Sunday, April 29, 2007

Animals and Sex

Oh, what a cheap headline.

This, alas, is not an entry about bestiality, which we know you know is not spelled "beastiality
" even though it's beastly.

Rather, it's a nod to the issue of how we refer to animals -- as he, she, or it. The AP Style guide, which we use for our work in journalism, does have advice on this count. Read about it in this blog entry from Shepherd Express:
Grammar is Murder
PETA takes issue with AP style.
April 27, 2007 | 06:05 PM

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization not known for thinking their campaigns through, has formally lobbied the Associated Press to stop using 'it' to describe animals and start using 'he' and 'she.' The animal rights group claims the new pronouns are what the critters "deserve" and notes that many magazines have already made the switch.

If paying regard to animals' genders seems like a good idea, then don't credit PETA. AP style already requires that 'he' or 'she' be used whenever they have been given names or sex has been established.

"The dog was scared; it barked," begins the example given in the news organization's guide book. "Rover was scared; he barked. The cat, which was scared, ran to its basket. Susie the cat, who was scared, ran to her basket. The bull tosses his horns."
For more, click here.

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