Wednesday, March 12, 2008

If a writer asked my advice on pronouns, here's what I'd tell them

Peter Seibel says everything that needs to be said about they used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun in lieu of he, she, or he/she. Shorter Seibel: It was used long before the no-singular-they rule was invented, it works well, and it's not going away.

Read it, love it, refer stick-in-the-mud he proponents to it.


Narya said...

It IS going away, however, when I am the copyeditor. I don't care about Chaucer and Jane and such; I think it's confusing. so there. plbttttt!

E. said...

Yeah, "you don't have to use it, but you have to get used to it" is what I tell my occasional persnickety student.

I don't think it's confusing unless you use it in an ambiguous context (in which case, a number of perfectly decent pronouns can be confusing).