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Old 1st August 2020, 02:21 PM   #481
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
To which the obvious objection is that "it" strikes the ears as objectifying/dehumanizing, much like menstruator.

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Like I said, people need to get over it. If they are going to be offended anyway they might as well be offended by a word with no connotations. That way everyone can be offended by the same word. Keeps things simple. Everyone gets objectified/dehumanized in exactly the same way.

Anyway, this whole thread is really about using pronouns differently from their original intent. Change the meaning of it and a single word is sufficient for any situation.
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Old 1st August 2020, 02:30 PM   #482
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The perfect trans pronouns!

Actually They could appropriate the royal We for Themselves. First person, second person, and third person as well. With towering initial capitals, but otherwise unchanged. The capitals would be enough to set them apart.

They would, in the process :

(a) Help put another nail in the concept of monarchy. An incidental, additional plus. (That odious institution, while no more than a harmless joke and a tourist attraction in Europe and the Anglosphere, still has some teeth left in other parts of the world. Teeth that sometimes do bite, and often glint menacingly in the background. I'm thinking Thailand, but I suppose some other places as well.)

(b) Combine Their cause with a sense of humor. Water down the stridency, without watering down Their cause.

(c) Gain ready/readier acceptibility for Their pronouns, and in the process Their cause. The gimmicky nature of this stunt would draw attention, most of it, I think, in sum, positive.

(d) They'd get easy early traction if They could get the actual royals to fall in. The Queen, although a sweet old lady, is unlikely to give in, IMO. Charles might be more amenable.

Last edited by Chanakya; 1st August 2020 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 1st August 2020, 02:37 PM   #483
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Further to the above, different pronouns are used depending on whether the person being referenced is present or absent. When talking to a person who is present I tend to useyou almost exclusively. Nothing remotely offensive there. If I am discussing a person who is not present it makes absolutely no difference to them what pronoun I use as that person (it ) is completely unaware.

For clarity, in my world anybody can identify however they want. Makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to me. I have no reason to criticize or object to anyone’s self identity. My 18yo daughter is “testing the water” a little right now. I am fine with whatever she settles on. Regardless of what she settles on her particular pronoun(s) are very unlikely to be used by me in reference to her during any conversations with her, other than discussions specifically about her self-identity.
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Old 1st August 2020, 02:42 PM   #484
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Actually They could appropriate the royal We for Themselves. First person, second person, and third person as well. With towering initial capitals, but otherwise unchanged. The capitals would be enough to set them apart.

They would, in the process :

(a) Help put another nail in the concept of monarchy. An incidental, additional plus. (That odious institution, while no more than a harmless joke and a tourist attraction in Europe and the Anglosphere, still has some teeth left in other parts of the world. Teeth that sometimes do bite, and often glint menacingly in the background. I'm thinking Thailand, but I suppose some other places as well.)

(b) Combine Their cause with a sense of humor. Water down the stridency, without watering down Their cause.

(c) Gain ready/readier acceptibility for Their pronouns, and in the process Their cause. The gimmicky nature of this stunt would draw attention, most of it, I think, in sum, positive.

(d) They'd get easy early traction if They could get the actual royals to fall in. The Queen, although a sweet old lady, is unlikely to give in, IMO. Charles might be more amenable.
I could go with that. Of course it doesn’t help with pronouns that other people use for them, although I suppose Majesty could work for first, second, and third person.

I sure hope Tragic Monkey isn’t following this thread.
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Old 1st August 2020, 03:42 PM   #485
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I sure hope Tragic Monkey isn’t following this thread.
Not any more. Some things get too silly even for me to bother with.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 05:14 AM   #486
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Further to the above, different pronouns are used depending on whether the person being referenced is present or absent. When talking to a person who is present I tend to useyou almost exclusively. Nothing remotely offensive there. If I am discussing a person who is not present it makes absolutely no difference to them what pronoun I use as that person (it ) is completely unaware.

