No, unlike many other Indo-European languages, current English has no default gender. Grammatically speaking, English does not have gender at all—the only gender that English marks at all is natural gender (sex).
When the natural gender of a living being is known, it is customary to refer to that being using pronouns that reflect that gender; for male ...
The it in both example sentences is, as noted, a "dummy it" -- that is, this it is not referential,
and thus doesn't have any meaning, because meaning in pronouns is a matter of reference only.
This dummy it (there are several others) is an artifact of a syntactic rule called Extraposition, which works to make sure that "heavy" subject noun phrases (clauses ...
Eric Raymond, The New Hacker's Dictionary, third edition (1996) goes on at great length (two full pages) about the differences between kluge and kludge, the fact that kluge is the older and (for most definitions given) preferable term, and the different supposed etymologies of the two words (kluge "from the German 'klug', clever; poss. related to Polish ...
We do not need "it" in
The servant's job was to repeat to him, "Memento mori".
We do need "it" in
It was the servant's job to repeat to him, "Memento mori".
So, whether we use "it" in the quoted statement depends on which of these two we are thinking of when we write it.
We cannot say 'I like it how you talk, or 'I like it where you go.' because “to like” requires only one direct object.
An object should be a substantive (a noun or pronoun or something similar that can be the subject of a verb)
In “I like it when you smile”, “when you smile” is not a substantive.
The verb “like” therefore requires an object.
So that it ...
The pronoun "it" refers to the actions of Amber. Some linguists would call that a dummy pronoun. Informally it can be unrolled like this:
If it wasn't = If it was not = Without
...and means much the same as:
Without Amber he wouldn't be able to marry Claire.
But "if it wasn't" is a shade different, in that it gives more emphasis to chance, rather ...
We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions out of
poverty, to help citizens to realize their dreams and ensure that new
generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred and
The transcript is missing a couple of commas around the parenthetical phrase "should we so choose", and also missing "out". To understand ...
Because the Contributor is not necessarily a person. As the definition you quote says, it is an individual or legal entity. So the Contributor could be an individual, but it could also be some other legal entity.
For example, I had a job where part of my work involved some contributions to an open source project. However, since I was writing the code on ...
Kludgy is a trade-specific word, so in a context where the audience is all aware of the term, it would be fine to use as is. In other contexts, you would need to explain it initially if you planned to keep using it.
If you want a completely different word, then one could say they installed a provisional fix/solution.
Provisional or temporary both work. ...
A is the subject of the sentence, and it is its pronoun, so it is A. In other words, the sentence could have been written as "A differs from B in that A is," but it's more elegant to use the pronoun "it," instead. Incidentally, "it" is not a preposition; it's a pronoun.
There is nothing wrong with the form you propose - starting a paragraph, an essay or even a great work of literature with "It is...".
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
The gerund is compulsory. "It is often argued that study art in school..." is incorrect.
It's generally inappropriate to refer to an individual as "it". "It" is used to refer to an unintelligent/unthinking target.
If referring to a human individual of unknown gender, use singular "they". It is usually acceptable to refer to an animal as "it" if the gender is unknown
The "it" in that sentence is an "anticipatory it", because the sentence uses "it-extraposition". This is a grammatical pattern where the word "it" stands in for a long noun phrase which is moved to the end of the clause or sentence.
You could say
To lift ..., to help ... and ensure ... are in our power.
but then the ...
How = the way that; where = the place at/in which; when = the time at/on which; why = the reason for which.
How, when, where, why are adverb words. Convert them into noun phrases like above if the object of a verb is a free relative clause containing any one of them.
A free relative clause is a relative clause used like a noun.
So, your examples:
I like ...
In both sentences, It fills in for the subject of the sentence.
In the example "It is impossible to fly," It is substituted for the subject "to fly".
To fly is impossible.
In the sentence "It is clear that Bob likes doughnuts", It anticipates the subject (this time a that clause) "That Bob likes doughnuts".
That Bob likes doughnuts is clear.
larger and smaller are the least semantically loaded. Since few people are unopinionated about the value of a larger or smaller feature set in most contexts, it's important to decide whether you want to communicate your opinion, be neutral or even mitigate the possible bias of the audience.
Broadly positive for larger: broad, full, rich, comprehensive
First program is more feature-rich.
A system is said to be feature-rich when it has many options and functional capabilities available to the user.
It in this sentence is a dummy subject, only a placeholder for the real subject that comes later in the clause: having me for a brother.
Every English sentence except for imperatives (Visit us often!) must have an explicit subject.
It's hot today. It's snowing in Aspen. It was raining hard when we left.
A dummy subject can also be used to change the ...
If the baby does not thrive on raw milk, boil it.
This old joke (sourced here) reminds us of an inherent ambiguity of sentences such as these. They are to be avoided, as explained in detail in relevant passages of Gowers' The Complete Plain Words. (Also presumably the original source of the joke).
However, it is marginally more likely that "it" refers ...