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Noun Gender

From the Washington Post Style Invitational, in which it was postulated that English has male and female nouns. Readers were asked to assign a gender to nouns of their choice and explain their reasons.

The best submissions:

Detective Novel -- female (f)., because you're not supposed to peek at its end the minute you pick it up.

Swiss Army Knife -- male (m)., because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of it's time just opening bottles.

Kidneys -- f., because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.

Penlight -- m., because it can be turned on very easily, but isn't very bright.

Hammer -- m., because it hasn't evolved much over the last 5,000 years but it's handy to have around and is good for killing spiders.

Tire -- m., because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.

Hot air balloon -- m., because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it. And, of course, there's the hot air part.

Web page -- f., because it is always getting hit on.

Web page -- m., because you have to wait for it to reload.

Shoe -- m., because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.

Copier -- f., because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed. Because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.

Magic 8 Ball -- m., because it gives monosyllabic answers that usually indicate it did not pay attention to your question.

Ziploc bags -- m., because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.

Sponges -- f., because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.

Critic -- f. What, this needs to be explained?

Subway -- m., because it uses the same old lines to pick up people.

Hourglass -- f., because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

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