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comment by coffeesp00ns
coffeesp00ns  ·  2002 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: From A Symbol Of Athletic Power To A Symbol Of Gender Transition

See, you could rewrite that whole sentence and make it more clear and more inclusive:

    The American media in 1976 were infatuated with Jenner, as much for their looks as for their athletic prowess. Time magazine called Jenner “beautifully sculpted” and described “the waning light shining on [their] flapping chestnut hair” as they crossed the finish line.

no mixed pronouns, much clearer to read. you could even modify

    “the waning light shining on [their] flapping chestnut hair” as they crossed the finish line.

to

    “the waning light shining on [their] flapping chestnut hair” crossing the finish line.

without too much trouble. Using the gender neutral pronouns also allows you to talk about Jenner without misgendering, but also without the sudden mental hurdle (for some people), and current permissive anomaly of referring to them with female pronouns.





steve  ·  2001 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think we need a new word. I'm no English major - but "their" seems tied to "they" in my head, and feels plural. It might prove just as confusing as calling her "him" in the past.

I dunno.

coffeesp00ns  ·  2001 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's been a few attempts. I see the occasional "Zie/Zir" or "Xe/Xim", both with a "zed" sound at the beginning.

But I think you need to rethink how you use "They" every day.

Say you are talking to a co-worker, or a colleague, and they are talking about a problem with their boss. you might say, "Why not talk to your HR rep and see what they say about it." (or you might not, depending on your opinion of HR.

We all subconsciously use singular they every day of our life, all the time.

steve  ·  2000 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    "Why not talk to your HR rep and see what they say about it."

I actually wouldn't say that. If I knew the gender of the person I would say it. If I didn't I would absolutely say "he/she".

    We all subconsciously use singular they every day of our life, all the time.

We may... but I honestly try not to. I'm not super sure about my grammar, but I still try to speak clearly and mixed pronouns bug me.

But who knows? Our language is evolving - and that may be the next evolution. And why not - we've got to be able to figure out a way to have these discussions. As lines of gender continue to blur in society, so will our rules of grammar that are based on gender. I wonder how other, more gender specific languages will adapt? Spanish ends words with "A" or "O" depending on the object. German is full of verb conjugations based on he or she. Exciting times!

coffeesp00ns  ·  2000 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know in some nordic languages they have implemented the "Hen" pronoun, which is the Neutral. Herr being man, Het being woman, Hen being gender neutral.

Perhaps other countries will do the same, or perhaps gender neutral people in those countries will be referred to with the plural pronouns, such as "Ils" in French.