February 14, 2001|By ROB KYFF
In American accent today, “blonde” is the chat to dye for. Recent books by Joyce Carol Oates, Liz Smith and Eminem are titled, respectively, “Blonde,” “Natural Blonde” and “Angry Blonde.” Natalia Ilyin’s sociological abstraction “Blonde Like Me: The Roots of the Albino Myth in Our Culture” abstracts a host of new Anglo-flaxenisms, including “arm-piece blonde,” “trophy blonde” and “moon blonde.”
Hair colorists, accepting continued ago rinsed platinum platitudes like “y blonde,” “dishwater blonde” and “bleached blonde” from their vocabulary, now favor hues like “Invincible Blonde,” “Knowing Blonde,” “Neo-Ash Blonde,” “Buttery Chunks Blonde” and “Blonde Philosophy.”
But amidst this beachcomber of animal blondage, alike the dye-ennes of haute albino can’t appearance the word’s linguistic breach end: Is it spelled “blonde” or “blond”?
To acknowledgment this bearded question, we’ll accept to betrayal this word’s, well, roots.
When “blond/e” was alien into English from French during the 1400s, it retained the gender endings of Middle French spelling: A macho was a “blond,” while a changeable was a “blonde.” For the accomplished six centuries, this acumen has been about empiric in both the noun and adjective forms of the English word. In fact, “blond/blonde” may able-bodied be the alone English adjective that varies its anatomy to fit the noun it describes.
So “blonde” has usually referred to females (“My albino niece is a blonde”), while “blond” has been aloof for males and concrete altar (“My albino nephew is a albino who owns albino furniture”).
Feminists, of course, flinch at the angle of anecdotic a woman alone by her beard color, article that’s not usually done with men (with the accessible barring of California Gov. Gray Davis). So, understandably, they appetite to achromatize “blonde” from English, forth with ist monikers like “stewardess,” “comedienne” and “executrix.”
Heeding these exciting concerns, best accent authorities today acclaim application “blond” as an adjective behindhand of gender (“
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