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#1 2018-12-22 16:55:04

unrealistic ulcer
Anonymous user

English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

When you're writing about someone in the third person, you don't know their gender, and you don't have the time to ask, what do you address them with?

This is not about people who prefer not to be referred to as a man or a woman, that is a whole other debate that has nothing to do with this one. This is for the more common subject of "oh **** I don't know whether the anonymous person I'm writing about is a dude or a lady."

Using he, him, his, and himself is a very straightforward solution that was standard even before the internet came around (e.g. "the average American does not care where he gets his coffee" or "he [the traditional heroic type] is a man or woman of great deeds") and is considered grammatically correct by most dictionaries. It's furthermore supported by terms like "mankind" being used to describe both men and women. However, in some contexts it can sound archaic and be mistaken as actually addressing the subject as male, what with the "there are no girls on the internet"/"no girls play video games seriously" assumptions that are inaccurate now.

Using they, them, their, and themselves is a newer solution that does not assume gender (when gender is not stated! just so the tumblr jokes don't start flooding in) at all and still uses pronouns familiar to the English language. However, "they" is more commonly used to refer to multiple people (e.g. "they can tell themselves what they'd like") which leads to some awkward writing when the subject is just one person. I have seen people getting confused by that before, although rarely.

And then there's other stuff entirely, like the "xe" set or other unfamiliar-sounding pronouns. If people actually agreed on a pronoun set used to refer to living people whose gender is not addressed or is irrelevant, and said pronouns do not carry any other meaning, then that would solve all our problems... except that such a thing will never happen as long as people are still arguing on what that pronoun set should be, and as long as everyone else doesn't care about the topic.

#2 2018-12-22 17:13:24

PatheticPooinloo
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

It's called singular they and it's not new, it has been used for centuries.

#3 2018-12-22 22:38:36

rowdyRacist
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

i moslty use he if i dont know gender -peace (pls i hate annonymous topics)

Wooted by:

PTU

#4 2018-12-23 17:40:28

Unsafe underdog
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

I don't see how this is a debate?

They, their, them - that's what you use. Using male pronouns when you mean not to specify gender is counter-intuitive and creating a whole new set of pronouns just for this is pointless when we already have pronouns that perfectly serve this function.

#5 2018-12-23 19:13:41, last edited by WeirdWhale (2018-12-23 19:14:00)

WeirdWhale
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

one question: how come everyone here are anonymous users

edit: why am i an anonymous user im daneeko and logged in

Wooted by: (3)

#6 2018-12-23 19:58:24

Heroic_hick
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

PatheticPooinloo wrote:

It's called singular they and it's not new, it has been used for centuries.

/thread

people that didnt have english as their first language sometimes make a mistake using "he" or "she" instead of "they" in such cases, so did i
it is usually caused by a feature of some native languages, which is that any noun has a gender that decides whether we refer to that noun as "he", "she", or "it"
meanwhile the english language seemingly does not have this, which makes it strange and difficult at first to adapt to nouns having no genders associated with them
another cause to this could be the subjectivity, aka "i am a male/female and thus i refer to that person over there as "he"/"she" because im used to it"

WeirdWhale wrote:

one question: how come everyone here are anonymous users

edit: why am i an anonymous user im daneeko and logged in

try logging out and back in maybe you wont be anonymous then

#7 2018-12-23 20:16:01, last edited by FatFairy (2018-12-23 20:16:25)

FatFairy
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

remove anonymous posts -kirbykareem
like wow
I'm going to post my picture here so people rq and anonymous posts remove
imgur.com/fmaioudst08e7raofkatd7ofatj087tjrae08tf8asdtf08a7dsfadf.png

ARE YOU SERIOUS OF COURSEI GET THE GENERATED USERNAME FAT FAIRY

#8 2018-12-24 08:45:58

WeirdWhale
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

FatFairy wrote:

remove anonymous posts -kirbykareem
like wow
I'm going to post my picture here so people rq and anonymous posts remove
imgur.com/fmaioudst08e7raofkatd7ofatj087tjrae08tf8asdtf08a7dsfadf.png

ARE YOU SERIOUS OF COURSEI GET THE GENERATED USERNAME FAT FAIRY

well of course you would get that username

#9 2018-12-25 11:44:15

solid_sap
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

I use humankind, not mankind.  Like how you say humanity, not manatee.

#10 2019-01-04 22:11:29, last edited by Uniform ubermensch (2019-01-04 22:11:37)

Uniform ubermensch
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

solid_sap wrote:

I use humankind, not mankind.  Like how you say humanity, not manatee.

I disagree about what you said, whoever you called, I don't care. Go watch the video about the best president that world hasn't got in eternity.

<YouTube Video - ItsGW1Nlm3c>

#11 2019-01-05 00:11:08

Nasty_neighbor
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

I just avoid pronouns altogether. When talking about someone in a conversation not with them, I just use their name. When speaking directly to them, I use "you".

