Is master a gender-neutral title? James from Seattle, Washington, hosts a local pub quiz night, where he’s known as the Quizmaster. But, he wonders, would it be appropriate to call a woman a Quizmaster? Of course! Many titles, like Postmaster or even actor, have come to be gender-neutral. We wouldn’t say Quizmistress because mistress has taken on a specific connotation–namely, the female lover of a married man. For more on gender and language, Grant recommends University of Michigan professor Ann Kurzan’s book Gender Shifts in the History of English. This is part of a complete episode.
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