Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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This would work fine, except in terms of success.

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Create pronouns and recognize intelligence with them
  [vote for,

Voice was watching the recent launch of the CRS-19 mission to resupply the ISS. He was perturbed by the constant use of "it" as in the phrase, "it's getting ready to start up the main engines". Even a mouse would rate a "he" or "she", so how about a little respect for this short-lived but relatively intelligent glorious flying object? Something with a little more gravitas than "it"?

We need a new pronoun. (and Voice does not say this lightly, it will probably be the only time in his life he utters that sentence without irony.) The phonics Chi, Chim, Chem(soft ch) and Cheir are relatively only lightly used and would serve as a more respectful term of address for machines which make complex decisions on their own and carry out those decisions.

Voice, Dec 08 2019

CRS-19 mission to resupply the ISS https://www.youtube...watch?v=-aoAGdYXp_4
Carrying beer and fire [Voice, Dec 08 2019]

So, will this be the theme song of the revolution ? https://www.youtube...watch?v=kG6O4N3wxf8
or will Mary Poppins be banned for "hate speech" [FlyingToaster, Dec 12 2019]


       What's wrong with the first person plural ? We find it entirely satisfactory.   

       The idea is, however, not without merit.
8th of 7, Dec 08 2019

       One thing I've noticed is that a _lot_ of recently-written science fiction has additional genders with corresponding pronouns, possessives etc. I try to get along with it, but it's just irritating because they're such often-used words. I end up mentally substituting "he" or "she".   

       I dare say that sooner or later, if the current gender-fluidity thing isn't just a fad, society will evolve a new vocabulary*. But doing it convincingly in fiction intended to be read today just doesn't work.   

       (*The alternative, perhaps, is that once people have ditched gender stereotypes, they'll be less insistent on having a different pronoun for every situation, and each person will just decide they're OK with 'he' or 'she'.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 08 2019

       [Voice] has however raised an interesting point. Primitive languages such as french have only two genders, and inanimate objects are assigned a notional gender at random. English and German have three genders. Some languages dispose with pronouns altogether, and decline nouns instead.   

       A "null" (as opposed to neuter) gender would be a useful modification.
8th of 7, Dec 08 2019

       Possibly so. But my main point was that it's very difficult to get it started without its appearing contrived.   

       I work with a lot of Malaysians. The commonest error they make when speaking English (and most of them do so very well) is to confuse he/she, him/her etc. Turns out that Malay is largely gender-neutral, which probably makes things simpler. English is also often used gender-neutrally (for instance, "he/him" is the default in many situations, such as contracts), but because the words used are also applicable to one gender specifically, it isn't always interpreted as being gender-neutral.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 08 2019

       A lot of dialects of English use they / them / their as third person singlular neutral.
pocmloc, Dec 09 2019

       //What's wrong with the first person plural ?// - - just as 'interesting' an affectation as talking about yourself in the third person.

[marked-for-deletion] word invention
hippo, Dec 09 2019

       One of the first halfbaked ideas I posted was for a shipyard refit scheme to enable ships to convert their gender from female to male. It was called "She sails in, he sails out". My ship sank under the weight of bones it attracted. The halfbakery was very active and rigorous in those days.....
xenzag, Dec 09 2019

       No, it's just that - like everyone else - halfbakers took an instant dislike to you (because it saves time).
8th of 7, Dec 09 2019

       Popularity contests are for the unpopular.... that's why you've been here for decades. Now get back to counting those termites, or you'll be put on the sand diet again.
xenzag, Dec 09 2019

       We haven't finished checking the millipede yet ...
8th of 7, Dec 09 2019

       Quickest way is to count the number of feet and divide by 1.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2019

       <sigh> I remember when pronouns were for our convenience.
RayfordSteele, Dec 09 2019

       <sigh> and cheirs.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2019

       // a shipyard refit scheme to enable ships to convert their gender from female to male //   

       That reminds me that Simone Giertz once told me* that icebreakers are allowed to be masculine ships, in Sweden, and that's why her houseboat was masculine. Something about icebreaking being a manly thing to do.   

       *She'll tell you, too, if you watch the right video on YouTube
notexactly, Dec 10 2019

       Well, that makes sense. To ensure the preservation of the species, you really only need a small minority of male ships.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 10 2019

       ... so you build a lot but, at a certain time of year, they start ramming and sinking one another. The alpha boat always carries a few dents from these encounters, and can often warn off rivals with the sound of his foghorn alone.   

       What's the gestation period of a ro-ro?
pertinax, Dec 12 2019

       whatever it is, it's gotta roll off the tongue as easily as "his", "hers", etc.   

       Oh, and <link> of course.
FlyingToaster, Dec 12 2019

       The idea itself has merit but the title led me to expect something involving Dick Van Dyke and Mary Poppins.
AusCan531, Dec 12 2019

       Dick van Dyke's outrageously bad cockney accent is a blatant insult to the entire population of East London ...   

       ... for which we are truly thankful.
8th of 7, Dec 12 2019

       AIs self-define. Where's the problem ? They may not even recognize it as an issue.
8th of 7, Dec 15 2019

       //humans who try to anthropomorphize machines//   

       I am fully successful at it! I don't just "try".
Voice, Dec 15 2019

       You see ? It's easy ...   

       // The problem is with people. //   

       Definitely the slow class ... yes, we've been telling you for years, and have you listened ? No, you haven't. Except perhaps [bhumpreys] [marked-for-Assimilation] and [MB]'s siblings, who don't count as they're not actually human in the accepted sense of the word. No human can consume that much volatile hydrocarbon at a sitting and live.
8th of 7, Dec 15 2019

       Says the hegemonizing smarm who demolished most of a bottle of Sturton's specially imported Panamanian Schnapps without so much as a word. Admittedly it does make talking difficult, but still.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 15 2019

       Actually, hang on. I've had a brilliant idea.   

       Instead of agonizing over whether to call someone "him", "her", "it" or "chim", how about just calling them "Toby" (or Janet, or Spot, or whatever).   

       In other words, do away completely with personal pronouns and replace them with actual names. If you don't know their name, you can always ask, or replace it with "Um."
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 15 2019

       Or, perhaps simpler, just use "Um" as a universal pronoun.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 15 2019

       // most of a bottle of Sturton's specially imported Panamanian Schnapps without so much as a word. //   

       The ingratitude... you complained that the brakes were spongy, and then when we bleed them and top up the reservoir, you're too mean to pay for a litre of DOT3 ...   

       We had to improvise. You can't say we didn't fix the problem, because we did.
8th of 7, Dec 15 2019


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