Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Slang fills the void, yo!
The dilemma: English lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
Yes, that's right. If you want to say that *someone* did something and you aren't sure if that person was male or female, what do you say?
He? So it was definitely a male?
He or she? Awkward?
They? So it was more than one person?
A recent post on Grammar Girl shares the story of how young people in Baltimore resolved this dilemma by inventing a new word. Without really inventing a new word. Just reappropriating it.
The Grammarian finds this delightful, fascinating, slightly problematic, and on the whole, totally worthy of our attention.
The Grammarian, who shall remain gender neutral for the present moment, enjoys a good teenage 2.0 solution for lingo trubbies.