Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm probably going to point out most of these.

I am fond of words that have forms that are specific to each sex. Too often, in a misguided attempt to efface as many differences between men and women as possible, masculine forms of words are used to apply to women when perfectly serviceable feminine forms exist. To call attention to them is my way of fighting back in small measure.

administratrix

1. gen. A female administrator; an administratress.

2. spec. A woman appointed to administer the estate of an intestate.

¶The special meaning is the earlier; and it is due to its technical use as a legal term that the Latin form of the word has been retained, rather than the still earlier administress, and the later administratress and administratrice.