Free Kirk o Scotland (1843—1900) 7th of April, 2020 POST·MERIDIEM 07:43
“The first task of the new church was to provide income for her initial 500 ministers and places of worship for her people. As she aspired to be the national church of the Scottish people, she set herself the ambitious task of establishing a presence in every parish in Scotland (except in the Highlands, where FC ministers were initially in short supply.) Sometimes land owners were less than helpful such as at Strontian, where the church took to a boat.”
An individual I used to know well grew up speaking a Turkic language in Iran, together with good Persian. Neither of those have grammatical gender, something that contrasts with classical Arabic and with many European languages. This person was very much on board with the idea that languages either had grammatical gender or did not, and was very irritated by the standard English-language habit of referring to ships as ‘she’ and the less standard habit of referring to individual vehicles as ‘she’.
The above paragraph describing the circumstances of one of the presbyterian churches seems calculated to enrage my acquaintance. As a non-Scottish English speaker, it is only remotely comfortable to read for me because of my German, and I would be irritated if the gender differed from that of Kirche in German. I write this entry to document my surprise at this sort of consistent use of grammatical gender for the word church in English.
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