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Everyone has his/her or their?

Posted by Kitty on April 11, 2003

In Reply to: Everyone has his/her or their? posted by R. Berg on April 10, 2003

: : What is the correct pronoun for everyone? Everyone has his/her or their dreams? Thanks.

: The question is controversial. Many people say and write "their." I don't like it because "everyone" is singular and "their" is plural. I use "his or her." Proponents of "their" won't be stopped, though.

I don't have a problem at all with the use of their for these singular nouns. If one is very stuck on agreement, one can take this "their" as a form of the royal "we"... In any case,Merriam-Webster on-line gives this definition (notice no. 2!!!):

Main Entry: their
Pronunciation: [th]&r, '[th]er, '[th]ar
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from their, pronoun, from Old Norse theirra, genitive plural demonstrative & personal pronoun; akin to Old English thæt that
Date: 13th century
1 : of or relating to them or themselves especially as possessors, agents, or objects of an action
2 : his or her : HIS, HER, ITS -- used with an indefinite third person singular antecedent
usage see THEY