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chairperson, chairman, spokesperson, spokesman (Compound Nouns) Options
A cooperator
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 7:40:32 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,955
Neurons: 11,004
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi Everyone,
While googling if 'spokesperson' is a closed compound noun or not, I've found out an article whose owner claims the following "To determine if a compound word is one word, two words or hyphenated, use a dictionary to look up the word or our lists below. If you cannot find the word, treat the word as two separate words."

It is a well alphabet-ordered list of compound nouns, but I didn't find these four words in it. So, are they not compound nouns or what?

Are "chairperson/chairman/spokesperson/spokesman" not compound nouns?
Where I can find a comprehensive list of such words which can be compound noun?
The chairperson/chairman/spokesperson/spokesman for the Arab British Center said some the preferences with spelling of Muhammad can be regional.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
BobShilling
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 8:09:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
A cooperator wrote:
... owner claims the following "To determine if a compound word is one word, two words or hyphenated, use a dictionary to look up the word or our lists below. If you cannot find the word, treat the word as two separate words."

It is a good alphabet-ordered list of compound nouns, but I didn't find these four words in it. So, are they not compound nouns or what?


They are. The person who wrote the words I have underlined does not have the resources to read every page written in English every day and update their list every day, but they have implied, very misleadingly, that their list is complete. It is not.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 8:23:13 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 18,187
Neurons: 73,859
Note the use of 'or'. That does not mean do only one of these - it means if you can't find it in one place, check in the other. There might be some in that list that are not in simple dictionaries. These are commonly in dictionaries, so you can take that as a word.


eg
tfd
Quote:
chairwoman
n.
1. A woman presiding officer of an assembly, meeting, committee, or board.


If you know that person is female.

Quote:
chairman
n.
1. The presiding officer of an assembly, meeting, committee, or board.


If you know that person is male


Quote:
Chairperson
n.
A chairman or chairwoman.


If you don't know who it is, or don't know what gender that person is, or don't want to make gender an issue.

or
Quote:
chair (châr)
n.
3.
b. A person who holds an office or a position of authority, such as one who presides over a meeting or administers a department of instruction at a college; a chairperson.


if you want to sound like an idiot. Whistle
A cooperator
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 9:16:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,955
Neurons: 11,004
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
thar wrote:
Quote:
eg
tfd
Quote:
chairwoman
n.
1. A woman presiding officer of an assembly, meeting, committee, or board.


If you know that person is female.

Quote:
chairman
n.
1. The presiding officer of an assembly, meeting, committee, or board.


If you know that person is male


Quote:
Chairperson
n.
A chairman or chairwoman.


If you don't know who it is, or don't know what gender that person is, or don't want to make gender an issue.


Thank you both of you so much,
I am right of think of if the person in charge is a woman, then we can say 'chairwoman', otherwise else, chairman.
If we don't know or don't want to consider gender an issue, then 'chairperson'.

The same thing can be applied with 'spokesman, spokeswoman, spokesperson'.

But, I was thinking of saying 'chairman' even if the person in charge is woman or man.
Thanks again to let me know that.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 12:57:28 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,757
Neurons: 46,127
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
"if the person in charge is a woman, then we can say 'chairwoman', otherwise else, chairman."

Not just pointing this out because it's incorrect - but because am not at all sure of what it means. I read it as meaning: Unless we know (are absolutely sure) that the chairperson is a woman then we use "chairman". If so, this is absolutely incorrect.

"Chairperson" is the default. As is "spokesperson".

At least in all the meetings I go to "spokesperson" and *"chairperson" are used no matter what gender the person is. Only when one is addressing them directly do we use the wo/man suffix: "Chairwoman Morris, may I interject?" "Spokesman Hindman, may I ask what you think?"


* Thar Whenever I go to meetings where a human being is referred to as an inanimate object I regress to about 8 years old and giggle. I once had so much trouble with it that I was convulsed after the first words, as I tried to ask the question "Is the Chair determined not to stand?". Very shame-making!
thar
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 2:17:11 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 18,187
Neurons: 73,859
I only just noticed how sexist and wrong that definition of chairman is. I just copied it as evidence of it being in the dictionary. I didn't notice the inherent sexism. Their definitions:
chairwoman - woman presiding over a meeting
chairman - person presiding over a meeting (which implies male or female)
and chairperson - chairman or chairwoman.

WRONG

The chairman is not 'any person'. If the chairperson is male, they can be referred to as a chairman. The chairman - he, him, his. But only if they are male.. It is not the default form, from which 'chairwoman' is some aberration. I didn't think dictionaries would be so crass in this day and age. No wonder people like Cooperator get the wrong idea if the dictionary definitions are so bad.


(And for people who say it is a general term, and it is nitpicking to make it gender-related, I can only say that sexist assumptions are so deeply entrenched they have to be dug out with TNT. I can understand that point (we are all humans, not hupeople), but you give people too much credit in thinking that 'chairman' can mean anybody and produce an egalitarian mindset. To most people it does lead them to believe, with a conscious or unconscious bias, that only men belong in that position. People are not as smart as we would like them to be.)

Shame on you tfd, and whichever dictionary was the source of that definition. (It was just the first one in the list, I don't know which source).

BobShilling
Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 2:22:08 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
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