New pronouns for those without genitals?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Bowser, Oct 8, 2016.

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  1. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Formal written English has long had a problem referring to people of uncertain or irrelevant gender - strangers unmet, unknown selection from a mixed group, the actions of an unknown agent, etc. - in that it lacks a gender neutral third party singular pronoun.

    The informal, vernacular solution has long been to borrow the plural, and most native speakers do this unconsciously and automatically - to the point that saying English lacks such a pronoun is a bit misleading, as there is one in widespread and ordinary use by even the best and most accomplished writers and speakers.

    For some reason, rather than codify this and regularize it the influential intellectual elite (almost entirely made up of men, at the time, which may have been the source of the blind spot) decided to forbid it.

    And so when things get even more complicated than "unknown", the language lacks even a starting point for the vernacular to adapt.

    But it probably will. Because the "our" in "our language" proves it is possible, as well as necessary.
     
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  5. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Doesn't "it" suffice for any uncertainty? I have twice seen individuals whose true gender I could not determine from their appearance. In such situations, is it appropriate to ask? Is that possible without insult?

     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    No. No. And No.
     
  8. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Slim pickins with that reply. In other words you disagree, or you partially agree...? I just don't see a need to invent knew pronouns for the benefit of a minute percentage of the population. Also, how common is it for people to ask each other their preferred pronouns? I have an appointment with Lori on Tuesday. I don't know her personally, but is it safe to assume that she identifies with female pronouns, or must I double check with her on that issue before running on assumption? What is the possibility that her gender identity is other than what we might assume?

    Is it really necessary to introduce new pronouns when all odds would predict they will never be used; that is, unless we are writing a blog or creating a video for Tumblr?
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You asked three questions, the answer to each was "No".

    And that is a nice, polite, and sufficient response - consider that you were asking whether you could simply refer to anyone whose gender you did not know as "it". No, that won't do, ok?
     
  10. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Didn't you previously get a warning for being an offensive bigot, Bowser?
     
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  11. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Oh yeah!




    YOU HAVE THE POWER!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Some languages have just a non-specific pronoun for third person singular - while some have genders for the plural, as well as inanimate, obviously genderless, objects. Some use prefixes and suffixes to designate a subject or object that is not named. People can communicate in all different ways, and learn other, very differently structured languages even in adulthood.
    This shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. We use the pronoun "they" for unknown gender, and it works reasonably well. Some people object to s/he, and you can't use it in speech anyway. We use "one" in place of any unspecified actor, including self.
    I prefer "one" as a general singular pronoun, since it's unambiguous.
     
  13. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, yes, we know that you are an asshole that doesn't really care what other people want.
     
  14. Bells Staff Member

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    Mod Note

    Thread closed for the pure trolling nature and bigotry of it all. We know you, Bowser, we know how you operate.

    Your title is offensive, your OP and subsequent posts are offensive.
     
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