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Alternating gender

Posted by Word Camel on September 25, 2003

In Reply to: Singular "their" and "they" revisited posted by ESC on September 24, 2003

: : : Reprising our discussion of nonsexist language, here's an interesting article about the evolution of the genderless "he" and the ancient roots (okay - not exactly ancient but Middle English) of singular "they".

: : Thanks, WC, that's an interesting article. The genderless 'he - his' has never bothered me, but since it has become so un-PC, I greatly prefer the singular 'they - their' to the abominations 's/he - his/her'.

: That was a good article. Thanks for posting it. I prefer to rewrite sentences to avoid the whole issue.

In some of the baby books I have they alternate pronouns, some by chapter and some as they occure in the text. Then it occured to me that some poor proof reader was having to go through to check that the pronouns did, indeed alternate as they were supposed to. And then I wondered that would happen if they weren't equally distributed. What then? It all seems a bit crazed to me.