Use -min to Indicate One-Who-ness

First I should say that this is not meant to solve all the issues.  This is just one piece in a larger framework, a piece which is both linguistically relevant and an improvement easily accessible to native and new speakers.

Currently, we take a person who chairs and we call that person a chairman or (if we are confronted with gender) chairwoman or chairperson or some other ad hoc well-intentioned solution.  They usually sound clunky by comparison.  Kludgy.  Inelegant.

And that doesn’t even address the pluralization issue.  Chairman, chairmen, chairwoman, chairwomen, chairperson.  Confused?  Let’s simplify.

Most folks never actually articulate chairmAn or even less so chairmEn.  It’s softened to something more like chiarmIn (like chair-in with an m).  So let’s just roll with that.  We can use it as a non-pluralizing noun (like sheep or fish) so that it’s one chairmin, two chairmin, red chairmin, blue chairmin.  If we move forward with this -min suffix as both gender and number neutral we get a host of words such as follow here:

  • chairmin
  • spokesmin
  • ombudsmin
  • foremin
  • linemin
  • firemin
  • businessmin
  • fishermin
  • congressmin
  • longshoremin
  • newspapermin
  • upperclassmin
  • salesmin
  • policemin
  • marksmin
  • Scottsmin
  • clergymin
  • draughtsmin
  • weathermin
  • aldermin
  • garbagemin
  • militiamin
  • horsemin
  • stuntmin
  • groundsmin
  • highwaymin
  • middlemin
  • freshmin
  • herdsmin
  • helmsmin
  • laymin
  • trashmin
  • crewmin

You get the basic idea.  Take it forward:  the suffix -min is gender and number neutral and means (roughly) one who.



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