The Singular They is Now Officially Correct

So have you heard? According to the Washington Post and other sources,  you now don’t have to worry about awkward he/she him/her sentences but can now use the gender neutral they/them.  on The World’s Greatest Book has the details in his post dated JI personally am a fan, although it will take some getting used to. How about you? Will you switch over?

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The Singular They is Now Officially Correct

peace,union and frienship concept (I, You, Them, Big Family) on a corkboard with color notes

Find your favorite writer and give them this message: They no longer have to mire their writing down with awkward “his or her” and “he or she” and “he/she” usages. According to The Washington Post, the singular they/them has been adopted as officially correct English by over 200 linguists at the American Dialect Society. The Washington Post has already integrated the new rule into its style guide.

Traditionally, they and them have been plural, referring to groups of more than one person. When referring to one person of unknown gender, the generic masculine served well until feminists took issue with practice.

Find a teacher in the hall and give this gift to him. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.


Find a teacher in the hall and give this gift to him or her. I'm sure he or she will appreciate it.

Speed bumps? No. You know those tire shredders they have at car rental facilities that prevent drivers of stolen cars from driving out the entrances? What a quandary! Is eviscerating our sentences truly a sign of respect for women? Good prose is music. This is noise. Some settling of contents occurs during shipping and handling. Not good.

Other solutions employ slashes:

Find a teacher in the hall and give this gift to him/her. I'm sure he/she will appreciate it.

Some writers (I confess I’ve used this technique at times) began to use or alternate using the generic feminine singular instead of the generic masculine. I can’t accurately estimate what proportion of women were offended by the generic masculine, but I never met a man who felt at all excluded or diminished when the generic feminine was used. I suppose that’s patronizing, but it puts the melody back in the prose and sidesteps the offensive usage—at least for those who are offended by it.

Read the full post on The World’s Greatest Book

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