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15

Tequila_Wolf wrote

They "is confusing in practice as well as jarring" literally only for people who aren't used to it.

6

yaaqov wrote

I'm partial to using "they" only for singular referents, and "th'all" for plurals (by analogy to "y'all")...

4

this_one wrote

Th'all is very cool. I like that a lot. But as an Australian who says "yous" much more than "y'all", I'm not sure if there's a kind of equivalent I could use to keep things consistent, like "theys" (but maybe not that, because it sound to me like it should mean "they are", like "they's on their way"). Obviously there's no reason I have to be consistent, but it'd be interesting to know if there was an option.

2

yaaqov wrote

Huh! Well, I have no particular suggestion but it's an interesting problem!

I'll admit, y'all doesn't come the most naturally in my variety of English either. I come from a place where the preferred way to make a plural "you" is to say "you guys", which I'm trying to get out of the habit of in of itself.

5

sudo wrote

I don't think Stallman realized that "per" sounds very similar to "her" in spoken English. It could easily be misheard as "her", which could lead to the listener thinking that they are being misgendered. You'd have to really enunciate the 'p' to make sure you aren't misheard. So, I still think singular "they" is the least troublesome option. It's been commonly used for a while now, and the cases of ambiguity in the number of people being referred to are rare. English is a natural language - the rules are subject to change over time. I think singular they has been used enough for it to be considered "legal".

2

mofongo wrote

Part of me thinks he pronounces it similar to a Spanish Per, which is a very hard P. There's less confusion that way as you say.

5

sudo wrote

Perhaps, but then you'd have to make a mental gear shift to Spanish, pronounce it in Spanish, then shift gears back to English. That was the reason why he didn't want to use Spanish pronouns in English.

1

noordinaryspider wrote

I don't like the grammatically incorrect "they" but I'm using it right now because it's the least bad option. I'll substitute the word "person" wherever possible, but just too shy/oversensitive/bully-magnet to criticism to use "per" or "pers" just yet.

"Pers" sounds too much like "purse"; my social skills aren't evolved enough for that yet.

5

jadedctrl wrote (edited )

They is a completely natural ungendered pronoun, IMO.
I kind of like perse/per/pers, though, TBH…

“Hey, that's pers!”
“Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to eat per stuff.”
“It's fine, perse just probably forgot to put per name on it.”

You can always count on Stallman to come up with off-the-wall stuff like this, can't you? =w=

4

yaaqov wrote

So off-the-wall, in fact, that I don't think it really achieves its stated goal of being more natural/learnable than any other non-traditional pronoun.

2

Fossidarity wrote (edited )

I personally have trouble getting used to "they", I don't have anything against it but I have a difficulties getting it into my vocabulary. I like the sound of "per" a lot.

2

Catsforfun wrote

people use "they" as a gender neutral pronoun unconsciously whether they realize it or not. It's the smallest effort to start using it consciously.

1

selver wrote

I agree that there should be new words for it, but "they" is generally fine.

-4

PAVLVS wrote

WTF! It's not a matter of changing the hole damn grammar system. It's a matter of atitude, period. D'you all think that because you change the way people talk it's gonna change everything? Grow the fuck up and quit hipocresy and demagogy.

5

zombie_berkman wrote

I think you are missing RMS while deal. His whole thing is to throw everything out and do it the "right way". Ive never seen this one before but he always argued for an abrupt black/white shifting. Hes not wrong in what he said and if it happened it would work, but is it the easier way? Naw

3

v__ wrote

no it will not change everything, but pronouns are means of self expression and you cannot be blind for people's need for that.