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I was reading the Wikipedia's page on RMS Titanic and just noticed numerous references to the ship by possessive her.

Why don't they simply use "its" for Titanic?

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    I don`t know but the same applies to cars. – anouk Apr 8 '18 at 19:07
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    This is a well-established meaning of the feminine pronoun, listed in most dictionaries. (See also Cambridge.) – J.R. Apr 8 '18 at 19:14
  • By tradition, all naval vessels, both small and large, are considered female. I doubt very much this tradition is limited to English speakers. – Andrew Apr 8 '18 at 19:14
  • So, is it incorrect to use "its" for them? – Omid Reza Abbasi Apr 8 '18 at 19:16
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    @OmidR - I can understand that, but I wouldn’t argue that vehemently. You should poke around and see how many other dictionaries call it old-fashioned. If you start at OneLook, you’ll have plenty to examine. AH uses a Bruce Springsteen quote as a usage example. – J.R. Apr 8 '18 at 19:22
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In English, especially in a poetic description, ships are referred to as "she". This may be--no, it must be--because the owners of the ships, yachts, and ferries as well, compare their beauty and elegance with those of women.

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    It might be elegance; it might also be fondness, or it might even be temperament. Whatever it is, it’s an interesting quirk of the language. English, she is a strange language indeed. – J.R. Apr 8 '18 at 19:34
  • @J.R. "English, she is a strange language indeed". Do you mean that speaking of any other language, he may not be strange? Pardon my ignorance, but "Could languages really be sorted out by the gender?" A bewildered learner asks. – VictorB Apr 8 '18 at 19:50
  • Were it not for the OP’s question, I don’t think I would have used a gender pronoun at all. I was merely making a humorous comment based on the context. My normal way of saying this would be: English is indeed a strange language. – J.R. Apr 8 '18 at 23:10
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It Is because she (ship, country, and vehicle) carry people the same way mothers do, so both are compared the same way.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    Would be better if you add sources/reference. – shin Jul 23 at 8:33

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