[Ads-l] Preferred Pronoun--pragmatics and policy

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 10 13:31:12 EDT 2016


"They" would be - and is - fine, and has been for decades, if not longer.

It says something about the minds behind the "preferred pronoun" movement
that they reject singular but universally familiar "they" for being
"ungrammatical," while insisting on offering a galaxy of (sometimes
seemingly unpronounceable) neologisms, whose primary effect seems to be to
emphasize and advertise the sexual preferences of the bearer. (Something
new in comparative linguistics, no?)

Personally I want to be referred to by the pronoun "srkx" (poss.,
"srkx's").  Pronunciation on request.  I feel dissed and offended when
referred to by anything else. Those who do so are trying to deny my
humanity and colonize my mind.

JL

On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 1:16 PM, Flourish Klink <flourish.klink at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I certainly agree with the problem of unique pronouns (someone I knew once
> wanted "ou," which I did my best to comply with but *really *found almost
> impossible), but I always wonder: Why not use "they," which has been
> perfectly serviceable as a pronoun for people whose gender is unknown for
> ages? (I'm sure there is a good reason and someone on this list will tell
> me—but it's evaded me thus far, despite many discussions with many clever
> people.)
>
> As for everything else, I would point out that for those of us who are cis
> and yet sometimes misgendered, sharing this information saves a lot of
> embarrassment. Not embarrassment on my part (I don't care if you call me
> male! I'm fully aware that I can look boyish) but on the part of people who
> really don't want to get it wrong. It's really awkward when someone calls
> you "sir," then insists on a twenty-minute apology session.
>
> On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 12:42 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > "[A]n August [2015] post on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion's
> website
> > that encouraged UT faculty, staff and students to be 'welcoming and
> > inclusive for all' by not assuming gender identity and by asking for
> > preferred pronouns, including the gender-neutral options like 'xe,' 'xem'
> > and  'xyr.'"
> >
> > My two cents: LGBTQ students should be allowed to choose from "he" and
> > "she," as they prefer.
> >
> > All else is vanity and will result in confusion, chaos, and resentment
> far
> > beyond any presumed therapeutic benefit for individuals or society. LGBTQ
> > persons (and anybody else) not satisfied with "he" or "she" can, if they
> > wish, try to persuade everyone they meet to use any arcane novelty
> pronoun
> > of their choice.
> >
> > ...knowing they are probably encouraging a right-wing populist uprising
> > down the road.
> >
> > JL
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 10:07 AM, Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > It's rare that the two aspects of my life intersect, but here's a
> > question
> > > that involves both the IT policy and the American English and
> > > sociolinguistic sides.
> > >
> > > Our university, like many others, is instituting a system where
> students
> > > and staff can choose a 'Preferred Name' which will then show up on
> class
> > > rosters, grade lists, and other 'public-facing' web documents. The
> legal
> > > name will remain hidden except for  those pages that need to display it
> > > (such as social security, financial aid, bank accounts etc.). This is
> not
> > > difficult to do (aside from some programming on the back end.)
> > >
> > > However, there has also been a request for people to be able to set a
> > > 'preferred pronoun'. This is generally an issue for transgendered
> > students,
> > > who are trying to avoid being referred to by the incorrectly gendered
> > > pronoun. And, of course, since we are  in the 2010's, there are also
> some
> > > experimental non-gendered pronouns floating around.
> > >
> > > So I have several questions:
> > >
> > > If you are at a university which has instituted 'preferred pronoun',
> what
> > > choices does your university give to those who choose one?
> > >
> > > How is this information conveyed to those who need to see it? Preferred
> > > names show up on class rosters, advisement pages, grade submission
> pages
> > > and so on. But there's no place in those pages for 'pronoun'.
> > >
> > > We could add a field there, but how do we populate it? By putting
> > > something there we announce that the person has chosen one (for the
> usual
> > > Gricean reasons), and thus violate their privacy.
> > >
> > > But if we populate that field for everyone, we'd either have to make
> all
> > > 30K faculty, staff and students choose one (and have to hound those who
> > > refused) or we'd have to guess for the 99.9% who didn't choose, and
> given
> > > the number of gender-neutral first  names (Kim, Lee, Kaoru) we'd likely
> > > guess wrong and annoy lots of other people.
> > >
> > >
> > > Thoughts? Please reply off-list, as this is likely not of much interest
> > to
> > > the majority of listmembers.
> > >
> > >
> > > Geoff
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Geoffrey S. Nathan
> > > WSU Information Privacy Officer
> > > Professor, Linguistics Program
> > > http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
> > > +1 (313) 577-1259 <(313)%20577-1259>
> > >
> > > Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send
> it
> > > to anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email  looks.
> > >
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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