For clarity, in my world anybody can identify however they want. Makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to me. I have no reason to criticize or object to anyone’s self identity. My 18yo daughter is “testing the water” a little right now. I am fine with whatever she settles on. Regardless of what she settles on her particular pronoun(s) are very unlikely to be used by me in reference to her during any conversations with her, other than discussions specifically about her self-identity.
Would you be fine with your daughter taking testosterone?
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Old 2nd August 2020, 06:23 AM   #487
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
Would you be fine with your daughter taking testosterone?
My only concern would be that she takes it safely. If it helps her to be comfortable with her identity and it is physically safe for her then yes, I would be fine with her taking prescribed doses under the supervision of a physician.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 06:28 AM   #488
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post

Secondly, if you'd read even the first paragraph of the link, you'd see that "Mx" is actually used widely in the UK. It's used by the government, the majority of banks, and many other businesses and institutions, especially the biggest.
The Wikipedia page said ‘widely accepted’, which is not the same as ‘widely used’; interesting to learn of it, but I’ve never seen it before as far as I can recall.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 07:00 AM   #489
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
The Wikipedia page said ‘widely accepted’, which is not the same as ‘widely used’; interesting to learn of it, but I’ve never seen it before as far as I can recall.
I'm not even sure "widely accepted" is quite accurate. How many people are involved in such a decision, at a major bank? Six or seven? A dozen or so, if it's something socially contentious? A few PR folks, a few HR folks, a lawyer, an executive or two to sign off on it... I doubt it went to a vote of the shareholders, let alone the 230,000 or so rank and file at the bank.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 10:34 PM   #490
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Further to the above, different pronouns are used depending on whether the person being referenced is present or absent. When talking to a person who is present I tend to useyou almost exclusively. Nothing remotely offensive there. If I am discussing a person who is not present it makes absolutely no difference to them what pronoun I use as that person (it ) is completely unaware.
Right, they are unaware at that time. But if you misgender someone to another person, they are more likely to misgender that person as well. And sometimes you do refer to someone by their pronoun when they are present.

Originally Posted by Steve View Post
For clarity, in my world anybody can identify however they want. Makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to me. I have no reason to criticize or object to anyone’s self identity. My 18yo daughter is “testing the water” a little right now. I am fine with whatever she settles on. Regardless of what she settles on her particular pronoun(s) are very unlikely to be used by me in reference to her during any conversations with her, other than discussions specifically about her self-identity.
To be clear - that you have no problem with other people referring to you however they want has no effect on other people, who may well have a problem with that. And if your daughter does choose a pronoun, you would (in my opinion) be a bad dad not to use it.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 05:04 AM   #491
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Right, they are unaware at that time. But if you misgender someone to another person, they are more likely to misgender that person as well. And sometimes you do refer to someone by their pronoun when they are present.

To be clear - that you have no problem with other people referring to you however they want has no effect on other people, who may well have a problem with that. And if your daughter does choose a pronoun, you would (in my opinion) be a bad dad not to use it.
I really do not give two ***** about all the little things that may trigger the delicate sensibilities of the vast number of strangers on this planet. I do try to be respectful to all but there are limits beyond which it becomes impractical. I doubt that gender ID is much of an issue for over 99% of people. If A says something to B who repeats it to C and D happens to overhear it and becomes offended, that is D’s problem and no one else’s.

As I said upthread, it is a very usable third-person pronoun. The word applies equally to every person and shows no bias whatsoever. Saves the trouble of memorizing a long list of pronouns to apply to people you will never know. My concern for the gender ID of complete strangers ends at trying to find a neutral term that encompasses all equally. It fits the bill nicely.

