Friday, January 30, 2004

At the Hair Salon

So I was at the hair salon in a St. Petersburg mall, reading the latest issue of US Weekly. My research for this site knows no bounds. And my hair was shaggy.

The magazine, besides being generally appalling and symbolic of the downfall of humanity, helped pass the time. One article in particular, caught my eye. It mentioned an upcoming movie, featuring a college "coed" who helps a professor.

First off, the word "coed" is dated and ridiculous. Coeducation has been the norm now since what -- the 1950s? Coed is so old I expect it to wear suspenders and use hair tonic.

Yet the vintage of the word wasn't what alarmed me. In this article, "coed" referred to a male student.


Let's check a couple of dictionaries.

"Coed: A young woman attending a coeducational college or university (Webster's New World)."

"Coed: a student and especially a female student in a coeducational institution (Merriam-Webster)."

I could cite more examples, but the point should be clear. A coed, in virtually all instances, should be a woman. Just because the word seems like it might be able to possibly, just kind of, you know probably refer to a male -- doesn't mean it does.

If we use antiquated slang, let's make sure it's correct.