A dialogue from the Logic Programming Laboratory

eripsa: Hey Dave, do you know what the definition of 'maven' is?

me: Sort of. I haven't ever looked it up. It's like a really serious hobbiest -- an expert.

eripsa consults dictionary.com

eripsa: A person who has knowledge or experience. An expert. Someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field. Ace. Adept.

me: Hmmm. Pretty close.

eripsa: Are mavens female?

fizhburn: 'Maven' seems to imply femininity.

eripsa: Nothing in the definition makes that clear.

me: I think it's one of those words that connotes femininity because of the way it sounds. I don't know if that's included in the actual denotation. Why?

eripsa: I was quoted in Slate. "New Media maven Eripsa." I think they're playing on the gender ambiguity of the name.

fizhburn: From the OED, 1991, "I have in mind such English language mavens as William Safire and Robert MacNeil."

eripsa: Ok.

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