language change

In Defense of the Singular, Genderless ‘They’

They has a long and noble history in English, going back to  at least the 1200s in writing and certainly much further back in the spoken tongue. And as early as the time of Chaucer, they was used to denote a singular person. Shakespeare used it that way too. More recently, the American Dialect Society has given their imprimatur to singular they.

Just as singular they is  finally starting to get its fair shakes, a new use is arising: the genderless pronoun. Read more about that here:  ‘They’: the singular pronoun that could solve sexism in English | Books | The Guardian

The Singular “They”

Down with the generic ‘he’. Down with ‘he or she’ and ‘s/he’. Long live the singular ‘they’! This change cannot become standard soon enough. I mean, we use the singular ‘you’ for the plural as well, so what’s the issue, eh?

NPR agrees.


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