pronouns, english grammar, gender (tiny thread) 

What a lot of people covertly realise, but don't articulate, is that pronouns in English are marked for both gender AND animacy. This is why it's generally disturbing to refer to a person as "it," because that pronoun is only for things. (And that's part of why it doesn't have a gender, objects don't have gender.)

But the fact that pronouns mark for social personhood is part of why it's so important to refer to someone with the right pronoun.

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pronouns, english grammar, gender (tiny thread) 

@ErikaAlpert this is a great point. Hadn't thought of 'animacy' as part of pronoun aspect - but you're totally right. Will have to do some thinking about how this works for the "ghosts of extinction" and whether we can tinker with animacy as a playful intervention.

pronouns, english grammar, gender (tiny thread) 

@kidwellj I definitely see a few people in the fediverse with "it" as a preferred pronoun and I'm certain there's some kind of animacy as a playful intervention thing going on there. It's a preference that gives me some very base of the spine shivers, I'll say, so if the goal is some kind of unsettling, it's definitely working.

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