Gender paranoia is running rampant in Berkeley and elsewhere, including Southbury, with no thought given to the etymological origins of the words they are replacing. I don’t know when this lunacy will stop. The man- in manhole is derived from the Latin manus, hand, as in manual labor. The order “Man the guns” means placing hands on the weapons. It does not refer to male humans manning the guns or using manholes. Replacing manhole with maintenance hole as Berkeley did is downright silly.

The term -man in chairman, congressman, selectman, and salesman, entered the English language from the German indefinite pronoun man, as in “man muss essen,” which means one must eat, or a person must eat. The pronoun has nothing to do with sex or gender. A chairman is a person who chairs a meeting. I understand our language is evolving, but can we base changes on rational thought and not whims based on delusions? Is anyone out there thinking, or is that too much to ask?

James S. Mellett

New Fairfield