German language....is primarily dictated by the intellectual elite of Germany....the University system. Unless they get with an idea of change, it does not occur with the official language book. It's hard to find any other language this closely guarded and protected.
So you have to sit back and imagine this. A German professor....a physicist...decided more as a joke than a serious matter.....to suggest in writing to the word czars of Germany....a change. You have to remember, a physicist is a guy who studies molecules and gets down into matter and anti-matter. Things exist, in theory, if not completely explainable.
His word? Professor, he felt....was a word that only noted a male. So obviously, by the laws of physics......there ought to be a female word to fit as well. Professorinnen was the choice.
Germans have a habit of making differences between male and females....in animals....in jobs....etc.
So this word Professorinnen was the choice. Remember, it was a joke, not intended to be taken serious.
Well....the language guys held the meeting, and determined that this physicist was right, and have given a 'right' to Professorinnen. It may take six months for it to fall into all books, and officially noted nation-wide, but it's practically a done matter.
I'm guessing the physicist is sitting there now....scratching his head. Now of this was serious to him. It was a joke to start with. And now? He's probably wondering what else he could do.....to screw with the German language.
Put a female slant on garbage collectors? Maybe a female slant on pizza-makers? Perhaps even a female slant on comedians?
There's two obvious things to say about this episode.
Number one.....the German language is something of amazement in the way that word craftsman of the intellectual world protect with great interest. Once persuaded, it's a bound and determined group.
Number two.....never joke with the German language, because someone just might not get the joke.