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Old 03-27-2012, 08:30 AM   #991
odiseo77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
Why do English-speaking nations call animals "he"/"she" but not "it"? In English language an animal is "it", right? And always has been. Looks like not any more.
I'm not a native English speaker, but I think that 'it' is used for animals (though I've seen the use of 'he'/'she' when referring to a pet).
 
Old 03-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #992
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"It" should be used for animals but "he"/"she" is prefered for some reason. Everyone seems to use "he"/"she".
 
Old 03-27-2012, 08:59 AM   #993
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I think generally we (I'm English) use "it" for most animals but "he/she" for pets because they are often viewed by the owners as "part of the family" so we tend to humanise them.
As far as communicating with a native English speaker goes using "it" should be fine unless you're talking about their favourite pet.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 11:11 PM   #994
catkin
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When the sex of the animal is known it (ha!) is natural to use he/she. Applies to pets, farm animals and wild animals (think wildlife documentary commentaries). When the sex of the animal is not known it is OK to use "it" but feels uncomfortable/disrespectful so is usually avoided, for example by "The bird is ...".
 
Old 03-28-2012, 07:35 AM   #995
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IMO, "I don't mind" is a polite way of saying "I don't care".
Is my opinion correct?
 
Old 03-28-2012, 08:17 AM   #996
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Yes and no. Depends on the context...(pause while Brian wracks his feeble aging brain for examples)...
Give me a few days...if you don't mind waiting.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anisha Kaul View Post
IMO, "I don't mind" is a polite way of saying "I don't care".
Is my opinion correct?
Yes -- although "mind" and "care", as intransitive verbs, are very close in meaning, "I don't care" implies that you have no interest in something (which could upset the listener) whereas "I don't mind" says nothing about your interest in the matter, simply that you are comfortable with all the alternatives on offer.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
it is OK to use "it" but feels uncomfortable/disrespectful so is usually avoided
Animal is just an animal. It doesn't need our respect, it doesn't need to be treated like we treat each other. So really I am against calling pets something other than "it" because for some reason we started to pay TOO much attention to them.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 01:09 PM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
Animal is just an animal. It doesn't need our respect, it doesn't need to be treated like we treat each other. So really I am against calling pets something other than "it" because for some reason we started to pay TOO much attention to them.
Apart from that being a rather unpleasant attitude, grammar is not a matter of personal taste, but of social convention. Most languages with gender apply it to animals, especially domestic ones. Even in Tamil, where gender is normally applied only to gods and humans, it can be applied to animals when they have a proper name.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Apart from that being a rather unpleasant attitude, grammar is not a matter of personal taste, but of social convention. Most languages with gender apply it to animals, especially domestic ones.
I agree. Besides, languages can't be arbitrarily regulated just like that; they are a living matter, they change for -and obey to- many complex reasons (cultural, historical, social reasons, etc.). As far as gender for animals goes, in Spanish we use different words to refer to the gender of the animals, as well (in fact, every thing, entity, animal or inanimate object in Spanish has a gender).
 
Old 03-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #1001
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English is different though in that the word used to refer to something depends upon its sex because English nouns have no gender* (a distinction hard to make in these prudish times where the word "gender" is used where "sex" is meant).
In English if a cat of unknown sex is eating we would say "it is eating." I don't know Spanish, but I think in French they would say "Il est manger." which translates to the English "He is eating". What I do not know is what would be said if a known female cat were to be seen eating?


*Or, I suppose, gender follows sex.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #1002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Apart from that being a rather unpleasant attitude, grammar is not a matter of personal taste, but of social convention. Most languages with gender apply it to animals, especially domestic ones. Even in Tamil, where gender is normally applied only to gods and humans, it can be applied to animals when they have a proper name.
That's an impressive knowledge of Tamil, Mr David McCann of London!
 
Old 03-28-2012, 06:01 PM   #1003
odiseo77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
In English if a cat of unknown sex is eating we would say "it is eating." I don't know Spanish, but I think in French they would say "Il est manger." which translates to the English "He is eating". What I do not know is what would be said if a known female cat were to be seen eating?
In case we don't know the sex of the cat we say "He is eating", and in case it's a female cat, we say "She is eating". BTW, I am currently studying French, and although I'm not completely sure (I'm not quite competent in it yet), I think it would be the same in French ("he" for a cat of unknown sex, and "she" for a female cat).

Last edited by odiseo77; 03-28-2012 at 06:02 PM.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 06:11 PM   #1004
273
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Thanks, yes, it's a long time since I studied French so I couldn't remember but I think it will be the same.
 
Old 04-01-2012, 07:31 AM   #1005
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W.r.t the following quote I have been told I appear "bossy". I have used the word please. What else can I do to make this appear non-bossy?
Quote:
Firstly, I haven't "attached" any words to this photo. I showed this photo to my family, and they couldn't make anything out of it. Then I told them that it is about "what happened". They couldn't still make anything out. Hence I posted the question. Now, instead of discussing the title, could you please help me in the composition? P.S. Yes, I'll consider a spiritual book next time. What else?
He replied
Quote:
@Anisha, I think you misunderstand. I think you should attach words, or otherwise set a context. I'm discussing the title because that's important. It sounds like part of the problem might be showing it to people and trying to extract a response right away. That's a lot of pressure and maybe not the best way. It sets up a context of "What does Anisha want me to say about her photo?", not of "This is an interesting puzzle...."
I wrote:
Quote:
Matt, attaching words is the last thing I would do. IMO, if an average person cannot make out what the photo speaks, it depicts the failure of the photographer. Title jeopardizes the mind of the viewer. Can you tell me something more about the composition now?

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 04-01-2012 at 07:34 AM.
 
  


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