Would the English language benefit from the creation of a gender neutral pronoun?

Asked by: MegaAfroMan
  • A singular, third-person pronoun should be added to the English language.

    When someone's gender is unknown, which pronoun do we use? It is not uncommon for people to use they, but this only works if more than one person is being referred to. When referring to someone whose gender is unknown, "he or she", "him or her", or "his or her" is correct. However these are all quite lengthy to say and write compared to pronouns. As such, adding a pronoun such as the Swedish "sig" should be done.

  • There already is one....

    This word already exists. You could simply use the word "It" which is a pronoun. "It" can be used to describe a person and not be gender specific. I've heard some people referring to their unborn baby as "It".
    There was also some clown named "IT". He wore a lot of makeup though.

  • The English language is lacking in this regard.

    I can't count the times that I've needed to use a singular, gender neutral, personal pronoun. In these times, I've been forced to use "he" or "she" when I'm not referring in particular to a woman or man, use the awkward he/she or s/he, or use "they", which doesn't sound grammatically correct and isn't singular. If I could add a word to the English language, it would be this word.

  • The English language would benefit from the creation of a gender neutral pronoun.

    If a term used to describe both girls and boys was created and taught in the English language, people wouldn't feel as segregated from one another. People always say how boys do one thing and girls do another, what if we could say both genders can? This new word could help children in schools not judge someone whether they feminine or masculine, but have them think of each other as equals. This change would benefit people emensly in the English language.

  • Substitution, not addition.

    It's clear that the English language, due in no small part to its continued bastardisation over centuries, is one of the most complex of them all.
    However, there are undoubtedly a few things which could be done to 'fix' it - for instance, the scrapping of gender pronouns for all but sexually heterogeneous entities, a move (either) away from or towards a phonetic basis for our vocabulary and an institutional overhaul of diction (i.E. New dictionaries all round).
    Before you jump up and down , spit feathers or reply with hearty venom, please hear me out:
    Whilst none of the above suggestions are straightforward by any means, it seems clear (to me anyway) that a move towards gender neutrality would simplify language learning for all but those currently embroiled in the process. Although the (undoubtedly lengthy) transition period may prove somewhat chaotic, I remind you that "A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success." (Hubbard).
    Ultimately, if it works for nations such as China and Japan, it seems unacademic to ignore the possibility of gender neutrality in our language...

  • There is a gender neutral pronoun.

    "It" is a pronoun and can be used to identify a person. In example, you may hear people referring to their unborn child as "It" during the stages of pregnancy they do not know sex.

    There was also a clown named "It". He looked like a dude but wore a ton of makeup.

  • Look at his-tory!

    God created Man, and then made Woman as his partner. He created each one special. He made the two different. Look it up. Never mind--I'll quote It for you, "He made the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, male and female, each to reproduce according to their own kind...He made animals that crawl on the face of the earth, male and female...So God put him (Adam) in a deep sleep, and took one of his ribs...Out of the rib he made a Woman." Besides, we already have an un-gendered pronoun: it.

  • No, there are already gender neutral pronouns.

    I, me, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody, you, yourself, etc. I'm guessing you want to change he and she. I highly doubt it would do more than anger people. That could create worse problems, so I would go with no on such radical changes that would do more harm than good.

  • They. Them, Themselves, Their. All acceptable singular non-gender specific pronouns.

    From a linguistic point of view, "They" is an acceptable singular non-gender specific pronoun. When you aren't aware of someones gender, then you may call that person "They". For example, "Well they don't care" can be used even if there is only one person being referenced, if you don't know the gender. Also increasingly accepted are them, their, theirs, and themselves or themself.

    Another example of a way it is used is if there is a plural number of people but each is being referenced as an individual. An example being "If someone needs in, there is a key for them". Them in this case doesn't reference multiple people, but rather a singular person.

    Lastly another way it is used in a singular non-gender specific way is when the gender is obvious, but a generic word is preferred. Such as "A man should be happy on their birthday". Non-Gender Specific, and quite singular.

    Ultimately the idea of using it as a direct non-gender specific singular pronoun as originally mentioned is non a common thing, but that is not because it doesn't exist, but rather because it isn't taught in schools often, because ultimately it's not seen as being important (nor does it matter. People spend 12 years learning about adjectives and soliloquy, and yet few ever remember it a year out of high school). Just because it isn't often known doesn't make it a thing. "They", "Them", and others listed are linguistically considered acceptable as non-gender specific pronouns to describe a singular person whose gender is not known.


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