Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

To really get off-topic: The use of 'she' is likely in immitation of the female-gender pronouns that are used to refer to ships and other watercraft or like nation-states, as is common in English. Likening FB to a large ship or country is not unreasonable in terms of how big corporations can be, and I think it may be applicable to larger firms like GE, Ford, Shell, etc that do not have majority voting control by one person. However, as FB is totally controlled by Zuck (an edge case in public companies,for sure), I think that refering to FB like a large ship or micro-state is not apt.

FB is Zuck.




As a native English speaker, I have always been irritated by that usage (which I’ll be the first to admit is not really rational) and I’m pleased that it seems to be dying out.


Personally, I think it's beautiful and poetic and adds a sense of life to an inanimate or immaterial thing.


I think it irritates me for the same reason I get irritated by American English speakers calling soccer “football”, or by people using a dieresis when writing “coördinate”.

Basically, it’s rare enough that it doesn’t sound natural and therefore comes off to me as an affectation, and makes the person sound weirdly smug about being “technically correct”.

I really should get over it, but like I said, not really rational.


Kinda like the names English gives to groups of animals? Pounce of kittens, parliment of owls, dash of cheetahs, etc


Totally going off-topic, but for others like me who love these poetic phrases, they're called "terms of venery", dating back to the late middle ages' hunting tradition [0].

In the list I see "coalition of cheetahs" and "kindle of kittens". But then again, I don't mind new coinages, these are fun.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_terms_of_vener...


Well, afaik English used to have 3 genders for nouns, and it died out everywhere but for third person pronouns.

There are some languages that don't have gender for pronouns, even.

Or some languages that have 2 genders for most things but 3 genders for pronouns (eg. Spanish distinguishes between este and esto because Latin distinguished between iste and istud, but most masculine/neuter contrasts of -us vs. -um did not survive their final consonants no longer being pronounced. Whether or not a language retains such a distinction can appear highly coincidental in the face of such seemingly unrelated phonetic changes.)




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: