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  1. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Interchangeable Pronouns

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Dauracul, Feb 28, 2011.

    I've got a quick question for the moment. I'm introducing a character who has a masculine personality, but isn't really a human. I'm kind of interchanging my pronouns to reference the character between "he" and "it". There's no sense of confusion on who I'm referring to in the writing, and if there is I can definitely correct it. I was just wondering if it was acceptable to toss it around like that. Should I stick with just "he" or just "it"?
     
  2. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd go with 'he'. If you've described him as male and he has a name, it should be that.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    makes no sense to me for you to call the entity both 'he' and 'it'... has to be one or the other, can't be both...
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Stick with one one or the other. Or if it's clear that assigning a gender is problematic you could actually make the argument over how he/she/it should be referred to part of the story :)

    Although "not really human" doesn't stop something having a sex. The usual definition for things that have two sexes is that the female is the one with the larger reproductive cell (eg, the human ovum is larger than the sperm). How far do you want to go into this character's biology?
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or call it a 'heit' or something. However, if you don't want to invent words, but need to keep the gender ambiguous, 'it' is really the only choice. Don't change pronouns, the reader will get very confused/annoyed.
     
  6. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I agree with sticking with the pronoun.

    If you say it, stick with it.
    But if it is a he, then stick with it.

    Also might think of POV. From the POV of the story teller, would they know the sex by looking?(aliens might not be obvious which is which.)

    The being might wear bright colors and dance wildly,
    as in the birds of our planet, this would be the male of the specis.
    But in humans this would be the female.
     
  7. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Thanks everyone, just gonna stick with "he". I corrected all of the changes.
     

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