[Ads-l] RES: Wokeness and the English language

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Oct 21 20:47:34 UTC 2021

Lots of dialects have the former feature, but given that singular “they” has been in common use for indefinite singular antecedents since Chaucer, Shakespeare, Swift, Austen, et al, I find it difficult to believe there are all that many speakers of the latter dialect. Of course there are differences as to just which sort of singular antecedents “they” can have for which speakers, but a dialect with no singular “they” is hard to credit.


> On Oct 21, 2021, at 4:33 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> At what point do the different styles diverge into separate dialects?
> "You misgendered me!"
> "No, I was speaking a dialect of English in which 'zir' does not exist, and 'they' is always plural."
> ----
> Well, what scared me about the article is that it described what I have
> observed. I saw no claims that were beyond the reality I have observed. I
> just had not read anything that gathered them all together. If he missed
> some linguistic history, I don't think that affects the value of his
> comments about present events. Cancel-culture linguistic mania is way over
> the top, and social media is allowing the tail to wag the dog. "One guy with
> a twitter account..."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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