Sunday, August 19, 2007

He or She?

Few days back I received the mail "Computer - Masculine or Feminine" (yet again!). If you have not read it yet, you can search on net. This made me think again about emails. Should they be termed as He or She or It? (this question arises in my mother tongue मराठी - Marathi, and other Indian languages)

As a first post, I thought I should write something on my own. Though this one is based on a forwarded mail, its my thought (or confusion ;) ). So here it goes.

I've seen different ppl referring to email as he or she.
I refer the email as he (तो ई-मेल), as in a message (निरोप), or mailbox (तो मेल बॉक्स). But there are many ppl who refer to it as she (ती ई-मेल). No1 has told me why? My guess is that this has something to do with the trains that have/had "mail express" in their names. As we refer the train as she (ती ट्रेन / ती गाडी), that trend got applied to e-mail as well. Moreover the starting "e" could be another factor for calling it ती ई-मेल (ti email).

Though in english we refer an email as it (like: when did u send it to me? I haven't received it yet), I've seen very few ppl who refer the email as it (ते). Don't know why.

Same thing applies to हिंदी - Hindi. In fact in Hindi a thing is either "he" or "she". There is nothing like "it". (afaik, plz correct me if I'm wrong.) And then there are some languages that are gender-neutral, where there is no concept of he / she / it at all.

So what do you think? Should the email be refered as he or she or it??
Awaiting ur comments...

How do you refer an email in your language?

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