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  •  What practice? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    English doesn't have a dual-gendered pronoun, which is what has led to linguistic abortions like he/she, or the obnoxiously un-pronoun-ceable "s/he."

    We need a word... or we need to give the whole thing up as made-up feelgood bullshit.


    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:54:44 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  one/you/they (0+ / 0-)

      English has plenty of ungendered pronoun possibilities.

      One ought to know how to work them. You look for ways around identifying the sex of the person. Note that "you" can be used both as a singular and as a plural - so, really, there is no logical problem with using "they" the same way - we naturally do it in conversation. "I was talking to somebody yesterday about that movie and they said that movie was really dumb, too!" That may sound informal (or grammatically incorrect) but it has been used artfully in literature for centuries.

      When I ask if someone is coupled:

      Are you seeing someone special?
      Do you consider yourself single or ...

      I tend to ask about interests and activities and jobs and leave openings for the person to drop references to a significant other. Be creative. Work around the topic. My ears tend to prick up when I hear ungendered pronouns - it often shouts same-sex coupling - but the kids these days are pretty good at hiding gender when talking so you get what you get. And I'm good with that. People tell you what they want to tell you.

      •  There exists no single word in English (0+ / 0-)

        that correctly refers to an individual human, who obviously has one of two sexes, but whose sex is unknown.

        Neuter doesn't do it... unless you're talking about eunuchs.

        It's a defect in the language... not a tool of the oppressor. Using the female gender for situations of indeterminate sex would be just as wrong, and just as correct, as using the male is.

        Feel free to make up a word. Just make sure that it is short, distinct, and pronounceable... or you'll never get anywhere, linguistic inertia being what it is.

        Saying that the proposed solutions all suck or can't work is not the same thing as saying that there isn't a problem... a lesson that has plenty of other applications. Global warming, for example.


        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 06:52:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  taking advantage of an opportunity (0+ / 0-)

          I have the feeling you weren't replying to my comment.

          But here's an opportunity to link to another fun article - apparently people have been coining fresh new (essential!) neuter pronouns for more than 150 years.

          Coinages include: ne, thon, hi, e, ta, lim, and ip

        •  'dude' isn't good enough? (0+ / 0-)

          hear young women say it to each other...

          and then there's 'hey babe'

          but you're right about the language fail

          'hello citizen'

          or 'hello humaoid'

          will take awhile to get used to.

          ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

          by KenBee on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 10:44:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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