Fwd: let's fix the pronoun problem

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Mon May 26 07:29:59 MDT 2008

Merrill Oveson wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Merrill Oveson <moveson at gmail.com>
> Date: May 25, 2008 8:39 PM
> Subject: let's fix the pronoun problem
> To: pluglist at plug.org
> I like this solution, and since english is open source - why not.
> http://www.aese.org/SUM96/GENDER.HTM

I'm all for inventing/adopting a new pronoun, but "hey" is just 
ridiculous. I don't like "them" either, though I'll grudgingly admit it 
has perhaps the best shot. Still, I don't see it accidentally replacing 
a real third-person pronoun in even sentences like "the person fell off 
their chair", let alone "the linguist fell off their rocker". It would 
have to be a very conscious and untasteful effort.

"Thon" sounds ok to my ear. "Everybody learned to watch thon tongue and 
use the neutral pronoun." Sounds a little odd or archaic perhaps, but 
not ridiculous. Even someone who hasn't heard it would only do a double 
take, while still understanding the meaning (try to say the same thing 
about "hey"!)

Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
     -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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