Date: Wed, 10 Aug 1994 14:13:08 EDT From: Wayne Glowka Subject: Re: you >>From: Dennis Baron >>Subject: you >> >Thought y'all'd be interested in this extension of an old discussion: >s. The words "he", "she", and "it" >>show no sign at all of following "thou" into oblivion. >> >>-- >>Peter Moylan peter[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] >> Queries: 1) My mother taught me to use "it" for babies regardless of sex; she herself used "it" for a baby until about the time it started to walk and talk--at which time she referred to it as "he" or "she." I offended people here in Middle Georgia--well, women (because men never asked about my baby except to express sympathy for the chaos at home)--when I referred to my infant daughter as an "it." Anybody else's momma teach them/him/her the same use of "it/him/her"? Was this some bizarre pronoun calque from Bohemian? 2) My mother-in-law (r-less Middle Georgia resident all of her life) systematically refers to my cats (which/whom she may still regard as kittens despite their middle age) with the wrong natural gender (but never her own cats--which/whom she does not regard as kittens--well, one is well over 20 pounds). I'm starting to use this crazy pronoun system myself, and I'm wondering if this trans-sexual usage is idiosyncratic (like my own constant confusion of right and left) or if it is just a part of Southern American that I need to know more about. My r-full wife does not confuse the genders of pets (or babies); she also consciously avoids sounding "old fashioned Southern." Wayne Glowka Professor of English Director of Research and Graduate Student Services Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]