What Is a Gentleman?
I have gotten tired of the current use of the word "gentleman" by the media, and probably by everyone else. It should mean a man who is polite, educated, and thoughtful of others. In current usage it is used to describe the most horrible men, as in, "The accused child molester was caught yesterday; the gentleman will appear in court today."

In many cases, it is used just because it is a longer word than "man," and gives the announcer a few extra microseconds to think about what he or she will say next. In other cases it is used because it tends to give some positive spin to the character of the person they are talking about, and thus they are less likely to be sued for libel, as if they forget to throw in "accused" or "alleged" in describing the accusations against someone who has not yet been convicted.

In other cases, it's probably just because "gentleman" doesn't mean anything in today's society, because there are so few, and the traits of a gentleman are more likely to be ridiculed than praised. Jane Austen would be sad. Mr. Darby today would be a greedy, pushy, impolite hedge fund trader, rather than someone just not at ease with ordinary people.

In Gone with the Wind Rhett Butler, the archetype of today's man, was quick to say that he was no gentleman. And Ashley Wilkes would probably just sigh and regret the passing of yet another Southern virtue that is gone with the wind.

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