Also on the block: "brother" & "sister," (now siblings)

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
Hi,

Gender-neutral "they" to replace "he" and "she." Also on the block: "brother" & "sister," (now siblings) "fraternity" & "sorority" (collegiate Greek system residence); "heirs" ("beneficiaries")

What does "on the block" mean here? Merriam-Webster says it means "for sale", but that makes no sense in this context.

Thanks!
 
  • Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    I disagree with #2.

    I interpret 'on the block' as having the same meaning as 'for the chop': in other words, these terms have their metaphorical heads on the [executioner's] block, ready to be 'axed'. It means that the words 'brother' and 'sister' are soon to be abolished, along with various other gender-specific terms.
     
    Last edited:

    TheIntricateWillows

    Member
    English - USA
    I disagree with #2.

    I interpret 'on the block' as having the same meaning as 'for the chop': in other words, these words have their metaphorical heads on the [executioner's] block, ready to be 'axed'. It means that the terms 'brother' and 'sister' are soon to be abolished, along with various other gender-specific terms.
    Yeah, I would also agree with this. I didn't pay enough attention to the first sentence to understand the full context.
    I don't agree with the sentiment, but that's what they are saying.
    Yeah, abolishing all gender-specific terms is mindless, as they serve a purpose. These terms exist for people to describe themselves the way they want. Some people find that gender-neutral pronouns and terms represent them the best and that's fine (it hurts no one). However, most people are satisfied with gendered pronouns and terms, so we shouldn't eliminate them all.
     
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