there is an essay that needs to be written and that essay is A Guide for Writers on How to Avoid Making Assumptions about Gender
i was reminded by the most recent episode of WtNV, Numbers: ”a female voice”, when Cecil had no way of knowing the…
why is this an issue
people use certain pronouns because it is a part of proper English grammar
it is not proper grammar to say “they” when speaking of one person
so people say he or she
why do people make such a big deal out of everything D:
but it IS proper grammar. it’s been used by shakespeare, byron, austen, orwell, spencer, thackeray, eliot, chesterfield, dickens, lewis, chaucer, ruskin, etc etc etc. it’s been acceptable… really since english first borrowed þeir as a gender neutral third person pronoun. the earliest usage i have off the top of my head is from 1526, but it’s also in various translations of the bible so i mean.
the merriam-webster 11th edition dictionary has deemed singular they to be grammatically correct even in formal writing, and i mean???? dude do you actually think “she kept her head and kicked her shoes off, as everybody ought to do who falls into deep water in his or her clothes” reads more naturally than “…as everybody ought to do who falls into deep water in their clothes”? seriously??? that’s not even bringing up the fact that it’s transphobic. because, see, nonbinary and intersex-identifying-as-nonbinary people exist, and have always existed. there are references to nonbinary people all the way from 2000 BC. there are references from cultures all over the world. but i mean if you want to exclude a good portion of the population in your writing because you have some misinformed pedantic idea that it’s “grammatically incorrect”, go ahead, i guess. i can’t stop you. i can avoid you like the plague, tho.
No, actually, it’s not correct. Just because popular classic writers have done it doesn’t mean it’s right—just as many of these writers used fragments, and fragments are not correct English either. (—From a college English professor with a Master’s degree /in English/ who is sitting next to me right now. Who ought to know what she is talking about.)
It’s also ridiculous to claim someone is being “transphobic” for something that, even if it /were/ intended to be offensive, would be so low on the scale of “offensive” problems that it honestly isn’t worth bothering over. >.>
I’m not being “transphobic” or “oppressive” but I will say again that the levels to which people are expected to go to avoid offending people are /absolutely/ ridiculous. :/
oh my god look at those adorable little quotation marks that’s just stunning. have you ever heard of microaggressions? have you ever heard of systematic oppression and how microaggressions feed into it?
"correct english" doesn’t exist. language evolves. þare ys an resoun gu naueþ rebaten an ondswere bi-semen lijk þes.
"They" has almost always been a given objective pronoun for objects and persons of unknown or ambiguous gender, according to most grammar books I’ve referenced. Fragments are a lot more common in speech, too, because it’s hardly ever that dialogue is the same as action and writing before it.