A traditional solution to gender-neutral pronouns

Read anything good recently? You don't have to write a review. If it was good, mention it here. If it was rotten, mention it here.

Please include both the name of the book and its author(s) in the title of your posting. Our gratitude for your considerateness will be your reward!
Post Reply

A traditional solution to gender-neutral pronouns

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:18 pm

"... at a recent meeting of the American Copy Editors Society, the “Chicago Manual of Style” and the Associated Press (AP) stylebook, both widely followed, announced a change that sent waves through the audience. In AP’s wording, “They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy.” "

(Read the complete April 2017 article in The Economist here.)

I personally think this device is much more generally acceptable, not simply as a last resort when no other possibility exists.
Post actions:

Re: A traditional solution to gender-neutral pronouns

Post by trolley » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:21 pm

What are the alternatives, other than the clumsy and awkward "his or her" or "he or she"? I'm not even sure those fly anymore, in today's world where there are a ton of gender-blends that could complain about being ignored. They/them/their would seem to be the most inclusive in all cases.
Post actions:

Re: A traditional solution to gender-neutral pronouns

Post by BonnieL » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:26 pm

I simply can't get used to plural pronouns for singular subjects in writing. In speech, it doesn't bother me - much. But in writing? No way.
Post actions:

Re: A traditional solution to gender-neutral pronouns

Post by tony h » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:25 am

Erik_Kowal wrote:"I personally think this device is much more generally acceptable, not simply as a last resort when no other possibility exists.
Personally I have been doing this for decades especially in work related subjects. It makes for a more fluid conversation, or reading, rather than tripping up on "he or she" (or should that be "she or he"). And, in these days of cut and paste from emails, the old fall back of starting with: "for the purposes of the document he shall be used to refer to any of he, she or they or any other gender position as may be appropriate to the individual or group to which the pronoun refers.

In documents where precision is important I tend to avoid the use of pronouns (and words like only) but simply reuse the noun. It makes things less ambiguous.
Post actions:
Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

End of topic.
Post Reply