Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 08:13:32 -0700 From: Allen Maberry Subject: Re: your male type cats I remember being taught (in Oregon 1950-60s) that cats were refered to as "she" if their gender was uncertain. Ships and a few other things were invariably "she", as was almost any vehicle in the stock phrase "She's a real beauty". Allen Maberry University of Washington Libraries On Thu, 11 Aug 1994, Tim Behrend wrote: > On Wednesday, 10 August, Tim Frazer (mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU) wrote: > > I have always thought the male/female thing on dogs and cats > was pretty universal, not regional. Aren't cats always "she" in > nursery rhymes? > > Not always so for nursery rhymes and folktales. Remember > Puss'n'Boots? In our own day, the presence of tomcats like Felix the > Cat, Fritz, Tom (and Jerry), Topcat, Garfield and other cartoon > characters pretty strongly affirms feline masculinity. So do such > expressions as catting around (but not catty), and terms like cat > (beat culture), fat cat, cat house, cat burglar, cat-o'-nine-tails. > > Ideolectically, for me all domestic animals are pretty much "it"s, > with no sense of discomfort or apology to anthropomorphist owners. > On the the it-ification of babies, though, while I do find myself > using it, I always feel dissonance and have a sense that its a bit > inappropriate. > > Back to "whut"--Don Lance said I'mn asking a complicated > question, but I can't resist this simple survey: How many of > you out there, just off the top of your head, would regard the > "whut" spelling a s eye dialect? > > I'm curious what the exact meaning of "eye dialect" is. Any > definitions handy for a non-dialectologist? > > Tim Behrend > Asian Languages, University of Auckland > > > > Tim >