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fraternity vs. sorority

Discussion in 'English Only' started by snooprun, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. snooprun

    snooprun Senior Member

    China
    Chinese
    Hi there.

    What is the difference between 'fraternity' and 'sorority' in this case?

    'The fact that you were active in your fraternity or sorority is really not going to do it. '---quoted from http://owl.english.purdue.edu.

    If they are interchangeable in this case, then why the writer bother to mentioned it twice?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Have you looked these words up in the dictionary?

    fraternity: N. Amer. a male students' society in a university or college.
    sorority: N. Amer. a society for female students in a university or college.
     
  3. perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Agree with Copyright. It distinguishes between the male and female versions.

    This is somewhat "slang", but people use/say it: "The fact that you were active in a Greek society is really not going to do it."

    That could take the gender out of it (for the publication). On many campuses, they are called "Greek societies".
     
  4. snooprun

    snooprun Senior Member

    China
    Chinese
    Thanks both of you. Problem solved!
     
  5. americàn.che.dscarr

    americàn.che.dscarr New Member

    Bologna
    English - US
    Small note:

    While traditionally fraternities are all-male organizations and, conversely, sororities are all-female organizations, there are both fraternities and sororities that accept members of both sexes, or use the opposite name designation for the organization.

    Good examples of this are Delta Gamma women's fraternity, Kappa Alpha Theta women's fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa, one of the first fraternities nationally (now an honor society) and accepts both sexes.
     
  6. snooprun

    snooprun Senior Member

    China
    Chinese
    Since I am a foreigner, I am curious about what do those Greek societies do? Like hosting parties?
     
  7. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    One should be aware that such societies are confined to North America. You won't find them in Irish or British universities.
     
  8. americàn.che.dscarr

    americàn.che.dscarr New Member

    Bologna
    English - US
    Their purposes are very diverse, either for social, academic, religious, ethnic, or cultural purposes. Most of the major organizations have a creed/oath/constitution that states what they stand for. Historically, they are exclusive organizations, only allowing membership by invitation. Nowadays, any student can start a greek letter organization; there are no restrictions on who can operate one. At large US Universities (Harvard, Stanford, Yale, USC, UCB, etc.), the greek community is known as more of a social institution. Most own property on or near campus and offer housing at reduced cost to members. I believe all have restrictions that only members can live in the organization house. A fraternity or sorority does not require a property to operate on a campus, like thousands of greek organizations do on smaller (and even fairly large) campuses around the nation.

    Simply put: they are another type of student organization in North American Universities. Most have the stereotype of being a party student group, some live up to that stereotype while others are far removed from it.
     
  9. snooprun

    snooprun Senior Member

    China
    Chinese
    Thanks americàn.che.dscarr, your remarks makes more sense to me.
     

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