How about "ya'll." Should a someone who wants to be a gender neutral "they," also be referred to as "youse guys?" And what are they (pl.) teaching in school about singular and plural conjugations?
These thoughts arose while I was reading "He, she or they: How companies are starting to address calls for a gender-neutral workplace," by Corilyn Sheropshire in the Chicago Tribune. It stopped me cold when I read a picture caption reading that "Avery Matthew, who is gender fluid, is pictured at their workplace...." [Emphasis added.] It clearly makes the English language less precise.
The article describes among other things how before a business meeting everyone should go around the table telling everyone else what pronouns they (sg.)prefer to themselves, e.g. he, she or they. That, I've got to see.
I'm confident that younger, more sensitive generations will figure it out. But in the meantime, I have a suggestion: In English, the gender neutral, singular pronoun is "it." If using a plural pronoun to describe an individual is acceptable, wouldn't it be less confusing to apply the singular, gender--neutral pronoun to an individual?
That would solve the singular/plural hitch that adds complexity to a language that cries out for becoming less complicated (ask foreign-speakers if English is not one of the more difficult to learn). But the idea will be blistered for its insensitivity. Calling a per-son, per-daughter or per-them an "it" would be to abase him/her/them. It would dehumanize him/her/them, turning him/her/them into an object. Worse than turning an individual into a plural, I would imagine.
Yet.... It sure would make things easier. Especially when political correctness makes life so confusing/complicated/convoluted.
P.S. When will the Romantic languages get around to fixing such as, "Le plume est sur la table and Ouvrir la porte?
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