekly ()

Alma Graham