Letter: The feminine form

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The Independent Online
Sir: The actor/actress question (letters, 31 January) derives from a mistaken belief that feminine forms are somehow inferior. Yet prince and princess, widow and widower, even king and queen, show this is by no means the case.

As a self-appointed but ardent male feminist I would implore the sisters to lay off this sort of linguistic interference. Feminine forms are distinctive in themselves. In general additions of this kind are a sign of respect and even reverence, as with prefixes such as Sir and Lord, or suffixes like OBE, JP or even MP. Do not masculinise. For that means that the male forms, and the men, are intrinsically preferable - which we all know to be rubbish.

IAN FLINTOFF

London SW6

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