[Ads-l] Word of the Year 2015: singular "they"

Andrea Morrow aandrea1234 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 9 21:24:20 UTC 2016


A few of Neal's rules don't match some of the usage I've observed among my
trans daughter's friends. For instance, assuming that someone who is
pregnant identifies as female can be problematic. My daughter has friends
who are nonbinary and who identify as male who have uteri and say they may
want children someday. Neither would like to be called by a female pronoun.

Similarly, just knowing  someone does not mean you can call them he or she.
Many nonbinary people prefer they, regardless of how they appear compared
to conventional gender norms. One of my daughter's friends is Ashley, a
very feminine-presenting nonbinary person. They use and prefer they, and
would correct you for using she.

Sent from a mobile device
On Jan 9, 2016 3:51 PM, "Ben Zimmer" <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Word of the Year 2015: singular "they"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Here's a working link to Neal's great piece:
>
>
> http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/dos-and-donts-for-singular-they/
>
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 10:30 AM, Neal Whitman wrote:
> >
> > As I tweeted a few moments ago:=20
> >
> > #woty2016 Maybe a good time to put my 2010 @VisualThesaurus bit on
> singular "=
> > they" out there again: visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/=E2=80=A6
> >
> >
> > > On Jan 9, 2016, at 6:50 AM, Salikoko S. Mufwene wrote:
> > >=20
> > > Are we likely to see/hear "singular /they/" agree with the verb in
> the=20
> > > same way as /he/ and /she/? Is the following construction likely to
> be=20
> > > considered acceptable:
> > >=20
> > > /I wonder whether there is a person here that claimed _they knowS_
> the=20
> > > answer.
> > >=20
> > > /Or will "singular /they/" continue to be referentially singular but=20
> > > syntactically plural?
> > >=20
> > > Sali.
> > >=20
> > >> On 1/9/2016 5:29 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> > >> Here's my writeup of the WOTY voting for Vocabulary.com:
> > >>=20
> > >>
> http://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/they-won-gender-neutral-pro=
> > noun-is-2015-word-of-the-year/
> > >>=20
> > >> The selection is also receiving plenty of media coverage...
> > >>=20
> > >> http://time.com/4173992/word-of-the-year-2015-they/
> > >>
> http://www.businessinsider.com/the-word-they-named-2015-word-of-the-year-=
> > 2016-1
> > >>
> https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/08/donald-trump-may-w=
> > in-this-years-word-of-the-year/
> > >>
> http://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/the-new-word-of-the-year-is-going-to-=
> > upset-some-people.html
> > >>=20
> > >>=20
> > >>> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 8:41 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >>> The Word of the Year for 2015 is "they" used as a gender-neutral
> > >>> singular pronoun. "They" was recognized by the society for its
> > >>> emerging use as a pronoun to refer to a known person, often as a
> > >>> conscious choice by someone rejecting the traditional gender binary
> of
> > >>> "he" and "she."
> > >>>=20
> > >>> Read the press release:
> > >>>
> http://www.americandialect.org/2015-word-of-the-year-is-singular-they
> > >>> Shortcut to PDF: http://bit.ly/ADSWOTY15
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

------------------------------------------------------------
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