What is Python?

Tim Hammerquist tim at degree.ath.cx
Fri Sep 29 08:18:40 CEST 2000


Grant Edwards <ge at nowhere.none> wrote:
> Mikael Olofsson wrote:
> > >  Grant Edwards wrote:
> > > > And the lack of a
> > > > sex-neutral third person singular pronoun is annoying. 
> >
> >What? Is "it" deprecated?
> 
> When used to refer to a person, "it" is generally considered
> insulting.  And it sounds funny:
> 
> "When a programmer needs to write a quick utility program, it
> should consider using Python."

Pre-feminist convention dictated that person whose gender was irrelevant
defaulted to masculine.  Hence, "...he should consider using Python."
OTOH, if a machine were attempting to learn, "it" might be insulted at
personification of this sort, whether masculine or feminine...  Where do
we draw the line at who (what?) we respect?

However, I have no qualms with inviduals choosing to default to the
feminine, especially in anything as informal as a newsgroup.

I saw a sign at the University of
California, Santa Cruz, which, instead of "Keep off grass", suggested
"Respect our Vegetation."  What's next?  Should we salute the grass
before a picnic?  Play a requiem prior to mowing the lawn?  If we grant
citizenship to vegetation, what will vegetarians eat?

Just some thoughts to ponder...  =)

-- 
-Tim Hammerquist <timmy at cpan.org>
A child of five would understand this.
Send someone to fetch a child of five.
	-- Groucho Marx



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