Thursday, July 17, 2008

Him or Her

Looking at this lovely picture on this Blog, and a comment I made, set me thinking....

Why is it that when watching birds, or sometimes animals at a distance (unless the distinction is obvious), we tend to always refer to them as "he"? They could just as well be a "she" but we never tend to think of that, and I`ll guess it`s not only me that does it, is it?

1 comment:

eija said...

Gee, thanks for the compliment :)

You know - yeah, Finnish lesson no. xxxx coming up - in Finnish we don't refer to animals as "he" or "she" - other than maybe in Turku area. Normally if someone refers to his/her dog as a "s/he", that person is pretty much considered a bit "off base" or thinking "too much" of the pet. So animals in Finland are always referred to as "it".

And when it comes to the expression s/he - in Finnish we only have one word. It's the same for both males and females: regardless of the gender the word is always "hän".

I think that's very convenient. Also saves from many awkward situations when these days you can't really be sure about the youth if they're a she or a he...