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Thread: I cannot use them/they/their as first person singular

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  1. #10
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    On the Server
    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy Croom View Post
    I know it's the thing these days, but I cannot do it. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I wrote a paper for English class 40 years ago bemoaning the lack of non-gendered first person singular. I got a C on it because the only option I could come up with was "one".
    Can we start a brainstorming session to come up with a solution? I want to be inclusive, but I need it to be grammatical.
    The problem is with you, not with English grammar.

    Chaucer uses singular they. Jane Austen uses singular they. So the answer is to write harder if you object to singular they so terribly much.

    Or learn Old English, which has a dual pronoun.

    Emma Bull managed to write without using a gendered pronoun for the protagonist for an entire novel in Bone Dance. Ann Leckie has done the same for three books, in her Ancillary trilogy.

    Finally, I'm going to remind people about Respecting Your Fellow Writer. Read The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write. We're serious about it. We have all sorts of members. Be respectful.

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