A language instructor was explaining to her class that French nouns (unlike their English counterparts) are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.

"House" in French is feminine -- "la maison."
"Pencil" in French is masculine -- "le crayon."

The top student in the class was puzzled and asked, "What gender is computer?"

The teacher thought a moment and then said that the word "computer" was not in the French dictionary. So for fun, she split her class into two groups appropriately enough, by gender and asked them to decide whether the word "computer" should be a masculine or feminine noun. She said that she would give extra credit to the group which comes up with four valid reasons for their recommendation.

About ten minutes later, the men's group raised their hands. Their appointed leader smiled.
"Computers should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computer) because
  1. No one, but their creator, understands their internal logic.
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
  3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for possible later retrieval.
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it."

Immediately, the leader of the women's group stood up and nodded proudly to her fellow women group members.
"We strongly feel that computers should be masculine ("le computer"), because
  1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
  2. They have a lot of data, but they are clueless.
  3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but more than half the time, they ARE the problem.
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you'd waited a little longer, you could have gotten a much better model.
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