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"First woman prime minister"

(9 Posts)
HeyJo Tue 09-Apr-13 11:52:58

I've heard this a few times on various news programmes (including an interview with D. Cameron). I've found myself hollering "female" at the telly - am I right?

StealthPolarBear Tue 09-Apr-13 11:55:24

I don't know. But I do know first should be "only", and it also extends to party leader

StealthPolarBear Tue 09-Apr-13 11:56:01

They say "first" as though there have been a few since, as though it has become normal. It's as remarkable then as it is now,

Accentuatethepositive Tue 09-Apr-13 11:59:19

I've been wondering about this too. Surely Cameron is a male pm, not a 'man pm'? So therefore should be female? If anyone can confirm what the correct usage is I'd be v interested.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 10-Apr-13 16:29:57

I think that "female" sounds better in this context, but there is nothing wrong grammatically with using "woman." In English, nouns are used as adjectives all the time; it’s just that “man” is not commonly one of them.

HeyJo Thu 11-Apr-13 12:54:19

I suppose it's that 'man' isn't really used in this way that makes it seem a bit wrong. I also hate the phrase 'lady doctor' for some unknown reason!

In a way it's quite nice that they say 'first' as it implies there are more to come...

WillieWaggledagger Thu 11-Apr-13 12:57:16

yes, i see the 'first' part as an optimistic stance (if possibly misleading)

like the french calling the second world war 'seconde' rather than 'deuxième' because 'seconde' implies second and final.

stealthsquiggle Thu 11-Apr-13 13:01:20

Female sounds right to me. I had to correct DS from 'lady' though hmm

I always want to point out that she was the UK's first female prime minister - there had been plenty elsewhere.

Rosesforrosie Sat 13-Apr-13 10:08:10

I also dislike 'Lady' Doctor, because my grandparents use that term and also fully reject the idea that men and women do the same medical training. To them, the 'lady' doctor is a less qualified doctor. angry angry

In reference to Mrs. Thatcher- 'Female' is correct to my ears.

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