OK, so I’ve never actually had a person in real life introduce themselves with their pronouns, but I’ve seen it online, usually at the top of a blog or what have you. And I gather this is becoming a thing that happens in certain circles. To be clear: I have no problem calling people what they want to be called, or anyone telling me what they want to be called.
But, here’s the part I don’t get: why do we need the whole list of pronouns?
Instead of saying “my pronouns are he/him/his”, why not just “my pronoun is he”. I think we can extrapolate the “him” and “his” just fine, no? Or something like “I use singular they pronouns.” instead of “they/them/their.”
Provided you’re not using something exotic like “ze” that might not be familiar to some, is there really a fear that someone might think your pronouns are something mismatched like he/her/theirs? (or am I clueless and there actually are people who use he/her/theirs?)
My guess: the person providing their preferred pronouns is doing us all a favor by being complete. And also maybe doing a favor to the people who want to use something less familiar like ze/zem/zers* by setting an example, in solidarity.
Language is hard, grammar is harder, and English grammar is especially hard. We should be grateful to people who are explicit about this issue, no?
I respect the pronouns thing in principle and in solidarity. It never occurred to me in the era before the pronouns thing caught on as a thing, and I don’t have any particular preference. People who see me say he/him/his because I present visually as male, but I get a whole lot of miss/ma’am/etc on the phone because of how I sound.
In my experience, the most common thing you’ll hear when people actually say this out loud is “he / him,” “she / her,” “they / them,” or just “they.” I think it’s largely just disambiguation. Just saying “he” or “she” could be misheard, but that’s much less likely if you say both forms.
When written (especially online), it’s a lot more common to see the “he / him / him” trio form, and I gather that’s largely just to adopt a sort of common format and to make it easier to understand when people use nonstandard pronoun sets. But I’ve rarely heard those full sets said out loud, even when people are making it a point to introduce themselves with pronouns.
IMHO a silly debate. if someone is of indeterminate gender (or speaking in general so no specific person with specific gender) English has a perfectly good method- use plural to give the person the ambiguity they crave.
From Chasing Amy:
01:01:36 For your information, they don’t have big hair or wear acid-wash. They’re from my hometown.
01:01:47 Why are you playing the pronoun game?
01:01:49 - What are you talking about? I’m not.
01:01:49 - You are.
01:01:53 I met “someone.” “We” have a great time. “They’re” from my hometown. Does this tube of wonderful have a name?
My guess is that it’s because no one has settled on which pronoun to use, and they don’t want to say “male pronouns” or “female pronouns” and limit those to people who identify as male or female.
For example, should I say “I prefer ‘him’?” That makes the most grammatical sense, since “‘him’” is an object, but then we have people above who assumed people would say “I prefer ‘he’.”
The idea that something would need to be longer to “signal virtue” is ridiculous. The concept of a preferred pronoun already signals the inclusion in the group that does these things, just like your incorrect use of the concepts of signal theory signal your inclusion in a different group.
Me either. That’s exactly it. I go to these meeting where people do the intros with their preferred pronouns too, and I end up saying stuff like “Hi I’m AHunter3, and I go by whatever pronouns people use for me, they’re all kind of wrong”.