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SomeoneSomewhere
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  #2712572 24-May-2021 18:47
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mdooher:

 

 blackjack17:

 

Would have had to have been "societies' "

 

but im last 1 too talk :)

 

~~~~

 

Funny. I never use that comma after the last "s" It just makes words look unfinished.... 

 

 

Those are, in fact, apostrophes.

 

networkn:

 

Interesting, Grammarly didn't correct that! I guess I don't pay enough.

 

 

The pedant in me would also like to point out that that should either be a semi-colon or 'interestingly'.

 

I would like to recommend 'Word Crimes'.


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colinuu
237 posts

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  #2712634 24-May-2021 21:03
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I can't stand the currently in-vogue use of the word 'they' to mean a singular person of unspecified gender. It is just wrong, confusing, and unnecessary.

 

 


Shadowfoot
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  #2712636 24-May-2021 21:06
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colinuu:

 

I can't stand the currently in-vogue use of the word 'they' to mean a singular person of unspecified gender. It is just wrong, confusing, and unnecessary.

 

Is that because it's so old fashioned?





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colinuu
237 posts

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  #2712655 24-May-2021 21:24
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I'm in the older age group, and I know that the usage has existed for ages. But I haven't really noticed it until recently (mostly in the context of reporting about Covid-19 cases I think, when there seems to be a reluctance to say 'he' or 'she' for some reason). Why not say 'the person' if you really don't know the gender?


Gurezaemon
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  #2712677 24-May-2021 21:41
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colinuu:

 

I'm in the older age group, and I know that the usage has existed for ages. But I haven't really noticed it until recently (mostly in the context of reporting about Covid-19 cases I think, when there seems to be a reluctance to say 'he' or 'she' for some reason). Why not say 'the person' if you really don't know the gender?

 

 

Because 'they' used as a singular pronoun has been around since at least Middle English - first attested in 1375. It went out of fashion in the 18th century, when 
"...grammarians began warning that singular they was an error because a plural pronoun can’t take a singular antecedent. They clearly forgot that singular you was a plural pronoun that had become singular as well. You functioned as a polite singular for centuries, but in the seventeenth century singular you replaced thou, thee, and thy, except for some dialect use." (from the OED).

 

Wiki also has a concise explanation.

 

 





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Fred99
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  #2712679 24-May-2021 21:43
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colinuu:

 

I can't stand the currently in-vogue use of the word 'they' to mean a singular person of unspecified gender. It is just wrong, confusing, and unnecessary.

 

 

I think it's fine.

 

Cheers / Frederica (prefer not to be known as "it")


Handle9
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  #2712688 24-May-2021 22:01
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Fred99:

 

colinuu:

 

I can't stand the currently in-vogue use of the word 'they' to mean a singular person of unspecified gender. It is just wrong, confusing, and unnecessary.

 

 

I think it's fine.

 

Cheers / Frederica (prefer not to be known as "it")

 

 

On a list of things I don't care about that is one of the top ones. It does trigger a certain demographic though. That amuses me.




colinuu
237 posts

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  #2712689 24-May-2021 22:01
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Gurezaemon:

 

Because 'they' used as a singular pronoun has been around since at least Middle English - first attested in 1375. It went out of fashion in the 18th century, when 
"...grammarians began warning that singular they was an error because a plural pronoun can’t take a singular antecedent. They clearly forgot that singular you was a plural pronoun that had become singular as well. You functioned as a polite singular for centuries, but in the seventeenth century singular you replaced thou, thee, and thy, except for some dialect use." (from the OED).

 

Wiki also has a concise explanation.

 

 

 

 

Fair enough. I still don't like it and can't see the need, but can accept being on my own with this.


Gurezaemon
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  #2712694 24-May-2021 22:20
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colinuu:

 

Gurezaemon:

 

Because 'they' used as a singular pronoun has been around since at least Middle English - first attested in 1375. It went out of fashion in the 18th century, when 
"...grammarians began warning that singular they was an error because a plural pronoun can’t take a singular antecedent. They clearly forgot that singular you was a plural pronoun that had become singular as well. You functioned as a polite singular for centuries, but in the seventeenth century singular you replaced thou, thee, and thy, except for some dialect use." (from the OED).

 

Wiki also has a concise explanation.

 

 

Fair enough. I still don't like it and can't see the need, but can accept being on my own with this.

 

 

To be honest, using 'they' for an individual, especially when that individual is within earshot still seems weird to someone of my generation (early 50s) but given that we've recently got to know more people who identify as non-binary, I'm really making an effort to get used to it, and gradually succeeding.





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Fred99
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  #2712695 24-May-2021 22:24
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colinuu:

 

Fair enough. I still don't like it and can't see the need, but can accept being on my own with this.

 

 

Whether gender is always binary (as some still believe) or not isn't a grammar or spelling issue. It's probably just good manners to respect other people's wishes on such matters - whether you "see the need" or not.


colinuu
237 posts

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  #2712697 24-May-2021 22:49
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Fred99:

 

colinuu:

 

Fair enough. I still don't like it and can't see the need, but can accept being on my own with this.

 

 

Whether gender is always binary (as some still believe) or not isn't a grammar or spelling issue. It's probably just good manners to respect other people's wishes on such matters - whether you "see the need" or not.

 

 

I mean that 'they' can be replaced by 'the person' which is non-specific and not necessarily binary and avoids the confusion as to whether the subject is singular or plural. I don't mean to be disrespectful towards people who don't identify in a binary way.


Gurezaemon
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  #2712702 24-May-2021 23:02
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colinuu:

 

Fred99:

 

Whether gender is always binary (as some still believe) or not isn't a grammar or spelling issue. It's probably just good manners to respect other people's wishes on such matters - whether you "see the need" or not.

 

 

I mean that 'they' can be replaced by 'the person' which is non-specific and not necessarily binary and avoids the confusion as to whether the subject is singular or plural. I don't mean to be disrespectful towards people who don't identify in a binary way.

 

 

To what end though? 'They' for singular works fine and is shorter. Also, English has always managed to deal with figuring things out by context.
Take the sentence 'He's his uncle' — most of us will understand this from context, although this sentence is famous for confusing non-native speakers of English.

 

For the most part, we don't get that confused when someone uses 'you', which can be both singular and plural. 

 

Although, I would like to see the return of thou/the/thine etc. as a way to differentiate singular and plural, but that should probably be a different thread.





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colinuu
237 posts

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  #2712703 24-May-2021 23:17
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Gurezaemon:

 

----

 

For the most part, we don't get that confused when someone uses 'you', which can be both singular and plural. 

 

----

 

 

Agreed, however 'you' is normally used in a face to face context where there will be no confusion. 'They' for singular jars with me, and can be confusing in some cases. Perhaps it's a generational thing?


gzt

gzt
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  #2712706 24-May-2021 23:52
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colinuu: Why not say 'the person' if you really don't know the gender?

Because it's not a pronoun. Itch itch. This is the grammar thread.

jpoc
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  #2712718 25-May-2021 07:08
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Eva888: <snip> Then there’s the embarrassing ones which you only see a millisecond and a gasp after you press send.

<snip>

 

Surely: "there are the embarrassing ones"?

 

 


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