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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by chromatic (983) on 2006.06.20 3:11 (#48304) Homepage Journal

    ... what exactly is the proper and established gender-neutral singular pronoun in English?

    (All of the style guides to which I write suggest switching back and forth between "he" and "she" and I'm fine with that to the extent that I have no desire to give offense. However, in a language that barely supports gender anywhere but specific singular pronouns and yet lacks a neuter case, it feels weird.)

    • ... what exactly is the proper and established gender-neutral singular pronoun in English?

      "They".

      At least, it was both proper and established long before the Latin-besotted prescriptive grammarians sunk their talons into English usage.

      See Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] for a summary, and this site [crossmyt.com] for more detail than you could possibly desire.

      Personally, I strive very hard either to cast my subjects in the plural, or to avoid the use of pronouns entirely. All the "approved" alternatives are ugly, cumbersome, or bot

      • I considered adding a link to the last time the subject came up, but I rolled and hoped you wouldn't read this comment. I didn't even use your name!

        • I didn't even use your name!
          What makes you think I don't read everything that mentions your name? >;-)

          Echel^H^H^H^H^HDamian