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she or ...

English translation: As far as I know the name does not matter

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05:50 Feb 19, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Ships, Sailing, Maritime
English term or phrase: she or ...
Dear colleagues!
Please help me clear up following matter. It is well known that in English a ship is ‘she’. My question is: what if a ship has a definitely male name? Is it still ‘she’, anyway? Say, ‘Prince George’ – I just can’t imagine the ship with such a name being referred to as ‘she’. Or am I wrong?
Thank you for any suggestions!
Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 19:14
English translation:As far as I know the name does not matter
Explanation:
She

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Note added at 7 mins (2006-02-19 05:58:05 GMT)
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http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:mZ1GSRDIDlYJ:navysite.d...
Selected response from:

Andrey Belousov
United States
Local time: 08:14
Grading comment
Thank you for your help Andrey! Thanks everybody!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +12As far as I know the name does not matterAndrey Belousov
4 +4Links.Morad Safe
3 +3commentKen Cox
5sheBabelworth
4 -1it
Richard Benham
4 -1itLaurel Porter


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +12
As far as I know the name does not matter


Explanation:
She

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Note added at 7 mins (2006-02-19 05:58:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:mZ1GSRDIDlYJ:navysite.d...

Andrey Belousov
United States
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Russian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you for your help Andrey! Thanks everybody!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kurt Porter: First one in....."She" but that's just one Sailor's opinion. :) :)
16 mins
  -> Thank you, Kurt!/ I guess we are two, ain't we?

disagree  sartaress: Mutual admiration company(Society)
1 hr
  -> Thanks! I take your "Dis" as "agree"!

agree  Refugio: Maybe landlubbers feel uncomfortable with "she", but the gender still holds. A simple announcement by Lloyd's List does not constitute a sea-change in centuries of tradition.
1 hr
  -> Thank you! :-)

agree  Ala Rabie: Well, even if a girl's named 'johnson', she's still a she :D
1 hr
  -> Nice joke, thank you!

agree  Jack Doughty
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jack!

agree  Tony M: Yes, though naturally, it would always be best to avoid an immediate and risible juxtaposition in such cases.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Dusty!

agree  xxxsergey: certainly doesn't matter :-) doesn't matter at all, in fact :-)
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Sergey!

agree  Alison Jenner: with all the above - definitely she, regardless of male name
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Alison

agree  Stefanie Sendelbach
9 hrs
  -> Thanks, Stafanie!

agree  Olga B
13 hrs
  -> Thank you! :-)

agree  William [Bill] Gray: I tend towards the "she" side. Here's an interesting site I found with reference to languages other than English. http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/ubb-bin/ultimatebb.cg...
14 hrs
  -> Thank you! :-)

agree  conejo
22 hrs
  -> Thank you! :-)

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
1 day12 hrs
  -> Thank you! :-)

agree  Angie Garbarino
5 days
  -> Thank you! :-)
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Links.


Explanation:
Me think : Even if a ship`s name is mail one should call it "she" .
For, It is a convention.By calling a ship with a male name we can`t do away with the linguistic conventions.


    Reference: http://www.warsailors.com/freefleet/shippoem.html
    Reference: http://www.usni.org/navalhistory/Articles98/NHfoley.htm
Morad Safe
Local time: 16:44
Native speaker of: Native in Farsi (Persian)Farsi (Persian)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio
1 hr
  -> Good time.

agree  xxxsergey
2 hrs
  -> Hi , Sergey.

agree  conejo
22 hrs
  -> Thank you Conjeo.

agree  Angie Garbarino
5 days
  -> Thanks.
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
comment


Explanation:
Strictly speaking, the gender of a ship is idependent from it's name. Personally (as you can see), my inclination is to use 'it' when referring to ships in general, and *probably* 'she' when referring to a particular ship.
Also, IMO 'she' is most properly used in an informal or vernacular context (particularly in reported speech), while 'it' is more appropriate in a strictly technical context (unless your client is the Royal Navy...). You can use your own judgement for contexts in between.

For some informed and current comments on the subject, see:

http://www.sailnet.com/sailing/02/f&bjun02.htm

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Note added at 10 hrs (2006-02-19 15:54:51 GMT)
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Sorry, sorry, sorry: that should be 'its name'.

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Note added at 10 hrs (2006-02-19 15:59:32 GMT)
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As a guide, I would suggest using 'she' in where contexts where the (imputed) author has some sort of personal relationship to the ship (this corresponds to common English usage of referring informally to various types of machinerey of significant size as 'she' -- such as cars and agricultural equipment, as noted in the referenced article).

Ken Cox
Local time: 14:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Laurel Porter: Very sensible answer. When someone is being sentimental about a ship, they will always refer to it as "she". Otherwise, leave "her" in the history books! ;-)
13 mins

agree  Joshua Wolfe: she for an inanimate object is obsolete in most contexts, except very informal
20 hrs

agree  Tony M: But don't agree with Joshua; not ONLY "v. informal", but also certain specific professions / domains --- just because lay-people don't use it, doesn't mean no-one does!
5 days
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
it


Explanation:
The change from the feminine pronoun seems to be a very strong trend. I myself, as a landlubber, would feel awfully silly using "she" to describe a vessel of any kind, unless she were "the weaker vessel". (Kidding, of course!)

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Note added at 10 hrs (2006-02-19 16:02:42 GMT)
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Wow. Such passion!

