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I believe there's a special word for it but I can't recall it. What would be a proper name for the phenomenon of regarding inanimate objects (or animals) as humans in terms of properties?

E.g. talking about a door that's been hurt or a chair that is sad. Alternatively speaking of dogs smiling or cows taking a coffee break with friends.

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Anthropomorphism. Promoting animals, but demoting God (in our imaginations). – Edwin Ashworth Feb 24 '14 at 22:56
Or personification. Either can apply to non-animals, however. – John Lawler Feb 24 '14 at 22:58
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Anthropomorphism — n the attribution of human form or behaviour to a deity, animal, etc

The verb, thanks to @Bradd Szonye is Anthropomorphize

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Also anthropomorphization. – Bradd Szonye Feb 24 '14 at 23:44

I would say personification, but an answer has to be longer than that.

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Yes, it has to be; it still isn't in essence. Lol. – Kris Feb 25 '14 at 6:25
+1 I'd argue that it's the content of an answer contra the question's intention that has to to proper. The very length doesn't, at least not in my view, as I can think of numerous lengthy answers that aren't good and quite many short that very well are. However, there's often some correlation between the size and the quality. – Konrad Viltersten Feb 25 '14 at 7:54
@KonradViltersten: I can't parse or understand your first sentence. I was referring to the technical limitation on stackexchange whereby it won't accept an answer that is shorter than some number of characters. – Colin Fine Feb 26 '14 at 10:20
My bad. I didn't realize that you had to add the extra characters to get the site to accept your contribution. I though that you meant that a reply in general needs to be more length in order to be regarded as acceptable. (Also, there's a typo - "has to to proper" instead of the correct "has to be proper"). – Konrad Viltersten Feb 26 '14 at 14:15

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