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  #151  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:50 AM
Inbred Mm domesticus is offline
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I think the thread is about dispensing with gendered language/pronouns in English. One component of that is to ask: "What's the point?". So that's what I am addressing.
  #152  
Old 07-10-2019, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Inbred Mm domesticus View Post
I think the thread is about dispensing with gendered language/pronouns in English. One component of that is to ask: "What's the point?". So that's what I am addressing.
When an argument is directed to a proposition that hasnt been made, thats generally known as a straw man. Theres a reason that this is considered a criticism of an argument style.
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  #153  
Old 07-10-2019, 07:15 AM
Inbred Mm domesticus is offline
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Ok, I'll take that as you can't answer the question.
  #154  
Old 07-10-2019, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
When an argument is directed to a proposition that hasnt been made, thats generally known as a straw man. Theres a reason that this is considered a criticism of an argument style.
Could you clarify? I'm not seeing the straw man you're seeing, which may mean I and others aren't clear on the OP.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:35 AM
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This seems like a strawman given that I can't find anyone proposing a top-down directed change in language, and that the thread is about why not dispense with gendered language, in other words "are there advantages to keeping gendered language", rather than "are there advantages to removing gendered language." If the thread were about the latter, then a natural question would be how to achieve this and what benefits it would bring, but it isn't, as far as I can tell.
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I doubt a top-down change in language is what drives this relationship.
  #156  
Old 07-10-2019, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Could you clarify? I'm not seeing the straw man you're seeing, which may mean I and others aren't clear on the OP.
This is what Im identifying as a straw man.

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I doubt a top-down change in language is what drives this relationship.
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  #157  
Old 07-10-2019, 09:50 AM
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This is my mistake. I didn't realize there were people in this world who have this much enthusiasm over the mechanics of the English language with an emphasis on pronouns. I was trying to fit this into the larger political context, probably because of the specific types of terms, but I think I get it now. It doesn't matter the point, it only matters whether there is any English-specific impediment to adopting genderless pronouns. That's the entire scope of the thread. Please forgive my intrusion.
  #158  
Old 07-10-2019, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
This is what Im identifying as a straw man.
Got it. Yeah, that's a straw man.
  #159  
Old 07-10-2019, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Inbred Mm domesticus View Post
I didn't realize there were people in this world who have this much enthusiasm over the mechanics of the English language with an emphasis on pronouns.
Language nerds are a thing.

--Pleonast, short for "pleonastic pronoun"
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
in other words "are there advantages to keeping gendered language"...
Right, pretty much. And so far, no one so far as I have noticed has made the case that a gendered pronoun system (and that includes a system that accounts for genders other than male and female) is better than a system that doesnt reference gender at all.
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  #161  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Right, pretty much. And so far, no one so far as I have noticed has made the case that a gendered pronoun system (and that includes a system that accounts for genders other than male and female) is better than a system that doesnt reference gender at all.
The reason it may be better is that it's what we currently have in place. All other things being equal, the system that doesn't require change is better than the system that does, and the more disruptive that change will be, the more this is true.

If you're designing a language from scratch, sure, leave gender out. But when you've already got a language with millennia of historical roots, a change to something as fundamental as pronouns is going to be disruptive.

Even individual use of non-gendered pronouns for folks with gender will be disruptive and unpleasant. Folks who identify strongly as gendered will be offended by your use of nongendered pronouns for them, whether or not you like that offense.

The benefits of this change do not, in my opinion, outweigh the disadvantages.
  #162  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Pleonast View Post
Language nerds are a thing.

--Pleonast, short for "pleonastic pronoun"
It is clear now there are language nerds :-).
  #163  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Even individual use of non-gendered pronouns for folks with gender will be disruptive and unpleasant. Folks who identify strongly as gendered will be offended by your use of nongendered pronouns for them, whether or not you like that offense.
Not all of us.

I identify strongly as female and I've got no problem whatsoever with anyone using nongendered pronouns for me.

What I've had a problem with for pretty much my whole life is people who use gendered pronouns for me, but assume that I'm male and therefore use the wrong ones. This doesn't happen if they're looking at me (though I'm sure it does to some people), but it happens with considerable frequency in writing and online, and occasionally over the phone. Nongendered pronouns solve this problem and are IMO a considerable improvement.


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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
The benefits of this change do not, in my opinion, outweigh the disadvantages.
Opinions, obviously, vary. See above.
  #164  
Old 07-11-2019, 04:31 PM
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It looks like Dictionary.com is lurking - this was linked to in their twitter feed this morning. (link to tweet)

(again, as someone earlier in the thread mentioned, dictionaries aren't a rule book. But they do explain the long, long history of "they" as a singular pronoun, no matter what your third grade teacher told you.)
  #165  
Old 07-11-2019, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Not all of us.
Definitely fair point. I do think there are enough folks, both trans and cis, who'd be uncomfortable with non-gendered neologized pronouns applied to them that it's a tricky issue.

FWIW I've spend years of my life being mis-gendered more often than I was correctly gendered. I have a little skin in the game.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 07-11-2019 at 06:20 PM.
  #166  
Old 07-14-2019, 03:01 AM
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When or if we become a culture intermixed with aliens, AIs, and uplifted animals we will need a pronoun to indicate that the person you are talking to or about is human. Until then, it is stating the bloody fucking obvious.
Here's my page about pronouns in an imagined future when AIs, uplifted animals and aliens are commonplace.
https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/495360fba7a46
The dominant, general purpose pronoun is e, ey, eir.

I been writing fiction using these pronouns for twenty years (together with a number of other people), and we find it particularly useful to describe a future where most people are genderfluid in some way or another. Even if we don't make contact with aliens, uplift animals or create sentient AI in the near future, our culture is likely to become increasingly genderfluid, so an expanded set of pronouns is likely to become very useful.
  #167  
Old 07-14-2019, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
Even if we don't make contact with aliens, uplift animals or create sentient AI in the near future, our culture is likely to become increasingly genderfluid, so an expanded set of pronouns is likely to become very useful.
You do realize that an expanded set of pronouns is exactly the opposite of what the OP suggests
  #168  
Old 07-14-2019, 10:45 AM
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The default pronoun I tend to use is 'e', which covers most possibilities. If anyone wants to use other pronouns that's their prerogative. Some people are quite keen to adopt one or another of the more specific pronouns, for reasons of their own, but they don't need to do so.
  #169  
Old 07-14-2019, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Ive dabbled a bit with German, French, Italian, and Spanish, and I love those languages except for the gender issue. If gender is annoying in English, its far worse in those languages, which require memorization of nonsensical, arbitrary gendering of nouns.

I love learning case, person, number: etc., but gender? Ugh. So annoying.
Of course there are also languages which have no grammatical gender at all, such as Hungarian. I think this was mentioned earlier.

The point is that languages differ.
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