The neuter child again

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Oct 2 22:20:11 UTC 2008

Ebenezer Parkman in his diary entries of 1739 at the time of the
illness and death of a daughter frequently uses the noun "child", but
when employing a pronoun always uses "it".  For example:  "the Child
is very weak and feeble yet, and the sore Mouth has been prevailing
upon it for some time."  The age of the "Child" is not given here
(its date of birth might be somewhere else in the diary), but a
little later Parkman writes of "the Funeral of my Infant
Elizabeth".  Nowhere that I noticed is there a "she" or "her".


The American Dialect Society -

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