#12 2019-01-05 03:39:31

Freakish fatty
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

Or just go PMQ by saying "my honorable friend"

#13 2019-01-05 04:50:21, last edited by solid_sap (2019-01-05 04:50:47)

solid_sap
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

Uniform ubermensch wrote:
solid_sap wrote:

I use humankind, not mankind.  Like how you say humanity, not manatee.

I disagree about what you said, whoever you called, I don't care. Go watch the video about the best president that world hasn't got in eternity.

https://youtu.be/ItsGW1Nlm3c

Dang, there's a lot of triggered people in the comments there.

also whooosh

#14 2019-01-05 05:00:17, last edited by brash-Bagpipe (2019-01-05 05:01:00)

brash-Bagpipe
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

Play with fire and you start a flame...

But seriously, I use them, you, they, that if %username%, etc... Just dodging the ambiguous gender will help avoid "DID YOU JUST ASSUME MY GENDER?!" based arguments and conflicts.

(Also brash-bagpipe, what the hell's that supposed to mean?!)

~ GTK

#15 2019-01-05 05:08:14, last edited by offensive-object (2019-01-05 05:09:43)

offensive-object
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

As of right now, "they" is the most common word. Some have also invented the "E" set too. -ILikeTofuuJoe

edit: are youserious offensive object?! that just gave me ideas

#16 2019-01-05 08:02:46

last-Goat
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

I tend to always use they. Even when I do know the gender of the thing I'm referring to. I also think everyone else should too.
~slabdrill

#17 2019-01-05 09:25:22

FiscalFamily
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

Heroic_hick wrote:
PatheticPooinloo wrote:

It's called singular they and it's not new, it has been used for centuries.

/thread

people that didnt have english as their first language sometimes make a mistake using "he" or "she" instead of "they" in such cases, so did i
it is usually caused by a feature of some native languages, which is that any noun has a gender that decides whether we refer to that noun as "he", "she", or "it"
meanwhile the english language seemingly does not have this, which makes it strange and difficult at first to adapt to nouns having no genders associated with them
another cause to this could be the subjectivity, aka "i am a male/female and thus i refer to that person over there as "he"/"she" because im used to it"

WeirdWhale wrote:

one question: how come everyone here are anonymous users

edit: why am i an anonymous user im daneeko and logged in

try logging out and back in maybe you wont be anonymous then

Actually, singular "they" is neither right or wrong. He/she is the perfectly acceptable way of mentioning an non-described gender.

#18 2019-01-05 10:45:16

boring_brony
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

Saying "this person" instead of "they" should also do the trick

brash-Bagpipe wrote:

~ GTK

GillerTheKreat?

#19 2019-01-05 13:37:34

Uniform ubermensch
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

solid_sap wrote:
Uniform ubermensch wrote:
solid_sap wrote:

I use humankind, not mankind.  Like how you say humanity, not manatee.

I disagree about what you said, whoever you called, I don't care. Go watch the video about the best president that world hasn't got in eternity.

https://youtu.be/ItsGW1Nlm3c

Dang, there's a lot of triggered people in the comments there.

also whooosh

r/wooosh

u are taking my sarcasm seriously

Wooted by:

#20 2019-01-06 21:27:13

russian Russian
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

I just use it :sunglasses:

Wooted by:

#21 2019-01-08 01:38:18

solid_sap
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

Uniform ubermensch wrote:
solid_sap wrote:
Uniform ubermensch wrote:
solid_sap wrote:

I use humankind, not mankind.  Like how you say humanity, not manatee.

I disagree about what you said, whoever you called, I don't care. Go watch the video about the best president that world hasn't got in eternity.

https://youtu.be/ItsGW1Nlm3c

Dang, there's a lot of triggered people in the comments there.

also whooosh

r/wooosh

u are taking my sarcasm seriously

Did you just woosh my woosh

#22 2019-01-08 01:56:31, last edited by Obsessive obergruppenführer (2019-01-08 01:56:59)

Obsessive obergruppenführer
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

I always thought our gender neutral singular should be 'the'. ( /ði:/ )

Nominative - The
Genitive Dependent - Their
Genitive Independent - Theirs
Accusative - Them
Reflexive - Themself

Makes sense too when you think that the word 'the' is used when referring to something in the third person. THE dog saw THE cat. Just remove the subject to get the pronoun. Hell, languages have actually done things like that before.

Still, 'they' works fine. You could also use 'one' in certain scenarios, but 'they' is the accepted epicene pronoun for one and many. Just think about 'you'. It was an exclusively plural pronoun, but it dominates today over 'thou'. Now, it takes both the singular and plural forms.

-Raphe

Wooted by:

#23 2019-01-13 16:56:29, last edited by Soldier80 (2019-01-13 16:56:46)

Soldier80
Anonymous user

Re: English gender-neutral pronouns: he, they, or something else entirely?

if my generated name isn't yote i'm gonna be so peeved

EDIT: crap

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