ANSWERS: 20
  • I wouldn't refer to anyone as "it". If I didn't know the gender I would use "they" instead. "They said", "They want", etc.
  • I do so with people who are so disgustingly evil that I can not stand to call them He or she. I don't do it constantly though, but thats about the only time I ever do do it.
  • well my boyfriend and i called our baby it before we found out it was a she. i still felt bad doin it though.....
  • That just sounds childish to call someone "it". when I was pregnant with both of my kids & I didn't know their sex yet, I called them what I "thought" they would be. I a;ready had names picked out. :) That's the only time that I can think of someone referring to a person like that. I just implies that the person does not deserve the respect that any person should have. I don't like a few people but I still call them him/her.
  • No, but I do the opposite sometimes. I call stuff that should be "it" he or she, because in french, everything has a gender. Objects, places, c... So I sometimes make that mistake... Especially with animals.
  • Not to me, it's not. That's the kind of dangerous thinking that seems like no big deal at first, right? I've read answers on AB that refer to people as "it" or "that" and they scare me. Dehumanizing people is at the start of whatever larger dynamic insidiously infects a society or culture's thinking to pave the way for horrific events like the Holocaust and genocide to eventually take place. That's how evil works - a little seemingly harmless bit at a time. I'm disturbed whenever anyone refers to another human being as an "it" or a "that". So what if it's grammatically correct? The question's in the "Narcissism" category, not "English Grammar". Referring to people as objects is unsettling at best and repugnant at worst - such as when the speaker already knows the gender. Hypothetical examples: "I wouldn't go out with "THAT" if he was the only guy in town." and "I think it's Jodie. It knows too much to be anyone else." Great question, THE TROLL. Thought-provoking, for sure.
  • YES!!!! Not only is it justified, it's PROPER English grammatical usage. And let me explain why: The English language is inadequate when requiring usage of a 3rd person singular neutral-gender pronoun or object. Most other languages have them, but English does not have any other except for the word "IT." We *DO* have them for plurals: they and them. Let me give some examples: "If you love someone, set them free." This is a popular example of improper usage. Here are the choices for the correct form of that sentence: "If you love someone, set him or her free." Bulky, right? "If you love several people, set them free." Not what the author intended, s/he wanted to focus on one person, but this sentence is now absolutely grammatically correct. "If you love someone, set it free." It's a valid single-pronoun correct choice in the English language. Same thing happens with she and he. Now, there is a rule that says it is okay to DEFAULT to the masculine pronoun in the English language, in order to facilitate agreement. But, if you do that, here's what happens: "If you love someone, set him free." It's THE most correct usage that can be applied, but every feminist who reads it will have an absolute fit. So, I'm sorry for the long-winded grammar lesson and explanation, but that is why I *CORRECTLY* sometimes use "it" instead of continually typing he/she or him/her. There is no “slam” intended, it is simply proper grammar usage. I repeat: the English language is inadequate when it comes to properly expressing a third-person-singular subject or object, which makes proper subject/verb/object grammatical agreement virtually impossible without using "it." As for this being in the “narcissism” category: the only narcissism I see going on is with people who would forget about proper English usage and think that references to “it” are in any way inhumane or degrading. But, as I’m sure you must know, for the narcissist, everything is about IT. (Or did you want me to say him or her???)
  • I don't think that it is. I know I wouldn't want to be referred to as "it." I don't even like being called "female." I am a person and a woman or a lady. Being called it or female is degrading.
  • I don't really give a rats ass about grammar. I think calling someone "it" is rude and belittling and whoever thinks it is correct is socially inept. When you can't be better, you belittle.
  • It might indicate not someone knowing the specific gender of someone involved. I much rather use the he/she option, even if it takes longer to write/type. The category this is posted in tells me there's something more behind this. Semantics are tricky. It all comes down to inferred tone which can be hard to read sometimes.
  • People do it with babies when they are unsure of the baby's gender all the time. I don't, but I've noticed that many do.
  • I have been known to call someone an it. BUT, they are usually so vile as to already have dehumanized themselves, such as pedophiles. I have also referred to trolls as it, but I would not put that into the category of dehumanization...mostly it is a joke, I never realized it might be distasteful to some. :-(
  • Is this question about being grammatically correct or about being genuinely human??? I personally would be very offended if someone addressed my new grand daughter as "how is IT doing?" No one could ever convince me something like that should be justified. She is a human being, a living, breathing little person and I would interpret that as meaning the person is being insensitive to the fact that this little person is important. Referring to a person as "it" devalues that person and that is NEVER justified.
  • Was this question based on something I said tonight?
  • I think that most people wouldn't refer to a person as "it", but if they didn't know the gender or wanted to use gender neutral pronouns, they would use either singular "they". Since this is grammatically incorrect in many cases, people have been trying to come up with new gender neutral pronouns over the years, all of which have never really caught on. http://www.english.uiuc.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm
  • No. It is not justified in either grammar or humanity. I think we have well covered why one does not refer to a person as "it," as it is dehumanizing. That is not randomly assigned; in grammar and usage, generally accepted connotations count. The thing is, grammar and usage is not just about theoretical rules. Part of it is just about what is correct. And there is no style manual in the English-speaking world which will accept the use of "it" to refer to a human being, even one whose gender has never been specified. APA will not accept it. MLA will not accept it. It's wrong. In every sense of the word.
  • In that case you should use "they", if you don't know their sex.
  • i think it is dehumanizing and disrespectful in general. i wouldn't do it in english nor in spanish.
  • Sure it is..specially when i'm the awesome "it" lol :)) If "IT" is being used as reference to the attitude, behavior or label of a friend..it's just an off the top saying like "It's a bit awesome" or "It's a crazy thing" or whatever. Who cares if it's just a fun thing with friends. I don't have a problem with it at all :)
  • I think, there are times when the word "it" certainly fits. Those who are inferior because of health problems can not help themselves, but those who debase themselves willfully are truly despicable.

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy