[Ads-l] Gender-neutral pronouns was :Mx to be sanctified by the OED

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Tue May 12 17:24:06 UTC 2015


On 5/12/15 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Mon, 11 May 2015 10:53:45 -0400
> From:    Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Gender-neutral pronouns was :Mx to be sanctified by the OED
>
>> >On May 11, 2015, at 10:35 AM, Joel Berson<berson at att.net>  wrote:
>> >
>> >Can someone define, and provide etymology
> and pronunciation guides?
> I'm hoping the "x" in the first group has the same value it has in the Xhosa consonantal inventory, as a lateral click (more or less the sound an equestrian makes to render "giddy-up").
>
> Safe prediction: These options will ultimately end up as three more versions of what Dennis Baron calls "The Word That Failed"
>
> --LH, who's perfectly happy with they/them/their (unmarked for number)
>
>> >for, these pronouns for this naïveté?  Are they simply gender-neutral?
>> >Joel
I was a poor field worker and did not collect prons. As for etys: I 
think it's clearly through the processes of clipping and substitution. 
Yes, I think they're supposed to be simply gender-neutral. I am 
similarly naive, and I find that while my own idiolect allows for 
singular they when there's an indefinite pronoun, I have difficulty 
singular they when talking to/about a definite, particular person, and 
yes, I've been in the situation where talking to an acquaintance about 
her partner, she used "they" to refer to the individual. I had great 
difficulty following that use because of the notional agreement.

---Amy West
>> >      From: Amy West<medievalist at W-STS.COM>
>> >To:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU  
>> >Sent: Monday, May 11, 2015 8:06 AM
>> >Subject: [ADS-L] Gender-neutral pronouns was :Mx to be sanctified by the OED
>> >
>> >
>> >In January I was at Arisia, a Boston fan-run SF con and they had pronoun
>> >ribbons for attendees/members to wear attached to their badges: In
>> >addition to the male/female singular (he/him/his; she/her/hers) and
>> >plural options (they/them/theirs) there were:
>> >
>> >xe/xem/xyrs
>> >ey/em/eirs
>> >ze/zir/zirs
>> >
>> >---Amy West
>> >
>> >------------------------------------------------------------
>> >The American Dialect Society -https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=9EJI2kIcJe-mKRcZ5J8aNkJB0pM_r7oiwmGa_eErHTU&s=JpM00mbFCa3nIHPz_K5AMbhxMG1JuDHHzNczx9Lc-4I&e=  
>> >
>> >
>> >------------------------------------------------------------
>> >The American Dialect Society -https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=9EJI2kIcJe-mKRcZ5J8aNkJB0pM_r7oiwmGa_eErHTU&s=JpM00mbFCa3nIHPz_K5AMbhxMG1JuDHHzNczx9Lc-4I&e=  
>> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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