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Rovers - He Or She?
Tman
post Jun 21 2005, 07:41 AM
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I'm still confused about the gender of Spirit and Oppy! What the consent about? If Spirit female (so I think) then make it sense to keep quiet about her age and make she younger biggrin.gif

No kidding! I would like to know which personal pronoun (she, her or he, his etc.) I have to use by Spirit's and Oppy's gender definitely? smile.gif


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Nix
post Jun 21 2005, 07:43 AM
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Are they not both gals? tongue.gif
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http://500px.com/sacred-photons & http://www.awalkonmars.net

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dvandorn
post Jun 21 2005, 07:56 AM
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Technically, of course, they're asexual, and the proper pronoun would be "it." But these rovers really grow on you, and it's natural to anthropomorphize them. Since the English and American tradition is to give ships a female gender, I think the feminine form is more appropriate.

Besides, there used to be a great Live Journal set in which someone posted to a blog as Spirit, followed by someone else who created a blog ID as Oppy. They both took on female personalities, and developed a bit of a following. I haven't seen them post anything new lately, but in the early days, it was fun -- Oppy lording it over her big sister by finding evidence of water first, nyah, nyah! And Spirit writing cold, depressing poetry and falling into a deep depression after only 16 sols, refusing to talk to anyone for just *days*...

biggrin.gif

-the other Doug


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djellison
post Jun 21 2005, 08:29 AM
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Both girls imho

Doug
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wyogold
post Jun 21 2005, 09:11 AM
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QUOTE (Tman @ Jun 21 2005, 07:41 AM)
No kidding! I would like to know which personal pronoun (she, her or he, his etc.) I have to use by Spirit's and Oppy's gender definitely?  smile.gif
*



somebody check between their legs....uumm err wheels...err suspension... ohmy.gif blink.gif tongue.gif

Scott
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Tman
post Jun 21 2005, 09:31 AM
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If I check between, when looking intimately, I would think they have to be masculine since they can deploy something like a, er, part of the body that like..., er... tongue.gif

Even so, personally I stay now by the girls biggrin.gif


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mike
post Jun 21 2005, 05:03 PM
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They're both genderless. Until we create machines that can enjoy sexual intercourse, they must be genderless.
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Deimos
post Jun 21 2005, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (mike @ Jun 21 2005, 05:03 PM)
They're both genderless.  Until we create machines that can enjoy sexual intercourse, they must be genderless.
*


Hardly. "Gender" is originally and primarily (though certainly not exlusively) a grammatical term. In American, British, and I believe more general western European tradition, vessels of exploration are feminine. When the Russians go back to Mars, there may be masculine rovers. For now, each rover is surely"her".

Steady as she goes ...
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dvandorn
post Jun 21 2005, 07:02 PM
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Exactly -- just try telling the French that something must be able to have sex in order to have a gender-specific pronoun. In the Romance languages in general (and French in particular), every single noun in the launguage is assigned either male or female gender -- for instance, a pencil is male, a table is female, etc. The entire structure of the Romance languages depends upon each and every noun having either a male or female "identity." There is no such thing as a genderless pronoun in French.

And you're right, I think only the Russians (at least of the European societies) refer to a ship as "he."

Americans (and, to a lesser extent, the British) have embraced scientific rationalism to the extent that they've tried to distance the English language from such non-rational concepts as a female chair or a male shovel, and I'm sure that more Americans refer to Spirit or Opportunity as "it" than they do "him" or "her"... but there is still enough irrationality to our language that we can safely use feminine pronouns for the rovers.

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Phillip
post Jun 21 2005, 07:23 PM
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Well, as a French-American, I must point out that it is the rational and logical Germans that went one step further with gender pronouns, using not two but three -- feminine, masculine and neuter. So irrationality is not the culprit.

And as to the statement "There is no such thing as a genderless pronoun in French," may I humbly offer the pronoun "vous" (you, polite or you plural). wink.gif

But I concur in your conclusion that American tradition calls for our dear rovers to be "she."

Phillip
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mike
post Jun 21 2005, 07:36 PM
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Say that the rovers are male or female if you like, but you're wrong. They have no gender. They have no genitalia, people. Shovels aren't male or female either. Bacteria aren't male or female, and they're even capable of self-reproduction. The rovers are neither male or female (an object can be both genders at once, if you really want).
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dvandorn
post Jun 21 2005, 07:55 PM
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Yes, English got the concept of neuter pronouns from the Germanic (upon which English is largely based). But German is not a Romance language, after all. French, Spanish and Italian are the primary examples of Romance (i.e., derived from the Roman) languages.

And true, the pronoun for "you" (either polite or plural) tends not to be assigned gender in any language, because speaking directly to someone, you never need to specify gender. Referring to a soft chair, for example, you would say in English "It is soft," while in French, you would say "She is soft." But referring to someone with whom you are speaking, you would say "You are soft." Or, in Southern American English, you would say (in singular or plural) "Y'all are soft." If the adjective has a masculine or feminine form (as is often the case in the Romance languages), you would simply use the appropriate form based on the sex of the person to whom you're speaking. Deliberate misuse of such forms then becomes either insulting or comedic, such as telling an American man to "not get your panties in a bunch." (Panties being the American term for female underwear.)

The British, American and Western European traditions of giving vessels female pronouns, though, is probably applicable here, even though the MERs are only "vessels" in a very liberal sense of the word. No one is riding within them, after all. But in a very real sense, these plucky rovers *are* vessels -- of our imaginations, hopes and dreams.

Oppy, she is a good ship. Spirit, she is a good ship, too. May they sail the ochre sands of their new homes for sols and sols to come...

-the other Doug


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mike
post Jun 21 2005, 09:16 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jun 21 2005, 11:55 AM)
Oppy, she is a good ship. Spirit, she is a good ship, too.  May they sail the ochre sands of their new homes for sols and sols to come...
*


Yes, 'she' indeed. Why don't you have sex with them, since they are so female?
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djellison
post Jun 21 2005, 10:00 PM
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Moving a few posts
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RedSky
post Jun 21 2005, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE (wyogold @ Jun 21 2005, 04:11 AM)
somebody check between their legs....uumm err wheels...err suspension... ohmy.gif  blink.gif  tongue.gif

Scott
*



As suggested, checking between Spirit's back wheels via the rear hazcam leads me to think at least maybe "she" is a "he"... going by that cut lander cable there ohmy.gif :

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all...00P1312R0M1.JPG

Then again, maybe it could just be considered a residual umbilical cord.
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