Another topic

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Tue Dec 2 14:29:15 EST 2003

--- minnow at wrote:
> Sallyo wrote:
> >Some things that have no obvious gender can still
> be definite "she"s or
> >"he"s. Look at ships. And some people know if their
> car is a he or a she.
> I think I saw or heard something in the news a few
> months back about Lloyds
> no longer registering ships as "she" or allowing
> them to be called "her".
> I forget what the pretext for this was.  Does anyone
> know whether it was
> just an ugly rumour or threat, or whether it was for
> real and truly?

It would seem to be true, I will reproduce this story
in full;

British Newspaper Lloyd's List sinks 'she' for ships

LONDON (AP) - A shipping-industry newspaper said
yesterday it
will no longer refer to ships with the feminine
pronoun "she," ending
centuries of seafaring tradition.

Lloyd's List, founded in 1734 and one of the world's
oldest daily
publications, said in the future it will refer to all
vessels as "it."

In an editorial, the newspaper said it was time to
"bring the paper into
line with most other reputable international business

"I decided that it was time to catch up with the rest
of the world, and
most other news organizations refer to ships as
neuter," said editor Julian

But, he added, "I don't think there is anything wrong
with calling ships
'she' in conversation. It's a respectable maritime

Mr. Bray, 38, said he is expecting a "full and vibrant
array of letters"
from the newspaper's 10,000 readers worldwide.

Pieter van der Merwe, general editor at the Greenwich
Museum at Greenwich, in London, opposed the decision.

"It is a chip out of the wall of a particular cultural
sector," he said. "You
can say it's a small thing, but small things mount up.

"You actually lose the color of specialist areas if
you destroy the
language of them. We will continue to refer to ships
as 'she' here."

Mr. van der Merwe said the tradition of calling ships
"she" grew out of
sailors' affection for their vessels, which kept them
alive at sea.

Lloyd's List will change its style in April.
Columnists still will be free
to use the female pronoun.

March 21, 2002

(and the story is dated over a week before April Fools

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