The Instigator
saphirescar
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Hiskid
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

People should opt to use "they" on official documents rather than "he or she"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 414 times Debate No: 74757
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

saphirescar

Pro

First round is acceptance only.

Rules:
-No trolling
-Keep it secular
-No ad hominem

Round one: opening statement
2-3: argument
4: conclusion

With that out of the way, my introduction:

On many documents, such as legal forms, or even things as simple as classroom worksheets, the phrase "he or she" or its variants are used when referring to a person of unknown gender. This is relatively modern, compared to the use of universal "he". However, then people realised not everyone identifies as "he". The problem with this is that not everyone is a "he or she", though. Because of this and other reasons, people should opt for the use of "they" instead of "he or she" on official or professional documents.
Hiskid

Con

I'm willing to do this (despite its simplicity) on the terms that the rule on keeping it secular is revoked. You are limiting the argument to one viewpoint, and that viewpoint just so happens to favor your position, and puts a damper on mine. While I do intend to bring up religion, it is not my only argument, and actually isn't even my flagship argument. It is just bad practice to try and control what viewpoint we debate with, especially when it benefits you.
Debate Round No. 1
saphirescar

Pro

Given the fact that this is a debate about professional documents, I fail to see how religion would need to be involved, because of separation of church and state.

However, I will allow it if you can explain how religion would relate to this topic.
Hiskid

Con

Alright, since the first two rounds have been used for acceptance and negotiation of terms, lets make 3 argument.
Debate Round No. 2
saphirescar

Pro

saphirescar forfeited this round.
Hiskid

Con

Hiskid forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
saphirescar

Pro

Given the fact that the first two rounds were used for acceptance instead of just the first round and since both of us have forieted the debate round, I suggest that we either redo this debate or cancel it altogether. It's up to con which one.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Lumberjay85 2 years ago
Lumberjay85
If this is truly that important to people, I think we as a society have to invent a new, singular word that can be used in place of "he or she." I refuse to accept "they" as a possible solution; I will not purposely break the rules of our language just because it is not politically correct.
Posted by MasturDbtor 2 years ago
MasturDbtor
What if you know the person's gender? Are you still proposing to use "they"?
Posted by saphirescar 2 years ago
saphirescar
@Lumberjay85 as I said before, it's colloquial. That trumps "proper".
Posted by Lumberjay85 2 years ago
Lumberjay85
I would accept this debate, but the only thing I have to say is that "they" is improper grammar. "They" is plural, referring to more than one person. As a society, we just need to accept "he or she," and not be so offended by it. Many languages, such as Spanish, default to the male form when the gender is unknown. It's not alienating other genders, it is an agreed upon part of speech to simplify the speech structure.

Sorry, I didn't think I could stretch that into four rounds.
Posted by saphirescar 2 years ago
saphirescar
@Espera
Singular they has been used in colloquial grammar since Shakespeare was alive. And really "he or she" seems more unnecessary, because it's adding more words than needed.
Posted by Espera 2 years ago
Espera
As someone who is trans... I think this is stupid. They is plural and confuses the intent of the agreement, contract, notice, et cetra. You could use person or whom is concerns or leave blanks for the name or whatever - but that seems like an unnecessary complication... because it is one. Seriously.
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