thoroughly individuated singular they

Michael Newman Michael.Newman at QC.CUNY.EDU
Wed Feb 19 17:24:22 UTC 2014

My diss way back in the 1990s claimed that singular they added a generic sense to the referent. This (NSFW) Savage Love column has a letter (the third) where the writer’s partner identifies as gender-neutral, and writer uses a singular they  as in

One of our favorite things to do is for me to _____ their___ I leave this sentence incomplete for any delicate sensibilities.

The usage sounds unnatural to me (but it would as it completely violates my hypothesis) but so do the other pronouns proposed for non-cis-gender identified people. Still, worth noting.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list