Now, in the real, everyday trivial world I do not really use the word it to refer to a person. For example, if I am out with my wife and l happen to say “I like the hat he (or she) is wearing” the gender ID word that I use is actually the least important word in my statement. It saves me from the totally impractical action of approaching the person to determine their actual gender ID, and is trivially based on their general presentation/appearance that they have chosen for public display.
There are a certain very, very small number of people in my life who actually matter to me. You may be able to understand that my daughter is one of them. I have a tendency to treat those very few people with a lot more care and concern than I apply to the unwashed masses. Consider and try to understand this before you bring up your suggestion of “bad dad”.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 04:59 PM   #492
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Indeed, and even if you succeed in getting a neologism out there into the world and used by people, once it is out you are no longer an authority on how it gets used. Ask that guy who thinks his invention is pronounced "Jiff". Sorry, everyone else calls it "Gif".
Yeah, he's not going to win that one. It stands for "Graphical user interface" (IIRC?) That first G is a hard G. Obviously it's "Gif"
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Old 3rd August 2020, 05:43 PM   #493
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Yeah, he's not going to win that one. It stands for "Graphical user interface" (IIRC?) That first G is a hard G. Obviously it's "Gif"
Ummm... that's GUI, not GIF. GIF is Graphical Interchange Format.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 06:14 PM   #494
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I really do not give two ***** about all the little things that may trigger the delicate sensibilities of the vast number of strangers on this planet. I do try to be respectful to all but there are limits beyond which it becomes impractical. I doubt that gender ID is much of an issue for over 99% of people. If A says something to B who repeats it to C and D happens to overhear it and becomes offended, that is D’s problem and no one else’s.
Appeal to unpopularity?

If I call you an ass and you get offended by that, it's not your problem for being offended, it's my problem for calling you an ass in the first place.

Originally Posted by Steve View Post
As I said upthread, it is a very usable third-person pronoun. The word applies equally to every person and shows no bias whatsoever. Saves the trouble of memorizing a long list of pronouns to apply to people you will never know. My concern for the gender ID of complete strangers ends at trying to find a neutral term that encompasses all equally. It fits the bill nicely.
"It" is dehumanising. "It" is what you call an inanimate object. That said, I'm sure that there'll be someone somewhere who will choose it as their pronoun, because humans be humans.

Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Now, in the real, everyday trivial world I do not really use the word it to refer to a person. For example, if I am out with my wife and l happen to say “I like the hat he (or she) is wearing” the gender ID word that I use is actually the least important word in my statement. It saves me from the totally impractical action of approaching the person to determine their actual gender ID, and is trivially based on their general presentation/appearance that they have chosen for public display.
And if that gender presentation is ambiguous? Why not say "I like the hat they are wearing."? The great thing about "they" is that it is universal. You don't have to establish who they are before using it. See? I just used it without establishing who I'm talking about.

Originally Posted by Steve View Post
There are a certain very, very small number of people in my life who actually matter to me. You may be able to understand that my daughter is one of them. I have a tendency to treat those very few people with a lot more care and concern than I apply to the unwashed masses. Consider and try to understand this before you bring up your suggestion of “bad dad”.
What I'm reading here is "I don't care about people, only about me and mine". It strikes me as rather selfish. I mean look at your language here. Literally everybody on the planet apart from a "very, very small number of people" is unwashed masses. Your contempt is showing.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 06:15 PM   #495
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Ummm... that's GUI, not GIF. GIF is Graphical Interchange Format.
The argument is the same.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 07:21 PM   #496
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Appeal to unpopularity?

If I call you an ass and you get offended by that, it's not your problem for being offended, it's my problem for calling you an ass in the first place.

"It" is dehumanising. "It" is what you call an inanimate object. That said, I'm sure that there'll be someone somewhere who will choose it as their pronoun, because humans be humans.

And if that gender presentation is ambiguous? Why not say "I like the hat they are wearing."? The great thing about "they" is that it is universal. You don't have to establish who they are before using it. See? I just used it without establishing who I'm talking about.

What I'm reading here is "I don't care about people, only about me and mine". It strikes me as rather selfish. I mean look at your language here. Literally everybody on the planet apart from a "very, very small number of people" is unwashed masses. Your contempt is showing.
Well your reading is accurate and you have me pegged. Seriously. It is a fact that I am quite selfish. Most people in this world mean very little to me. I wish them no ill but I am very unlikely to go very far out of my way to accommodate them either. I have no contempt. I just plain don’t care. I also don’t care that some people may dislike that I am selfish. My selfishness, to a very large degree, is also irrelevant to most people because it is not apparent during my dealings with them. I have no trouble being pleasant and civil with strangers. It eases my dealings with them in the everyday world and I have no reason to make our encounters unpleasant. I seldom socialize because I find it boring. I have a very small number of friends and I like it that way.

