I just read a post on FB that has me a little confused. A best-selling and renown author was talking about the word 'they' and how Merriam-Webster has made it the word of the year. Apparently, it's now socially acceptable to use 'they' to refer to a single person. The author also notes that it's been used this way for 600 years and then says that this is a 'game changer' for writers.
it's been used that way for 600 years, how is the dictionary giving it
the okee-dokee a game changer? I mean, my editor can stop pointing out
instances where I use 'they' instead of 'he or she', which I ignore
anyway. If, in my writing, it's not definite whether an individual is a
guy or a gal, I refer to the individual as 'them' or 'they'. Been
doing it pretty much all my writing life.
know there's a certain segment of the culture pushing to get rid of
gender-specific pronouns. I ignore them, too. In a book I read
recently, a minor character gets snotty when the MC refers to her as Ms -
trying to impress upon him that he should refer to her as Mx (pronounced Mix) because
that's how she identifies. Like he was supposed to know that before he
met her. And like he'd give a rat's ass, especially since he was never
going to see her again.
By the way, look at all those
gender-specific pronouns up there. I should probably go flagellate
myself with a wet noodle or something. :yawn:
funny. I have a deep voice. There have been many times on the phone
where someone has mistaken me for a man. (Can't mistake me for a man in
person. I have too big a rack for that.) In those cases, I say my
name and they think I've said Jeff or Seth, because my deep voice gives
them the impression that I am male. And every time that happens? I
More people need to laugh, I think.
This game changer doesn't change a damn thing for me. And it makes me a little sad that it would be a game changer for others. Maybe they're constantly berated by their publishers and editors for their misuse of a pronoun and have to change it or face dire consequences. (Not sure cuz I don't have a publisher and my editor is cool.) Or maybe they're so 'socially conscious' they feel bad using the wrong pronouns for fictional characters. Or maybe they're worried that their readers will be offended by the wrong pronouns for their fictional characters. :shrug:
If someone refers to you by a pronoun that doesn't fit, you've got two choices: move on or throw a hissy fit. I guarantee, you'll live longer by moving on then by doing the hissy fit.
They, them, he, she, him, her... it's all good, baby. But for pitysakes, don't say 'it'. That just pisses everyone off. ;o)
And for the record, I will never use the trendy made-up pronouns. Unless I'm doing what that other author did and using it to make a point about a certain character. In that case, it worked perfectly to show that individual's character succinctly.