[Ads-l] More Facebookery

Mark Mandel mark.a.mandel at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 28 06:01:51 UTC 2018

On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 2:40 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ...
> If you live long enough actually to see your language deteriorating - er,
> _evolving_ - right before your very eyes, it can be disconcerting, if not
> seriously annoying. E.g., an actress in a commercial has just said, "Teach
> them to love _themself_." And this is hardly a unique example. The
> replacement of _-selves_ by _-self_ appears to be proceeding apace.

To be precise, with singular "they", i.e., the use of "they" to avoid
specifying gender for a singular or possibly singular referent. At least, I
*hope* we're not having "themself" used with a plural referent! In Wilson's
example there's no way to tell.

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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