Language: Prattle of the Sexes
DID WOMEN STOP BEING CHARMING THREE DECADES AGO? WE DON'T think so. But the word charming, associated with women far more often than men from 1910 into the 1980s, was overtaken by words like attractive by the 1990s, according to a Stanford University analysis of about 79,000 American texts (including novels, nonfiction books and periodicals). Researchers studied more than 500 words related to personality, identified those tied most closely to men or women, and traced how usages changed as attitudes toward gender have evolved—or haven’t.