Shrinks, both pro and amateur, would probably say I have some kind of personality disorder and may even hang a name on it. Makes no difference to me. I have survived 66 pleasant years on this planet. I have no enemies (that I am aware of) in spite of my outlook. Some few people, such as yourself, may come away from an encounter with me thinking I am an ass, or other similar disparaging descriptor. They are probably right and I would not waste my time arguing about it. If, on occasion, I happen to unwittingly offend some stranger because I have not wasted my life learning the intricacies of language peculiar to all the myriad small communities of people who think they deserve special treatment that is much more their problem, not mine. There is no reason my ignorance should matter to them. They have no more reason to care what I say than I have to care what they say.

I hope I am quite clear. People are just not as special as they like to think they are.

Now, addressing a couple of other points in your post;

In my experience, ambiguous gender presentation in my everyday world is so uncommon as to not exist. Yes, it exists in abundance in certain communities. Those communities and I never seem to encounter each other. I know from discussions with my daughter that if she ultimately chooses to identify as male she will present as male to the world at large by choosing to dress in clothing that is commonly identified as male clothing, which she does to a large degree already, and by choosing a “male” name. Nothing ambiguous there.

It is in no way restricted to inanimate objects. There is only one specific object (well actually 7 billion+) for which that pronoun is frowned upon by convention. That object is the human being. And the reason is that humans mistakenly think they are too special to be lumped in with everything else that exists.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 07:41 PM   #497
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Thinking after I posted the above, there is a much simpler way to explain my “selfish” approach to life.

Golden Rule.

I do not expect or require any strangers to make any special accommodations for me, and in return I do not see a need to make special accommodations for others. Being civil and fair in dealing with others is all that is really necessary.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 07:44 PM   #498
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Thinking after I posted the above, there is a much simpler way to explain my “selfish” approach to life.

Golden Rule.

I do not expect or require any strangers to make any special accommodations for me, and in return I do not see a need to make special accommodations for others. Being civil and fair in dealing with others is all that is really necessary.
But there are people who do require special accommodations from you. Do you park in the disabled parking spaces?
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Old 3rd August 2020, 07:48 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But there are people who do require special accommodations from you. Do you park in the disabled parking spaces?
Clever. You sure got me there. I suppose your point is that because you can find one exception that I have to agree that all exceptions are equally valid. I reject that.

And now it is midnight here and I am going to bed. I will see what else you come up with in the morning.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 07:59 PM   #500
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Clever. You sure got me there. I suppose your point is that because you can find one exception that I have to agree that all exceptions are equally valid. I reject that.

And now it is midnight here and I am going to bed. I will see what else you come up with in the morning.
Good night. Sleep well.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 08:58 PM   #501
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
It is in no way restricted to inanimate objects. There is only one specific object (well actually 7 billion+) for which that pronoun is frowned upon by convention. That object is the human being. And the reason is that humans mistakenly think they are too special to be lumped in with everything else that exists.
It is not a mistake, after all who or what is doing the lumping? Humans! The fact that society conventionally separates humans from rocks is all that you need to know that humans get special treatment.

Humans get to eat in fancy restaurants, go to the gym, make and watch movies, vote, get admitted to hospitals and argue with each other on internet forums. Of course these are "fictions" of a kind as objectively you have no more value than a rock, but you would be a fool to declare that you wanted to be treated like one. That's the Golden Rule.
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Old 4th August 2020, 01:39 AM   #502
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Just in reference to earlier discussions, I've found myself wondering whether the term "LGBTQ" is going to stay the course. As it is, there are variations on a theme (LGBT, and LGBTQ+ likely being the most common). But the biggest thing, I think, is that it's trivial to type out, but a mouthful to say.

I rather like "QUILTBAG" (queer, undecided, intersex, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, asexual, gay), but it doesn't include enbys and, because it's got a somewhat silly aspect to it, I'm not surprised that it didn't really take root.

