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02 08

March 13th, 2015, 2:45 pm

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Author's Comments:

Posted by cinnamonsnaps

@'Ryn: I understand where you're coming from, but "they" singular is often the easiest option for NB/agender people to ask other people to use, especially as many native English speakers already use the singular they in casual conversation subconsciously.
While n, z and x pronouns make things much less confusing regarding grammar, until we live in a world which accepts gender outside of the binary then they're going to be pretty impractical outside of LGBTQIA spaces.
However, I do agree with you. Using the singular they is a writing challenge and you really have to get creative to keep things clear sometimes! :)

Posted at November 18th, 2015, 2:10 am

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Posted at July 19th, 2018, 4:29 pm

Reader's Comments:

Posted by annanndstann

ooooooooooo discomfort alert

Posted at March 13th, 2015, 4:24 pm

Posted by 'Ryn

Personally, I hate the singular they. It's confusing and also feels, um...almost as impersonal as "it." I wrote a short story that, for all it's other themes, was ultimately a hate letter to the singular they - eight characters, seventeen pages, no third person pronouns at all.

I prefer the "n" set of third person pronouns, though I'm also okay with the "z" set, the "x" set is too confusing, because pronunciation ("xi" in Chinese is "sh", soo...), so I hate that it seems to be the most popular after "they."

Maybe I should just move to Japan so I don't have to worry about it ever again.

Posted at November 17th, 2015, 9:35 pm

Posted by 'Ryn

I'm leaning heavily toward agender/neutrois myself. I haven't gotten to the point of ditching "she," but having certain gendered words applied to me (especially "woman") already triggers a visceral negative feeling, so I may well end up doing that eventually.

My main hate-on for singular "they" is that to me it feels almost as dehumanizing as "it." It's impersonal; like the collective label of "non-binary" replaces the identity as an individual. That's probably the main reason I'm so hesitant to abandon "she," if I'm honest about it; as much as "she" doesn't really fit, "they" would be a hundred times worse.

When people use singular "they" in casual conversation, and it's not referring to a non-binary person, it's usually referring to a hypothetical person, and that's reasonably sensible, because that hypothetical space could be filled by more than one person. But to me that just reinforces the feeling of non-personhood the word gives me.

Also "they" being the default makes me feel like everyone's just given up on making real pronouns and therefore a real space in language for the non-binary. I think the excuse that using constructed pronouns is impractical outside of LGBTQIA spaces is a bad argument, since it already results in confusion and push back; not to mention establishing singular "they" early on will make it infinitely harder to change it once gender outside of the binary is more accepted.

Posted at December 12th, 2015, 4:32 am

I'm dead

Posted at February 14th, 2017, 8:20 pm

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