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The other day I read the following, 'let her rip!' where 'her' replaced 'car'.
also, i read: 'The dog broke his leg.'
ships are referred to as 'she'.
My question is, is it correct to refer to objects and animals as 'he' or 'she'?
Could you please elaborate on this matter - It is a grey area to me?
By the way, does anybody have any objections vis-a-vis my punctuation? The previous sentence meant to imply no threat - it is just a friendly appeal for help. Emotion: smile
second question of mine is, how would you punctuate the following sentence: Do you know the answer; this is a 64000 dollar question(?!.) I insist on there being a semi colon in the middle!
Punctuation is my nightmare and is doing my head in.
As I percieve you have to have a massive syntactical background knowledge to master.
Can you recommend a good book that is short and sweet and to the point besides being detailed.

INCHOATE
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Yes, I would call that post inchoate-- I won't even try to sort out your punctuation.

However, I can tell you that nonhuman nouns can also be referred to with masculine or feminine pronouns if in context the speaker considers them sentient or familiar or loveable, or otherwise has an emotional attachment to them.

A common example is a stray dog that we do not like and for which we do not know the sex: It's ugly and it's dirty and it should be rounded up by the dogcatcher!
For my own dear little Pekinese, however-- bless her heart!-- she'll always be a she to me.
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Do you know the answer; this is a 64000 dollar question(?!.)

Ye gads!

Do you know the answer? This is a $64,000 dollar question!