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Joined: June 3, 2003  (email not validated)
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I think it all started with ships. I don't know exactly how it started, but I know that even before there were automobiles, people generally refered to ships, boats, and various modes of travel as female; christening "her", taking "her" out for a spin, riding "her".

There are probably many reasons for this, and I mean the general act of ascribing a female gender to inanimate objects. However, I think a lot of it has to do with culture. Maybe it shows what people really think of females - as objects.

But I am getting off topic. I actually think that "sister" company evolved from "daughter" company. The daughter is an offspring of the mother, and in asexual reproduction, offspring of an organism is usually an exact copy of itself, unless mutation occurs. Plus, I don't think companies reproduce themselves sexually. So why daughter, and not brother? My two cents is the image of similarity. The company would want to portray an image that it's offspring company is similar to itself. Therefore, the resulting sex of the offspring would logically be female.

It could also be as simple as the words themselves. When somebody says "sister", one automatically assumes a younger sister. And that is due to the gender inequality that exists throughout the world.

pseudomatic June 3, 2003, 9:08pm

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I don't think the word "trouble" should not be considered a countable noun. For different people and different situations, trouble can really be either one "thing" or many "things". I think that the word "trouble" encompasses all forms of ifself, therefore, does not need to be pluralized. Also, in the sentence "he gave me a lot of troubles", you have already espressed plurality in "a lot", so, "trouble" need not be pluralized.

"Troubles" would be used, then, as a verb. As in, "his behaviour troubles me." (A substitute for worry, I guess)

pseudomatic June 3, 2003, 8:21pm

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