John, Big mistake here: DAS in german is not masculine it is neutral. DER is masculine, DIE is female. But we use to refer to bikes in other synonyms as females as well as males, like die Maschine oder der Renner (or der alte Bock - meaning an old battered thing but translating to Male goat) or der Drahtesel (translated as wiredonkey). Most germans refer to their bikes as DAS Rad and hav no Problems with it. This might have to do with our commonly used neutral form DAS. I must admit that refering to ones favourite bike as she has some charme and reflects the close realtion from man to machine.
Michael Schmid Oberammergau - where it just starts snowing Germany Tel.: +49 8821 798790 Fax.:+49 8821 798791 mail: email@example.com http://www.zunterer.com
-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----- Von: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Im Auftrag von John Betmanis Gesendet: Freitag, 19. Oktober 2007 05:25 An: firstname.lastname@example.org Betreff: Re: [CR]Gender Preference ?
At 06:41 PM 18/10/2007 -0500, Robert Clair wrote:
>.... my cat (a female shelter rescue) who watches the list with me on
>occassion, is wondering why several list members continually refer to
>bicycles in the "she" sense.
It's interesting that in French a bike is masculine (le vélo) while a bicycle is feminine (la bicyclette). However, in German it's masculine (das Fahrrad) but in Italian it's feminine (la bicicletta). It boggles the mind what will become of all these languages when Political Correctness takes over as it seems to be doing in English with the elimination of feminine gender nouns such as actress, hostess, etc.