From the Washington Post Style Invitation, in which it waspostulated that English should have male and female nouns, and readers wereasked to assign a gender to nouns of their choice and explain their reason. Thebest submissions:

SWISS ARMY KNIFE—male, because even though it appears usefulfor a wide variety of things, it spends most of its time just openingbottles.

KIDNEYS—female, because they always go to the bathroom inpairs.

TIRE—male, because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOON—male, because to get it to go anywhere youhave to light a fire under it... and, of course, there's the hot air part.

SPONGES—female, because they are soft and squeezable andretain water.

WEB PAGE—female, because it is always getting hit on.

SHOE—male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tonguehanging out.

COPIER—female, because once turned off, it takes a while towarmup... AND... because it is an effective reproductive devicewhen the right buttons are pushed... AND because it can wreak havoc when thewrong buttons are pushed.

ZIPLOC BAGS—male, because they hold everything in, but youcan always see right through them.

SUBWAY—male, because it uses the same old lines to pickpeople up.

HOURGLASS—female, because over time, the weight shifts tothe bottom.

HAMMER—male, because it hasn't evolved much over the last5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

REMOTE CONTROL—female... Ha!... you thought I'd say male. Butconsider, it gives man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while hedoesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

John Barron

[ As Read on Car Talk ]