English, Department of


Date of this Version



Language, Vol. 6, No. 4, Language Monograph No. 7: Curme Volume of Linguistic Studies (Dec., 1930), pp. 118-119


Copyright (c) 1930 Linguistic Society of America. Used by permission.


[This article treats briefly, in the chronology of their appearance, the substantive uses of the pronoun of the third person neuter: the English and American game usage, two American colloquial or dialectal usages, and the newest usage, emerging from Hollywood, with its adjectival and nominal derivatives.]

The English pronoun of the third person neuter, it, has established itself as a substantive in various meanings, some of which are so widely current as to augur for them considerable vitality. An enumeration of these substantive uses in American English yields the following-- approximately, I think, in the order of their appearance.