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Re: Gryps masculus

Poster: vnend%nudity@Princeton.EDU (David W. James)

> Poster: "Ed Hopkins" <Ed.Hopkins@MCI.Com>

> >     Okay, no awards for answering this one, but I'm in search of a 
> > relatively quick answer to what should be a simple question.  I need to 
> > know what is the proper way to spell gryphon when referring to a male 
> > version and what the difference, if any is?

> I believe the following things about griffons:

> * Either "gryphon" or "griffon" can be used to refer to
>   either sex.

> * The default gender for a gryphon is female.

	Not clear.  I just checked some of my books, and, when the picture 
has enough detail to tell, as often as not the griffin has male equipment.
None of my references go so far as to say that the winged form has a
defined or default sex.  The text of the books I checked (Fox-Davies and
Friar) didn't make this claim either.

> * A male gryphon doesn't have wings; instead he has
>   rays issuing from his shoulders to symbolize his
>   wing envy.
> -- Alfredo

	Also known as the keythong, the origin of this monster is a bit of a
mystery.  Fox-Davies speculates that it an English representation of the
continental (heraldic) panther.

	I view the two much like nurse/male nurse.  Man and women can be
nurses, and having an XY set of chromosomes doesn't make you a Male Nurse
even if you are an RN; 'male nurse' is a job description, and it too can
apply to either men or women.  When you get right down to it, both
griffin's and male gryphons can be male or female.  We're talking about
imaginary beasts here, after all.  (Heck, you could have a female
unicorn too, though you'll seldom see them in heraldry.)


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