The same argument could be made for much, much worse sentences. "A woman's place is in the kitchen", "Women shouldn't be allowed to vote", "Black people commit more crimes". We could make that even worse, but I don't want to. Language isn't as innocent as you think - it is tightly coupled to not only intention but expectation, and it does help shape people's thoughts about it. This sentence isn't perfect.
Well, it's a language course, not an ethics one. The whole point is to BE ABLE to understand and to build a similar sentence. And whoever is discriminated or offended by these sentences also need to know and to understand them first. This is also why you have e.g. insults and even racial slurs in dictionaries. You just need to mark them as such to prevent unintended usage.
You miss the point. I'm not saying the course shouldn't have such sentences. I'm saying that if every sentence in the course is sexist towards one gender, the course should make sure to spread usage of such sentences across genders. It's not like I'm advocating not teaching or understanding potentially offending words.
If someone is offended by the description of a woman being fat then IMO they have bigger problems that can't be fixed simply by fixing the sentence. I agree with merigor. This isn't an ethics course. I like the quirky sentences, helps you to remember. Like the girl as thin as a pen. :)
No, they're not actually related - they're from different Proto-Germanic roots, much too old to be loanwords.
I wouldn't say "slightly different" either - små is the plural form of "little", and smal means "narrow". But I suppose that's a matter of definition. :)
In the English translation both "fat" and "thick" are accepted. For me (Brit Eng Native) "a thick person" only means a stupid person and means nothing about their size. Sooooo... if (a)"tjock" referring to a person in Swedish is only ever about physical size and not their intellect, and (b) a "thick person" in general English (not just mine) is only about intellect and not physical size, then maybe it should be altered.
This site has some interesting information about the historyical background to this Jack Spratt nursery rhyme:
As with many nursery rhymes, Jack Sprat may have originated as a satire on a public figure: history writer Linda Alchin suggests that Jack was King Charles I, who was left "lean" when parliament denied him taxation, but with his queen Henrietta Maria he was free to "lick the platter clean" after he dissolved parliament—Charles was a notably short man. An alternative explanation comes from the popular Robin Hood legend, applying it to the disliked King John and his greedy queen Isabella.
Hi! I don't get why "A big woman loves a slim man" is not accepted. I see the difference between big and fat, but in this sentence the meanings overlap. In French, I would use one word ("grosse") to describe both in this context, and my guess is that in Swedish to (and you wouldn't use "fet" (fr: gras) because it would sound very inappropriate right?).
Possibly because in English, referring to someone as 'big' does not inherently mean that they are fat. A 'big' person could just be really tall, or be particularly bulky but not fat (think like a professional bodybuilder, there's no world in which one of them would be called 'fat', but they are absolutely 'big'). It's technically valid to use 'big' to mean 'fat' in English, but it's rather euphemistic usage that most people (or at least, most Americans) would not pick up on without further context indicating that it meant 'fat' and not something else.
As far as I can tell though, 'tjock' in Swedish only means 'fat' when talking about a person.