1. Earp

    Earp Copy That Contributor

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    Sorry, Still Wrong

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Earp, Mar 28, 2017.

  2. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Given how common it is, it's only a matter of time before the style guides change. After all, style guides are supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive.
     
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no such thing as a singular they if your tent is pitched in the camp of prescriptive grammarianism. Over in the descriptive grammarian camp, singular they is enjoying lively use.

    ETA: It's also really important to note that in the Indo-European spectrum of languages, the repurposing of pronouns to impart other, more subtle meanings is a very, very, very common feature. English is an Indo-European language, ergo...

    ETAA: No one gets their panties in a bunch over the use of you for the singular 2nd person in all occasions, even though we are all perfectly well aware of the evolution of that pronoun. And, insult to injury, when we dropped thou and went with just you for all occasions, we also dropped the subject form ye and went with the object form in all occasions. Madness! Imagine dropping I, he, she, and we, and only ever using me, him, her, and us, even when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. When you use you, that's exactly what you're doing.

    Where's the angry mob for that?
     
  4. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    First, it's "gets," not "get's." Secondly, the Texans have solved this problem once and for all: It's "y'all" for second person singular and plural. Heck, I was watching "Fixer Upper" a while ago, which is a show that deals with Texans, and one of them said, "My kids made these for y'all's kids."

    Y'all. Learn to love it.

    :D
     
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  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, yes, I'm terrible with greengrocer's apostrophes. I admit it. :whistle: :-D
     
  6. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    *greengrocer's apostrophe's
     
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  7. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    And we put you in charge, when?

    By the way, it's not "still" wrong. Prescribing against the singular "they" is relatively modern. It was fine in the past, it will be fine in the future, we're coming toward the end of, oh, a century and a half, maybe two, in which it was primly taught as wrong.
     
  9. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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  10. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I'm struggling to understand the rationale behind "it's okay to refer to a single individual as 'they', but there's still no singular 'they'". What does that make 'they' when it's applied to one person, then? It's obviously not still considered a plural.

    Good thing I don't care about style guides either way :)
     
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  11. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You know, I didn't actually read far enough into the article until I read your comment. The style guides are not talking about the conundrum of not knowing the gender of a person, or referring generically to anyone, without there being a specific gender in question. They're talking about identity politics.

    I'm tapping out at this point. I, personally, was talking only about the traditional engagement of this paradigm as regards syntax agreement and what's doeable when data is missing or not forthcoming.
     
  12. Storysmith

    Storysmith Active Member

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    There's the royal we, too. I wonder why they is the only plural pronoun that people insist can't be used in the singular.
     
  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Theory? Because it most often replaces the "gender neutral" "he". And therefore people see "they" as being something advocated by (gasp! horror!) feminists.
     
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  14. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Why do people use style guide as arbiters of correctness? Consistency within an organisation, sure, but correctness?
    You know it's just some arse sitting in an office making these decisions, right? It doesn't grow on trees.

    You can always just choose another guide to follow.
     
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