Apparently Richard and I have touched a nerve here - I never thought of the neutering of ships as a PC move, just a natural one. I think we must all agree to disagree.


    Reference: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4378444,00....
    Reference: http://www.oceannavigator.com/article.php?a=1326
Laurel Porter
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Richard Benham: Good links! It has been a long time since it sounded natural to me to refer to ships as "she". From memory, the Old English word for "ship", "scip", pronounced "ship", is *masculine*!//Actually, it's neuter!
10 mins
  -> My, you ARE the clever one! :-) Thanks, Richard.

disagree  Refugio: Silly? Don't be silly.
1 hr
  -> Thanks...

disagree  Tony M: Don't let your natural shyness influence your linguistic deicisons, Laurel :-) 'She' is still in very widespread usage, and I for one shall do all I can to uphold it. The use for cars and planes too never really seems to have stuck...
2 hrs
  -> Thanks. I prefer to move with the times - unless Andrew's translation is from an archaic source, of course!

disagree  xxxsergey: i wouldn't be confusing wishful thinking with reality of life ... PS yep, lloyd's of london's wishful thinking. after all, they are only lloyd's of london - only care about ships as far as money goes
2 hrs
  -> Wishful thinking? One can hardly get more official than Lloyd's of London.

agree  suezen: I agree. I would never call a ship 'she'. Obviously don't mix in the right circles!
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Suezen. I'm with you in those other circles!

disagree  zaphod: The Grauniad is the LAST source I would use for reference
5 hrs
  -> Don't see why - do left-wing politics make for bad grammar and usage?

neutral  sartaress: To Suezn,what`s use of iconoclasm?
6 hrs
  -> Don't see what's iconoclastic about going with the decision from Lloyds, as well as my natural inclination and international trends. Thanks.

agree  Will Matter:
9 hrs
  -> Thanks, Willmatter.
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1 day10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
she


Explanation:
if you as a man were, for any reason, named after your auntie susan, do you think they'd say she refering to you?

Babelworth
Congo, Democratic Republic
Local time: 13:14
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
it


Explanation:
It sounds quaint and pretentious calling a ship "she", whatever its name. Go with common sense and call them "it".

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Note added at 3 hrs (2006-02-19 09:32:21 GMT)
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I'm all in favour of tradition, too. If calling ships "he" was good enough for King Ælfred, it's good enough for me. Besides, it puts us in line with the French, who used to talk about "Le France" because it was a "paquebot", and that word is masculine (as are "navire", "bateau", "vaisseau",...). Let's get rid of this new-fangled "she" and return to our linguistic heritage with "he"!

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Note added at 11 hrs (2006-02-19 16:56:40 GMT)
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References to political correctness only obscure the issue; it's about common sense. If you don't like common sense as a justification, think of it as about biology, or lack of biology.

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Note added at 5 days (2006-02-24 19:24:50 GMT) Post-grading
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For the benefit of anyone who may be mystified by my interchange with Angioletta, I shall paste in her original comment. Form you own opinion:

I wonder I tought you were English mother
tongue, this is just your (weird) opinion not common sense

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Note added at 533 days (2007-08-06 15:02:21 GMT) Post-grading
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Hello. Sorry for this late correction, but I have since recalled and confirmed that "scip" is neuter in Old English. This was my impression, but I found a reference to "se scip" on a linguistics website, and accepted it uncritically. All of this reinforces the obvious: it is and always has been correct to call ships "it".

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 14:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Laurel Porter: Dang it, you beat me! I was looking for links and got scuppered. // Your response to Ruth made me laugh out loud! Well done.
3 mins
  -> Thanks, Laurel.

disagree  Refugio: Common sense? Or just your humble opinion? To generations of seafarers who have felt a personal connection with their home away from home, gender matters, and political correctness doesn't.
1 hr
  -> Of course it's common sense! Go and check a ship's rude bits if you're not convinced--you won't find any. And yes it is quaint and pretentious calling a ship "she".

disagree  Tony M: Back here in the 'old world', 'she' is still very commonly used for ships, by people in the know / Not my age (I wasn't acquainted with King Ælfred!), but a lifetime in the nautical world; 'quaint & pretentious' to lay people BECAUSE they are lay people
2 hrs
  -> Thank you for your comments, Dusty. I suspect you are showing your age....

disagree  xxxsergey: i find it rather strange hearing this from a native speaker of english PS tell me what? never take anything SOME OF THEY say at face value?
2 hrs
  -> Maybe it should tell you something.

agree  suezen: I agree. I would never call a ship 'she'. Obviously don't mix in the right circles!
3 hrs
  -> Thanks.

disagree  zaphod: Let's scupper all other decadent traditions as well comrade
5 hrs
  -> Thank you for your lucid and insightful comment, Mr Beeblebrox.

agree  sartaress: U and Porter also , mutual admiration corporate(society)
6 hrs
  -> Thank you too.

agree  Will Matter
9 hrs
  -> Thank you too.

disagree  Angie Garbarino: This is just your opinion not common sense/me? pls see your comment to tony"dusty" about rule 5.3
5 days
  -> Please refer to rule 5.3. And yes, of course it is common sense. Ships are inanimate objects, full stop.//Actually, age is linguistically relevant, because language changes with time. Besides, what I say to a longstanding online friend is between us.
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