August 30, 2011 1 Comment
I’m not talking about whether or not the drapes match the carpet. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive as betas is how to refer to a fair-haired individual. Blonde results in spellcheck’s red line of death, but blond doesn’t look right either. Though both are technically correct, they can’t be used interchangeably.
The word English word blond comes from French, a language which employs grammatical gender. Though English does not, blond has retained its gender distinction in modern American usage.
These are the rules:
Blond is an adjective meaning light or fair.
Blond can also be used as noun referring to a male with fair coloring.
Blonde is a noun referring to a female with light hair.
The plural form is blonds regardless of gender.
Carlisle is a blond; Rosalie is a blonde. Both characters have blond hair; therefore they are blonds.
Here’s where it gets tricky:
While it’s not technically incorrect to use to blonde as an adjective describing a female, this is more commonly spelled blond. When used as an adjective preceding the word hair, it’s almost always spelled blond.
Rosalie was blonde as a human. After she was changed, she retained her blond hair.
Some related trivia:
Blond isn’t the only French noun we use to identify persons by their coloring that has retained its grammatical gender in English. Ever notice how we refer to a woman with brown hair as a brunette but we almost never refer to a man that way? The masculine form is brunet, but for whatever reason it isn’t a word we commonly use in English.