Singular THEY

  • There is an extensive page on Wikipedia on the use of THEY as the gender neutral third person and I can usually use it fairly smoothly, even if in school I was never taught this option (I have used the male-slash-female form or just the male form until recently)

    However, tonight I run into a mental glitch.


    The sentence is the following:

    • The customer asks about it, then he wants to try it for themself
    • The customer asks about it, then he wants to try it for themselves.

    The old me would have written: The customer asks about it, then wants to try it for himself/herself but I realize that nobody speaks like this.


    Wikipedia says both uses are okay, but what's your take on this?

  • I say, the human beings are the most boludos existing on the planet......


    Out of all species, plants and creations, we are the only one who do not know if we are male/female or accept it as it is.


    Any animal would accept being a certain gender and live under that gender the whole life....

    Any plant would know whether it has seeds or pollens or whatever, and how to reproduce and spread.....


    I know you have bi gender animals and homosexual animals, plants that reproduce by itself and and and......but 99.99% would just fall in to the "normal" category.


    It's a real plaque to read about this shit constantly....."I don't know who I am"....."I'm metrosexual" ....."genders dont exist" blablabla....

    I pity our children when they grow up and realize that it's all just bullshit.....


    Beside this statement: I grew up in liberal Denmark, lived in many liberal places in Germany and Amsterdam many years.....I really don't care if someone is gay, homo, trava, mixed, bi or or or.......do what u want, but don't freaking tell me crap....

    I have several gay friends, even black ones hahaha :D.....

    Did this answer your question serafina ????

    Hahaha sorry.......guess not!

  • The correct way to say this would be:

    The customer asks about it and they want to try it for themselves. This is generally used when perhaps the gender of the object of the sentence (the person) isn't known.

    Or

    The customer asks about it and he wants to try it for himself.

    Or

    • The customer asks about it, then they want to try it for themselves.

    I know it's odd to use they for the singular and the non-binaries use it as a convenient PGP - preferred gender pronoun. And it's nothing new by the way.

    https://public.oed.com/blog/a-…history-of-singular-they/


    I welcome Rice input on this.


    Coincidentally, I've just written an article (as yet unpublished) on this subject with particular emphasis on award ceremonies, where male and female categories are soon to be abolished across the board.

    Non-binaries have broken this rule and taken the singular pronoun to the extreme for their own ends and kids all over the world are going to be very confused about gender.

    Does that matter? Of course it does.

  • The correct way to say this would be:

    The customer asks about it and they want to try it for themselves. This is generally used when perhaps the gender of the object of the sentence (the person) isn't known.

    Or

    The customer asks about it and he wants to try it for himself.

    Or

    • The customer asks about it, then they want to try it for themselves.

    Splinter, thank you so much. I found out why my mind wasn't satisfied... you have to put the subject they if you want to use themselves later.

    I am subtitling a series a of short interviews in Italian to shop keepers, and I have space constrains, plus I have to undo the convolute spoken local Italian. Now I see why they ask natives to translate this kind of material!


    The golden rule is to always translate in your native language, except for Open Ends (the market research terms for free text/spoken answers as opposed to single choice or multiple choice or scales).


    This is the first time I am using a subtitling software. It is free and it is called Aegisub.


    As for the gender neutral thing, in romance languages from time to time there is this discussion, but the structure of it doesn't leave much room for gender neutral expression.

    I loathe the whole e/x/@ they use here: it is terrible to read, my mind comes to a halt because it doesn't know how to process it. And I am shocked that in a matter of 2-3 years it has been adopted by Argentinian universities!!!


    Later this month (10/30) there is an event about it at the Colegio de Traductores Públicos de San Isidro. It is free and open to all. I am tempted to attend because it ends with a Workshop on the translation from gender-neutral Spanish to other languages... and i I have no idea what it is.


    But this subject is very hot, and even on the current issue of The Linguist, the official magazine of the Chartered Institute of Linguists of London, there is an article on a gender-neutral experiment with Italian (English article here, pages 8-9). I was not fully satisfied with the solutions provided because they used a symbol I have never used before, and - again - how the heck am I supposed to read it?

    The gender-neutral issue started as a feminist thing, but now it has shifted to non-binary gender as a whole.


    Personally, language is a series of convention, from the signs we trace to compose letters to the rules to combine letters into words, and words into sentences, to gestures and the tone of voice. Once we agree on those rule and we can communicate, it is fine. I don't feel excluded or 'not engaged' if a document uses the male form only.

  • According to the traditional rules of subject/predicate/pronoun agreement, the choice would be either

    1) The customer asks about it and he wants to try it for himself,

    Or

    2) The customers ask about it and they want to try it for themselves.


    The first invites all kinds of protest in gender-neutral discussions, while the second avoids the question altogether. Not very bold & brave, but a pragmatic solution, although one that isn’t always available.

  • Here's where I babble on, but will they listen?

    Should Award Ceremonies Be Gender Neutral?

    I have read your article, and one thing that struck me is that maybe the Oscar ceremonies started adding male and female categories to give female professionals the chance to stand out and win.

    Taking off such division, I agree that it is likely to increase the number of male winners, so maybe it would give a chance to non-binary people but it would take away from female contestants.

    Maybe we should just take off the male category since you are historically winner at life and do not need ceremonies to feel appreciated.;)

  • I just spotted in a mailing list a new trend: gender preference at the bottom of the signature.


    It was something like this:


    John Doe

    New York, New York

    Preferred pronouns: he, his



    :scratchead:

  • sometimes I have a feeling that this whole thing is driven by a fairly small part of the world population....like a minority......just like the whole feminist movements also.

    But when you read about it or see it, you get the impression that it's a huge part of the world that is annoyed about all this....

    I know many women, (because it seems to be lead by feminists, both the gender coding talk and the feminist war and so on), that find it totally ridiculous.....

    I have a feeling it's gonna be a big own goal for many of those involved....... personally when I see one of those panuela Verde lesbians, I really shake my head and think what a boba....

    Already know many don't wanna employ a feminist trouble maker, because you know you will lose on it.....so, really a shot in the foot for that girl......

    It's like serafina said long time ago in a thread, a fashion to be feminist, eat organic and be brain-dead.......hard to survive on in the long term.