"Queer" is quite a good catch-all, but it does suffer from the "it's a word for us to describe us, not for outsiders to use to describe us" syndrome, having previously (and sometimes still) been a slur.

There's also the possibility of turning the acronym into a word: "elby", to be compared with "enby". But then that runs afoul of two groups being prioritised/represented while others aren't.

So I wonder if a new word will be coined at some point. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this happened in the next decade or two.

More relevant to the more recent discussion, as I said above I don't think "it" will take hold as a non-gendered pronoun, but I'm currently re-reading E. Nesbit's children's books, and she uses it liberally. Things like this: "The children looked at each other. Each of them had mud all over its face, hands, and clothes". So there was definitely a time when that was perfectly acceptable language.
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Old 4th August 2020, 02:07 AM   #503
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
More relevant to the more recent discussion, as I said above I don't think "it" will take hold as a non-gendered pronoun, but I'm currently re-reading E. Nesbit's children's books, and she uses it liberally. Things like this: "The children looked at each other. Each of them had mud all over its face, hands, and clothes". So there was definitely a time when that was perfectly acceptable language.
The problem for any changes in the way the English speaking world's population uses pronouns is in making it natural enough that it doesn't take effort every time someone speaks.

The reason why some people would like new ways of using pronouns to be second nature is because they find the current ways to be insulting in some way.

Steve's "solution" is to introduce an unnatural way of talking that insults more people.

In other words, it isn't any kind of solution at all.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th August 2020, 04:18 AM   #504
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It's a solution that works for Steve. If I understand the premise correctly, you need to respect Steve's solution and adhere to it when dealing with Steve.
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Old 4th August 2020, 04:23 AM   #505
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's a solution that works for Steve. If I understand the premise correctly, you need to respect Steve's solution and adhere to it when dealing with Steve.
You'll have to explain what you mean. Which premise? Whose premise?

I've already said that idiosyncratic pronouns are probably not going to work.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th August 2020, 04:36 AM   #506
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The problem for any changes in the way the English speaking world's population uses pronouns is in making it natural enough that it doesn't take effort every time someone speaks.

The reason why some people would like new ways of using pronouns to be second nature is because they find the current ways to be insulting in some way.

Steve's "solution" is to introduce an unnatural way of talking that insults more people.

In other words, it isn't any kind of solution at all.
Exactly. Some few people concentrated in a few relatively isolated communities. People that I have never encountered IRL or outside of discussions in this forum. People who will never have the opportunity to be offended or insulted by any pronoun I use. If people within those communities want to tie themselves in knots fretting about pronouns that is their business. More power to them.

If I use exactly the same pronoun for every single person either everyone should be insulted or no one should be. Either way there are no special categories to be singled out. Equal treatment for all is, IMO, a positive thing. If a person feels insulted because they are not singled out for special treatment then the problem is entirely theirs.

Compare your first quoted sentence to your third. In the first you suggest that effort is required to make the use of different pronouns “natural”. The implication is that they are initially unnatural. In your third sentence you criticize my suggested pronoun as unnatural. Is the effort to make the neutral pronoun they natural in any way different from the effort to make the neutral pronoun it natural. It actually has the advantage of working better in context because it is obviously singular whereas they can also be plural. The words are equally useful in context.
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Old 4th August 2020, 04:45 AM   #507
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's a solution that works for Steve. If I understand the premise correctly, you need to respect Steve's solution and adhere to it when dealing with Steve.
I don’t care a whit if people use my suggestion or not. People can use whatever words they want when “dealing with Steve”. The status quo works perfectly well in my world. I am just making suggestions that I think are logical and simple to those few people who think that me making pronoun changes is crucial to the future of the human race.
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Old 4th August 2020, 04:55 AM   #508
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Exactly. Some few people concentrated in a few relatively isolated communities. People that I have never encountered IRL or outside of discussions in this forum. People who will never have the opportunity to be offended or insulted by any pronoun I use. If people within those communities want to tie themselves in knots fretting about pronouns that is their business. More power to them.

