I was wondering whether there has been (generally) a feminisation of "men's language". Lakoff's claims in "women's and men's language" are almost half a century old and there have been contradictory and confirming studies (for sure context, interlocturor etc. are important factors). Lakoff claims are the following about "women's language" (Lakoff 2004:78-79):
"women have a large stock of words related to their specific interests , generally relegated to them as "women's work": magenta, shirt, dart (in sewing), and so on. If men use the words at all, it tends to be tongue-in-cheek".
"'empty' adjectives like divine, charming, cute...."
"Question intonation where we might declaratives: for instance tag questions ("It's hit, isn't it?) and rising intonation in statement contexts ("What's your name, dear?" "Mary Smith?").
"The use of hedges of various kinds. Women's speech seems in general to contain more instances of "well," "y'kmow,","kinda," and so forth:words that convey the sense that the speaker is uncertain about what he (or she) is saying [...]women do it more, precisely because they believe asserting them strongly isn't nice or ladlylike, or even feminine. Another manifestation of the same thing is the use of "I guess" and "I think" prefacing declarations or "I wonder" prefacing questions, which themselves are hedges on the speech-acts of saying and asking. [...] hedges, like question intonation, give the impression that the speaker lacks authority or doesn't know what he's talking about [...].
"[...] intensive 'so' [...] more frequent in women's language, though certainly men can use it. Here we have an attempt to hedge on one's strong feelings, as though to say: I feel strongly about this - but I dare not make it clear HOW strong [...].
"hypercorrect grammar: women are not supposed to talk rough. [...]"
"Superpolite forms [...] speak more politely [...]"
"Women don't tell jokes. As we shall see in a while this point is just an elaboration of the two immediately preceding. But it is axiomatic in middle class American society that, first women can't tell jokes - they are bound to ruin the punchline, they mix up the order of things, and so on. Moreover, they don't "get" jokes. In short women have no sense of humor"
Women speak in italics, and the more ladylike and feminine you are, the more in italics you are supposed to speak, [...].
Lakoff's says this difference in language is due to the different position of men and women in society. Women are less likely to be taken seriously which is also reflected in their language use and a consequence of it. Howeve,she also states that academic men and upper class British men use more often "women's language" (2004: 47). Same with gay men. Holmes for example claims - as far as I remember it was in her #hedges and boosters paper (published in the 90s) that she couldn't find a difference between women and men using a different number of the linguistic devices.
Nevertheless, I was wondering whether there are some up-to-date studies about change in the language of men? I know I shouldn't generalise but I am talking about general tendencies in "men's language". The reason I am wondering about that is that femininity becomes more and more accpeted in society also amongst males, especially the more liberal people. Hence, the question about whether this is already observable in language use.