I look forward to a day when “he” and “she” sound as quaint and archaic to our ears as “thou” does today.


7 thoughts on “Singular

  1. I for one…and one for all. Er…I mean, writing “he or she” so many times can be such a pain when describing a hypothetical individual, but I have to admit that writing “they” feels wrong to me. Pretty much none of my editors like “one”, and it seems wrong to write “it”. Wouldn’t be the first time I have completely reconstructed a sentence to avoid writing “he or she” (because I am an idiot).

  2. A linguist would probably tell you that “he” is the proper form of the general, non-gender-specific pronoun. That it happens to be spelled the same way as the masculine form is merely a vestige of the language’s evolution, and not an indication of current prejudice; a distinction which cuts no ice whatsoever with truculent feminists who insist on forms like “womyn.” (Why don’t these same people bridle at the use of ‘s for the possessive, since it’s a contraction of “his”? Having developed a society where females are allowed to own things,shouldn’t we be using ‘r for them?)
    How’s my pedantometer reading now? 🙂

    • Curious how the vagaries of linguistic (and social, economic, and political) evolution so often tend to leave us with vestiges that are convenient for whatever group happens to be in a position of wealth and power, ain’t it?

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