20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkXnhlCkVPM

In this video he says "put baby in" and not "put the baby in" Also, in other baby type videos they say "place baby inside" or "now you can see that baby and mom are happy"

There is no "the baby" or "the baby's mom" or "the mom".

The video is one example of many. I asked someone who said it is something to do with the agenda of keeping people happy and not offended by mentioning a gender. I don't think this is true though.

  • 3
    People frequently don't speak in a way that would be considered grammatical if the same words were used in writing. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 13 at 16:26
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    they aren’t saying “put baby in” they’re saying, “put Baby in.” :-) – Jim Jul 13 at 18:40
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    Just pointing out that this kind of usage is much more common in British English than American. It's got nothing to do with gender politics, this has been very common usage in British English for decades if not longer. – barbecue Jul 14 at 0:55
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    English articles don't have gender - how would "the baby" indicate a gender? Which one would it indicate? – Blorgbeard Jul 14 at 1:25
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    This question could use more context, rather than relying on the reader watching the video. – Acccumulation Jul 14 at 17:52
38

'Baby' and 'Mom' are being used as substitutes for names, just as you might say to a small child 'Where's Mommy?' rather than 'Where is your mother?'

  • There are a lot answers on this forum and I believe each are subjective so I will mark one as correct but I feel it is subjective so I have given plus points to others – TheBlackBenzKid Sep 10 at 9:44
14

Saying just 'baby' or just 'mom' is using those words as names.

Using 'the' in front of the other person is like using the third person for yourself. Without 'the' it's like you're using their first name as though it is 'Baby'. It sounds weird and is probably weirder sounding than using 'the', because 'baby' is a weird name for someone). But it is the way to refer to babies in these situations.

I don't think it is transferable to other situations. For example, you don't usually say 'Boxer then plants his fist in Opponent's jawbone'

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    My 16 year-old is called "Baby" in the family as she is the youngest, just as her mother is called "Baby" by her mother still, even though she is past 50...so I don't think it sounds weird. Also, do you remember "Dirty Dancing"? – Cascabel Jul 13 at 20:53
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    @Cascabel Yes, of course. But in the specific context of the OP, it is definitely strange sounding. – Mitch Jul 13 at 21:35
  • I guess it depends on the relationship of the speaker to the little tike.;) I have to confess I was to lazy to go off-page and listen the the sound bite. – Cascabel Jul 13 at 21:37
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    This wording provides a way to personalize the infant without having to know a name. It's a way of taking specific instructions like you would give to a person you know, and generalizing them for a larger audience, while still retaining a sense of individuality. Each audience member can substitute their own baby everywhere the narrator says "Baby." It's also friendlier and less detached, which is good in promotional materials. – barbecue Jul 14 at 0:58
1

In the BBC series "The Midwife", which follows a group of midwives in London's East End in the 50's, they use this all the time. The midwife will say something like "Well done, mom! You have a beautiful boy!" And "Here's baby, why don't you try feeding her."
It creates a kind of professional intimacy: the woman is the midwife's patient but it's a bit more than getting the child delivered. The midwife often spends hours with the woman during the delivery, guiding her through a messy, physical, life-changing event, especially if it's a first child. Addressing the woman as 'mom' stresses the transition into her new role. Likewise, speaking of the child as 'baby' gives it a more personal touch without becoming too specific: it's not about little Jenny or Johnny as an individual but about its functioning needs as a baby.

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