If I use exactly the same pronoun for every single person either everyone should be insulted or no one should be. Either way there are no special categories to be singled out. Equal treatment for all is, IMO, a positive thing. If a person feels insulted because they are not singled out for special treatment then the problem is entirely theirs.
I think that's a mistake. Let's say quadraplegic people want to compete in sports. It's a very very small number of people, really. Hardly worth worrying about.

One solution could be to create some sports for them to compete in and even set up a Paralympics sport for the really good ones and for something for the others to look up to and be inspired by.

Or another solution could be to make everyone paralysed so that everyone is equal and no one is special.

Making everyone equal is not actually a good thing, particularly if it means reducing everyone's living standards. It's actually the worst of all possible solutions.

Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Compare your first quoted sentence to your third. In the first you suggest that effort is required to make the use of different pronouns “natural”. The implication is that they are initially unnatural.
No. You misunderstand my point. He, she etc... trips off the tongue naturally. They also sounds natural if I say "If someone wants it they can have it."

What sounds unnatural? Well, saying "If Steve wants it, they can have it." People get confused with that. Who is they?

And people consider words like "ve", "ver" and "vim" to be unnatural as well, because they are not commonly used at all.


Originally Posted by Steve View Post
In your third sentence you criticize my suggested pronoun as unnatural. Is the effort to make the neutral pronoun they natural in any way different from the effort to make the neutral pronoun it natural. It actually has the advantage of working better in context because it is obviously singular whereas they can also be plural. The words are equally useful in context.
I'm pointing out that they are similarly unnatural, but "it" has no upside.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th August 2020, 05:01 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I don’t care a whit if people use my suggestion or not. People can use whatever words they want when “dealing with Steve”. The status quo works perfectly well in my world. I am just making suggestions that I think are logical and simple to those few people who think that me making pronoun changes is crucial to the future of the human race.
I do not think any of these changes is crucial to the future of the human race. This kind of melodramatic hyperbole is just silly.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th August 2020, 05:09 AM   #510
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The problem for any changes in the way the English speaking world's population uses pronouns is in making it natural enough that it doesn't take effort every time someone speaks.

The reason why some people would like new ways of using pronouns to be second nature is because they find the current ways to be insulting in some way.

Steve's "solution" is to introduce an unnatural way of talking that insults more people.

In other words, it isn't any kind of solution at all.
As I said, I don't think it's going to take hold (or even be pushed for), because it's seen as dehumanising. I'm just pointing out that it has actually been used before, even if perhaps by only one author - albeit a very well-known and popular author.

Here's an actual quote from The Story Of The Amulet, rather than one of my made-up sentences:

Quote:
"I hope you notice that they were not cowardly enough to cry till their Father had gone; they knew he had quite enough to upset him without that. But when he was gone every one felt as if it had been trying not to cry all its life, and that it must cry now, if it died for it. So they cried."
This blog post, where I got that quote from, is an interesting dive into Nesbit's use of "it" as a pronoun. There are also links to a few further blogs on the singular "they".

The Wikipedia page about it as a pronoun is interesting, too, and notes that Coleridge advocated for it to be used as a gender-neutral personal pronoun. And, although it's not written entirely clearly, seems to suggest that Middle English had the gender-neutral personal pronoun "hit".

I've also found this page, which I find fascinating. I'll quote the most interesting parts:

Quote:
There were two gender neutral pronouns native to English, ou and a, but they have long since died out, save for minor use in some British dialects. According to Dennis Baron’s Grammar and Gender:

In 1789, William H. Marshall records the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular ou : “‘Ou will’ expresses either he will, she will, or it will.” Marshall traces ou to Middle English epicene a, used by the fourteenth-century English writer John of Trevisa, and both the OED and Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of a for he, she, it, they, and even I.

The dialectal epicene pronoun a is a reduced form of the Old and Middle English masculine and feminine pronouns he and heo. By the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the masculine and feminine pronouns had developed to a point where, according to the OED, they were “almost or wholly indistinguishable in pronunciation.” The modern feminine pronoun she, which first appears in the mid twelfth century, seems to have been drafted at least partly to reduce the increasing ambiguity of the pronoun system….
I wonder if a campaign for "ou" or "a" could gain any ground?

