1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Wishing for New Grammar

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cacian, Jan 2, 2012.

    1) There are things that I think about sometimes in Grammar that I wan to be in existence to make life easier

    for example


    I would like a new pronoun that means both a HE and a SHE.
    A feminin for THEY (just for she)
    a Masculin for THEY)just for he)
    then for both (he and she)


    2) and things I wish were not there like

    Semi-colomn;
    capital letters


    but of course I live in hope:D

    any more ideas sometimes you wish were there and not?
     
  2. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Any reason why you'd want these things. "They" suffices for the few times you need a gender neutral pronoun. And what's wrong with capital letters and semi-colons?
     
  3. arron89
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    There have been gender neutral pronouns since the 19th century, they just never catch on with the English speaking population at large.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Yes.
    A gender neutral pronoun would mean that my story is not stereotyped.
    For example that romance is not juts a man to woman.
    It would also let my reader decide for themselves wether the character is either a man/woman/both.
    It is a kind of light suspense if you like. I know I would like to read a story where for example there is a she character, then a He character then a gender neutral character too.
    It appeals to me because I like to guess for myself as I am reading.
    The semi colomn because I never use it and because it is either it gives me time to trouble over it which I don't like doing.
    capitals is for 'cosmetic purposes'
    I prefer to have all my letters all the same level, plus when talking no one cares about capitals. All words sounds the same regardless of hwo they are spelt.
    for example
    this looks easy on the eye for me
    the door closed gently and he appeared unharmed. the door bell rang...
    as oppose to
    The door closed gently and he appeared unharmed.The door bell rang....
     
  5. VM80
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    I've experimented with something like that in a short story recently.

    I used 'they' and their (unisex) name to do that, until the very last sentence. Not too easy, but manageable. I'm not sure I could write anything longer like that though.
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you don't like English, you can always use a different language somewhere else.

    As for gender-neutral pronouns, that's why we have 'zhe'. And you don't need a feminine or masculine form for 'they'. It's gender neutral and serves pretty much any purpose for a group of people. It's not the fault of the language if you can't use it well.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    My second language, Turkish, is gender-neutral. It doesn't make it any 'easier'--just a lot more wordy sometimes. Let's celebrate the English we already have...
     
  8. AmsterdamAssassin
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    Dream on. At least it would be stereotyped as 'experimental'.

    Not true. There's a difference between the lord and the Lord, down to the pronunciation. Same as with him and Him. If you don't pronounce capitalized words different from non-capitalized words, that doesn't mean everyone else does so as well.

    Perhaps it's time you adjust to the world, instead of trying to adjust the world to yourself...
     
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  9. Cacian
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    If you do not like what I say then you can look somehwere else.
    Like stop yourself from posting.
    THEY is what you mean and NO that is not what I am talking about.
     
  10. Cacian
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  11. Cacian
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    can you elaborate a bit more..
     
  12. Cacian
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    what are unisex names?
    do you have an example of the piece you wrote to see what it reads like.
     
  13. LTC
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    Er, what exactly are you talking about, in any case? I was under the impression you sought a gender-neutral pronoun that could apply to either gender, or none at all. "They" would suffice. "Zhe", while it appears to be shunned by those few who are aware of its existence, also meets those requirements.

    Also, unisex names are names that can apply to either gender, such as Jamie, Morgan, Jordan, etc. So instead of having to seek a gender-neutral pronoun, you can simply say "Jamie said" or "Jamie thought" or "Jamie did this". Which allows for not a lot of variety, but still solves the problem to a certain extent.
     
  14. Cacian
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    This does not suffice because it is not singular but plural.
    They also can be masculin/feminim or masculin/masculin or feminim/feminim so it is no good to me.

    what is this?
     
  15. LTC
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    I'm hardly qualified to discuss the subject, but using "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is generally accepted throughout the modern world. You won't(or rather, shouldn't) be chastised for using it as such while writing.

    And "zhe", from what I understand, was proposed as a gender-neutral pronoun, because people had qualms with using "they" for that very purpose(due to the fact it was initially a plural pronoun). It doesn't seem to be held in high regard though.
     
  16. cruciFICTION
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    Actually, 'zhe' is what I mean, and it is a gender neutral pronoun which you can use.

    No, you wouldn't be chastised for using "they", but it does sound more like a plural than a singular. 'Zhe' is a gender-neutral pronoun with no sense of plurality. It's strictly singular. I don't understand why it's not held "in high regard", personally. I only figure that it's the usual sense of disruption that people feel when someone "changes" things with language. That said, it adds something new that makes sense. 'nuff said.
     
  17. shadowwalker
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    Perhaps not followed blindly, as there are instances where the rules can be ignored, such as in dialogue. However, we can't just ignore them on a whim or because we want to. Grammar is what allows people to understand what is being said or written; without those rules language becomes chaos. Every language has its set of grammatical rules to follow. Simply because one has a problem with a given language does not mean they have carte blanche to change it to suit themselves.
     
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  18. VM80
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    Names that can be used for either sex. I used Ashley.

    So I used the name instead of 'he' or 'she', was careful not to use his/ her etc.

    BTW, 'they' can be used as singular in that sense. I think it always sounds a bit colloquial, but perfectly fine to use.
     
  19. shadowwalker
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    Honestly, I've never heard of "zhe" before this discussion. If I were to read that, I'd think it was a typo. So am I totally behind the times or is it something relatively new - or was it something tried and discarded so quickly I never got exposed to it?
     
  20. Cacian
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    I first thought it was a play on accent.
    Lots of French speaker slip into 'ZEE' accent when they say THE or THEY so I straight away thought he meant that but now I Know.
     
  21. Amr M. Abdu
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    The semicolon has many grammatical and stylistic functions; why in the world do you hate it? I could write an essay on its importance; don't tempt me. :D

    And capitalization is VERY important; haven't you seen my thread that defines punctuation as the difference between 'I helped my uncle jack off the horse' and 'I helped my uncle Jack off the horse'?

    Your new grammar would lead to confusion and ambiguity. I think English is great as it is.
     
  22. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Actually you can. If him, is used in a sentence the word is glossed over and generally not given much importance. Him is given a lot more emphasis. It's generally used to refer to someone that the other characters don't like to mention directly, or else when it's very obvious who they're referring to. If you've heard something like in dialogue you can tell quite clearly when it's meant as a capital.
     
  23. LTC
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    That's largely based upon the context of the conversation, though, and not the actual pronunciation of the word itself.
     
  24. Cacian
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    Oh I see.
    I am thinking it is hard to only use ONE style as in just names.
    Any reasons why you attempted it?
     
  25. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I do not understand its usage even in my first language and have never needed to use it hence my questioning over why not just afull stop or a comme because a semi-column is actually a full stop and a comma at the same time.
    That is why it is confusing. Why do I need to stop and comma at the same time?

    Here the only difference I see is that One has a DOT and the other has not.
    How do you justify the DOT of j as oppose to J?
    You cann't just get rid of the DOT ....now you got me thinking...of dear...

    I am really baffled.
    I personally, when I talk, have no awarness that I am using a capital or not and for that I would not be able to tell if someone else is doing that.
     

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