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Referring to an elephant by her, he, and himself. Since when?! I read these two questions on an English-website. // Q: How do you keep an elephant from charging? Take away her credit card! Q: Why did the elephant paint himself different colors? So he could hide in the crayon box! // Can somebody explain?
Oct 20, 2018 5:17 PM
Answers · 7
Animals are generally refered by 'it'. But if our relation to an animal is personal, like pets or if we have known them for quite a while now, then it is okay to use him/her. The personal him/her are also usually used for animals in Children's books/ poems.
October 20, 2018
There isn’t a fixed rule about it. I would say in this instance it’s because it’s a joke, maybe, i.e it’s lighthearted, non-serious, non-literal language. You might find this interesting: https://video.newyorker.com/watch/comma-queen-that-vs-who?c=series
October 20, 2018
Daphne - Thanks for explaining it. Those are jokes, by the way.
October 20, 2018
Riddle 1: Charging can mean a lot of things. It can be by the way how an elephant attacks or another term for paying bills in Native English is "charging". For example, (a conversation between a seller and customer): Seller: I will charge you $100. So in riddle 1, it is just a play on words.
October 20, 2018
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Language Skills
English, Other
Learning Language
English