Also of particular interest, in light of earlier comments in this thread, is that "she" is one of those "made-up words", specifically coined to distinguish women from men because the pronunciation of the masculine "he" and the feminine "heo" had become indistinguishable. So to be consistent, anybody who objects to words like "xe" or "ve" on the grounds that they're "made-up words" must also object to the word "she".
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Old 4th August 2020, 06:15 AM   #511
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Old 4th August 2020, 07:22 AM   #512
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I think that's a mistake. Let's say quadraplegic people want to compete in sports. It's a very very small number of people, really. Hardly worth worrying about.

One solution could be to create some sports for them to compete in and even set up a Paralympics sport for the really good ones and for something for the others to look up to and be inspired by.

Or another solution could be to make everyone paralysed so that everyone is equal and no one is special.

Making everyone equal is not actually a good thing, particularly if it means reducing everyone's living standards. It's actually the worst of all possible solutions.
You may discover upon re-reading that I said nothing about making people equal. I actually wrote of treating people equally.

Quote:
No. You misunderstand my point. He, she etc... trips off the tongue naturally. They also sounds natural if I say "If someone wants it they can have it."

What sounds unnatural? Well, saying "If Steve wants it, they can have it." People get confused with that. Who is they?

And people consider words like "ve", "ver" and "vim" to be unnatural as well, because they are not commonly used at all.
I guess I still misunderstand your point. I see no difference between the two hilites. Both seem clumsy to me


Quote:
I'm pointing out that they are similarly unnatural, but "it" has no upside.
It would have no downside if people agreed to use it it it’s simple form without perceived baggage. ie; use it simply in place of previously used words just as proposed by some who think the singular use of they/them is the answer. Too many people appear to have taken the dialog in Silence of the Lambs far too seriously (yes, this is a joke/hyperbole/not serious/whatever. No one needs to point out the obvious)
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Old 4th August 2020, 07:25 AM   #513
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I do not think any of these changes is crucial to the future of the human race. This kind of melodramatic hyperbole is just silly.
Wow! You sure were on the ball here. That was definitely the defining point of my post. I am properly chastised and ashamed!
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Old 4th August 2020, 07:45 AM   #514
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
You may discover upon re-reading that I said nothing about making people equal. I actually wrote of treating people equally.
Making everyone paraplegic is treating everyone equally. What's wrong with that?



Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I guess I still misunderstand your point. I see no difference between the two hilites. Both seem clumsy to me
Maybe they both seem clumsy to you, but the first is commonly used even by people with no ideological skin in the game. Would you tell a person they were wrong to use it that way?

The second is far less common, and may well require an over-riding of people's ideas about what is grammatical if it is going to take off among generations not still going through school.


Originally Posted by Steve View Post
It would have no downside if people agreed to use it
That's a big if which is what I was explaining to you earlier.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th August 2020, 07:50 AM   #515
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Making everyone paraplegic is treating everyone equally.
No it isn't. Treating everyone equally means despite their different abilities.
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Old 4th August 2020, 08:02 AM   #516
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
No it isn't. Treating everyone equally means despite their different abilities.
I've lost the plot here. Are non-binary folks somehow differently abled?

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Old 4th August 2020, 08:05 AM   #517
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I've lost the plot here. Are non-binary folks somehow differently abled?
I was responding to a comment about paraplegics. The point of treating people equally is not that they are the same, or have the same capacities, but to act as if they are all equally valued.
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Old 4th August 2020, 08:16 AM   #518
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Okay but what's the analogy supposed to tell us?

Is using "it" as a catchall pronoun undesirable since most people prefer to have [something analogous to] working limbs?

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Old 4th August 2020, 08:47 AM   #519
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I was responding to a comment about paraplegics. The point of treating people equally is not that they are the same, or have the same capacities, but to act as if they are all equally valued.
... Equally valued in what sense, though? The truth is that while people should be equally valued in some senses, they should not be equally valued in other senses.
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Old 4th August 2020, 09:23 AM   #520
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
... Equally valued in what sense, though?
In the legal and moral sense.
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