Sunday, April 26, 2009

On the Biggest Gap in the English Language


Feminists over recent years have successfully destroyed a vitally important part of the English language, and offered no replacement. English no longer has a gender-neutral singular reference pronoun. Until a few years ago, this role was taken up the word ‘he’, as in “Anyone can do what he wants.” Now, the meaning of ‘he’ has been limited to male only. The need to constantly replace ‘he’ with the extremely clumsy ‘he or she’ led to the use of the multiple reference, but gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’.

However, this is not technically correct, as the statement “Anyone can do what they want” implies multiple subjects. This would lead to the more important singular generalization pronouns ‘anyone’, ‘everybody’ and ‘someone’, amongst others, to become multiple generalization pronouns. This means that anyone who asks for something would in fact be several people asking for lots of that thing, and life would suddenly get a lot more confusing.

It is so much simpler if singular and plural are kept separate, and a new gender-neutral singular reference pronoun is introduced. I propose the phrase ‘gender-neutral singular reference’ to prevent further confusion. As in “Anyone can do what gender-neutral singular reference wants.” That is perfectly clear and will not offend anyone.
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