Wednesday, May 02, 2007

He Said, She Said

Dana Goldstein has an interesting post about a site which calculates the percentages of "he" and "she" on various websites. I ran my archives through the calculator and came up with 49% of "he" to 51% of "she".

What does it mean? Perhaps not very much, given the examples of various websites the calculator page gives. It's true that most of the "deciders" are men and that "he" is probably more common on political sites for that reason.

The more interesting question might in some ways be why we need two (or more) separate terms for the third person singular. Why is it so important to know the sex of the person? I grew up speaking a language which has only one word for the third person singular and it also worked just fine.