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On Sun, May 23, 2010 at 1:37 PM, Stephen L. Rice <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
> English and IN are rather different in their underlying systems, no doubt. Still,
> in English, the generic use of the "male" pronoun is one of the only remnants of
> grammatical gender in a system that otherwise pretty much lacks it. The
> problem is that in terms of what a linguist would call correctness, something is
> correct if it feels right LINGUISTICALLY and wrong if it feels wrong
> LINGUISTICALLY.

Though what sounds right or wrong linguistically varies from person to
person or generation to generation or dialect to dialect. To me,
calling a ship or a country "it" sounds linguistically correct, and
(because of my exposure to academic papers) using "she" to refer to a
general human being doesn't sound wrong. I suppose it used to sound
wrong but has lost that specificity.
-- 
Jens Wilkinson
Neo Patwa (patwa.pbwiki.com)