Considering that ある is objectifying wouldn't it be offensive to use it in いる's place when talking about a person, or would it just be seen as a mistake?

  • 1
    When the いる means to stay, it just doesn't make sense. Otherwise, it sounds old-fashioned.
    – user4092
    Jun 18 '15 at 1:45

No, I don't think it would offend someone. You're probably concerned that it could offend someone because it sounds like you're treating someone as an object, not a person. Actually, many people think it is just a grammatical error, and they don't feel it is an offensive expression. They might take it as a mistake, or some people may not even understand as applying ある for a person almost never happens for native speakers. Some people might think you wanted to say あるく (which means walk) because that is a common verb for a person.

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