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The topic of English Discussion with JAMES is "Friendship between men and women" Wednesday 8th of July at 7.30 pm Frunze 1-3, of. 41a (metro Kontraktova is very close) Ideal International Language Centre https://www.fb.com/dealideal.net Register: 093 1555 150, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's an intriguing article about different perception of words by men and women.
Do you know what ‘codec’ means? What about ‘wisteria’?
Chances are that if you know a codec is a device that compresses data, you’re male. If you’re more familiar with the climbing shrub belonging to the pea family, then you’re probably a woman.
Just so we're clear, this is not me being sexist. Instead it's the loose findings of an online study which found there is a big difference between men and women when it comes to recognising certain words.
Mark Brysbaert, director of the Center for Reading Research at Ghent University, asked half a million people to take part in an online vocabulary test. They were shown a number of words – some of which were made up, and others which belong to the English language.
The study found that there were 24 words where there was a vast recognition gap between men and women, which was as high as 40 per cent. Men tended to recognise words referring to science, weapons and transport, while women recognised words related to flowers, fashion and hair.
Men were much more likely to recognise these words over women:
But, women were much more likely to know the following words over men:
A home covered in wisteria
When I first read about the study, I automatically assumed that I wouldn’t fit into the gender stereotype and would know a vast majority of the ‘male’ words.
But, looking at this condensed list, I’ve realised I know 11 out of 12 of the ‘female’ words (who on earth knows what a bottlebrush is?) and only an embarrassing four out of 12 for the 'male' list. My female colleagues have similar results, while my boyfriend fits the male mould by hardly knowing any of the words on the second list.
I had high hopes he’d know all about peonies and progesterone but it turns out that while he knows 11 out of 12 of the male words, on the second list he only recognises the cheese mascarpone.
Just from doing this straw poll of my colleagues and friends, it seems that the study's findings are generally apt. Obviously, we also have to take into account our socioeconomic statuses, ages, educations, locations, and all those other variables, but the gender element does still play a role.
Pride and Prejudice
As a young girl, I grew up on a diet of books, ranging from Enid Blyton toLittle Women to Pride and Prejudice. I did also read the odd vampire, war and beast books, but my favourite reading material meant I was very familiar with taffeta, bodices and flouncing dresses.
Male friends, including my boyfriend, read sci-fi novels and watched programmes about battles, meaning they ended up quite knowledgeable about scimitars and claymores. Many later went on to work in tech and engineering industries, where they learnt about mach, codec and solenoid.
But as those industries are still so male-dominated, it means that many women still don’t have the opportunities to learn more about these fields. Even though Kevlar, a lightweight fibre used in bulletproof vests, was invented by a woman – Stephanie Kwolek, who died aged 90 last week – the study shows that far more men than women currently know about the fibre.
While the test is a bit of light-hearted fun to see how many words in the English language you recognise (you can take the test here – I got an unimpressive 75 per cent) it does show that our society does still have a strong gendered gap.
Some of it is harmless – I don't think anyone needs to know about bottlebrushes, which are literally brushes to clean bottles with – but it is a shame that men don’t know about the female hormone system. In turn, it’s sad that a lot of women, like myself, lack scientific knowledge. I honestly can't see myself ever picking up a book on engineering for fun, but perhaps it is time to start updating my vocab. After all, it's pretty nice to know that I’m not just a human being, but as an animal that walks on two legs, I’m also a biped.
If you didn't score 24/24, here are the most common definitions for all the words on the two lists:
1. codec - a device or program that compresses data to enable faster transmission and decompresses received data
2. solenoid - a cylindrical coil of wire acting as a magnet when carrying electric current
3. golem - a clay figure brought to life by magic or an automaton
4. mach - the ratio of the speed of a body to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium
5. humvee - a type of four-wheel-drive all-terrain military vehicle
6. claymore - a broadsword formerly used by Scottish Highlanders
7. scimitar - a short sword with a curved blade that broadens towards the point
8. kevlar - a synthetic fibre of high tensile strength
9. paladin - a knight renowned for heroism and chivalry
10. bolshevism - the strategy developed by the Bolsheviks between 1903 and 1917 with a view to seizing state power
11. biped - an animal that uses two legs for walking
12. dreadnought - a type of battleship introduced in the early 20th century, larger and faster than its predecessors and equipped entirely with large-calibre guns
1. taffeta - a fine lustrous silk or similar synthetic fabric with a crisp texture
2. tresses - a long lock of a woman's hai
3. bottlebrush - a cylindrical brush for cleaning inside bottles (or an Australian shrub)
4. flouncy - an adjective to describe material that is gathered and pleated
5. mascarpone - a soft, mild Italian cream cheese
6. decoupage - the decoration of the surface of an object with paper cut-outs
7. progesterone - a steroid hormone that stimulates the uterus to prepare for pregnancy
8. wisteria - a climbing shrub of the pea family, with hanging clusters of fragrant flowers, typically pale bluish-lilac in colour
9. taupe - grey with a tinge of brown
10. flouncing - to go or move in an exaggeratedly impatient or angry manner
11. peony - a herbaceous or shrubby plant of north temperate regions
12. bodice - the part of a woman's dress (excluding the sleeves) which is above the waist
Now, tell us, what's your score?
Приглашаем обсудить горячую тему "Дружба между мужчиной и женщиной" в среду, 8 июля, в 19:30.
Тренер - Джеймс (носитель языка, British English).
Адрес: Киев, Фрунзе 1-3, оф. 41а (рядом метро Контрактовая).
Ideal International Language Centre https://www.fb.com/dealideal.net Register: 093 1555 150, email@example.com