A language teacher was explaining to her class that in French, nouns, unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.

For example, ‘house’ in French, is feminine -‘la maison,’ while ‘pencil’ is masculine – ‘le crayon.’

One puzzled student asked, “What gender is the computer?”

The teacher thought it would be a good exercise to have the students decide what they thought the gender should be. So she split the class into two groups, appropriately enough by gender, and asked them to decide whether ‘computer’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Both groups were required to give four reasons for their recommendation.

The boy’s group decided that computer 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 review.

4.As soon as you make a commitment to one, you constantly find yourself spending more money on accessories for it.

The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine “le computer”) because:

1.In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.

2.They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves.

3.They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.

4.As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer you could have gotten a better model.

The women won!