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Pronoun for ship

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Anon user changed the Enterprise-E article from this

It was built at the San Francisco Fleet Yards in orbit of Earth.

to this

She was built at the San Francisco Fleet Yards in orbit of Earth.
(emphasis mine)

Traditionally in English, a ship is referred as by the feminine pronouns. The Royal Navy does so on its website. The US Navy's style guide also follows tradition:

"her, she - Appropriate pronoun when referring to a ship." -

Many organizations including Wikipedia seem to be moving toward the neutral term "it", which also seems common here.

In canon, Kirk and Sisko, maybe others, have used the feminine form:

" Risk... risk is our business! That's what this starship is all about... that's why we're aboard her!" – James T. Kirk, referring to the Enterprise, TOS: "Return to Tomorrow"
"She may have flaws, but she has teeth" – Benjamin Sisko, referring to the Defiant, DS9: "The Search, Part I"
(emphasis mine)

But you can probably find references to "it" as well. Is there a preference here? Or, whichever you use, keep it consistent within the article? – StarFire209 22:45, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

We may only be able to use "she" for ships from specific races/groups. Federation starships (and I believe Earth Starfleet vessels) were repeatedly referred to as "she", so that is no problem. Hell, Kirk even had something akin to romantic feelings for the Enterprise.
It gets a bit muddier when dealing with ships from other races. For example, on Earth American and British ships tend to be referred to as "she", while Russian ships are "he", if I recall correctly. It is quite possible the same is done in Trek, say for Klingon ships. I don't remember off the top of my head, but we may need to keep track of what races have used "she", what used "he", and what didn't use anything. --OuroborosCobra talk 22:51, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm... That could be a problem. People might get confused trying to sort out which races' ships were feminine, which masculine, which neuter, and which varied. :{ It might be better to use the same approach regardless of the native speaker's practice. I'd prefer the traditional RN/USN way but it might be easier to get consensus for the "neuter" approach. Whatever we do, I hope we're consistent within a page. (Unlike anonymous' change to E-E.) – StarFire209 00:55, 7 September 2007 (UTC)-

I agree that at a minimum, we need to be consistent on a given page. -- Renegade54 13:33, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I think we should use the neuter pronoun to describe ships, unless it's used in a quote. Naufana : talk 04:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Little problem, that Enterprise-E link goes to the Enterprise-D page. -Lord Hyren 17:03, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
In some circles, calling a ship 'it' is considered an insult to the crew. Wrecks are 'it', enemy warships are often 'it', ships held in respect are 'she' in some places or 'he' in others.--Indefatigable 02:13, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

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