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Need opinion with word's gender inflection

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Need opinion with word's gender inflection

Postby Spiderkeg » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:33 am

I need some opinions regarding the gender inflection of a particular word.

Does the word "Ambren" sound feminine or masculine?

Think about this first before reading on as not to sway your decision.

I'm looking to use this word to present a number of things, one being the name of a planet in my story. While I don't mind people telling me the name sounds masculine, I am looking for a word that sounds more feminine. I'm hoping the name also rolls off the tongue, especially with the limited vowels and syllabals.

Any other opinions?
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Postby Bmat » Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:30 pm

Ambren sounds masculine, I think because 'bren" seems masculine.

Ambreh could be feminine. or Ambria.
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Postby Magus » Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:47 pm

I agree with Bmat, it sounds more masculine than it does feminine. However, I could see it being attributed to a female character as well. However, just seeing it out of any kind of context I would assume it's a man we're talking about (or at least a member of the masculine persuasion).
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Postby Merle » Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:59 pm

Hmmm, I had a different reaction. I think the similarity to "Amber" made me think feminine. Maybe it's close enough it can go either way.
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Postby Magus » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:47 pm

It, like with Bmat, was the "bren" part that made me think masculine. But the "amber" part's what makes me accept feminine as well. Like I said, it's one of those that seems to be more masculine, but, in the end, comes off as a possibly gender-neutral distinction.
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Postby Spiderkeg » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:31 pm

Alright. For the use I recommended does the name seem fitting in your opinion(s)?
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Postby Magus » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:37 pm

I think it fit's its use perfectly, not quite feminine, yet not quite masculine: a Mona Lisa in its own right. I say keep it.
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Postby Achen » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:03 pm

It sounds like a weight-loss pill to me.
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Postby SirJill » Tue May 01, 2007 7:00 am

Actually, I was thinking it sounded more like a sleeping pill, if anything.

But honestly, that wasn't my first thought.

I'd say gender neutral, but, once you prompt the reader, I think a feminine inclination will certainly present itself.
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Postby RHFay » Tue May 01, 2007 7:12 am

Hello Spiderkeg!

I agree with Sir Jill on this one; the use of the word may make all the difference in how it's perceived. It sounds neutral enough that context could be enough to give it either a masculine connotation or a feminine one. English isn't as hard in the "feminine/masculine" forms as some other languages (like French, for instance). And with made-up names, as long as it isn't obviously flowery (Lilaciana, perhaps?), or he-man tough (Ironadem, maybe?), I think you have some lee-way either way.

Cheers!
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Postby aldan » Wed May 02, 2007 2:53 pm

Here's a question relating to your word, Spidey...

Is the planet already inhabited, and if so, is it inhabited by human/human-like creatures? Is the planet a more fantasy-like or a more science fiction-like planet for the story? Also, was the planet named by people/creatures that originated on the planet, or was it by creatures/people that colonized it?

Now, you may ask why I ask such questions, and if you wish to, be my guest. I may even consider deigning to answer the question... *aldan grins*
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Postby Grand Evander » Thu May 03, 2007 12:21 am

Those are some very thought provoking questions, aldan. In my opinion, Ambren would seem most appropriate in a fantasy context. An interesting question of semantics for me is what is meant by human-like creatures?

I personally believe in the end all sentient creatures have human characteristics, otherwise how can the identify with or at least understand them? If you meant physiologically, then I think I understand what you're getting at with all of your queries. I guess to better understand the naming of the planet one would have to know why a name that sounds feminine would be appropriate.

And to give my two cents, Spidey,

I also think Ambren is rather gender neutral, mostly because it isn't obviously rooted in any word that has a gender connotation in English for me.
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