Computer in Spanish

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are not genderless but are designated as either masculine or feminine.  House for instance, is feminine: la casa and Pencil, however, is masculine: el lapiz.

A student then asked, What gender would a computer be?  Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into a male and female group, and asked each group to decide for themselves as to whether computer should be a masculine or a feminine noun.   Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men’s group decided that computer should definitely be of the feminine gender (‘la computadora’), because: A. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;  B. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;  C. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and finally D. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it!

The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should definitely be masculine, ‘el computador, because: 1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;  2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;   3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.