We Need a Gender Neutral Pronoun!

In the somehwat anonymous world of the internet and message boards, this one for example, it is oftentimes the case where someone responds to another poster as “he” or “she” only to be corrected later in the thread that the “he” is actually a “she” or the “she” is actually a “he”. Of course to be safe you cold write “he or she” or “she or he”, or as some are apt to do “s/he”. But what we really need is a small two or three letter word that means neitehr he or she but rather is gender neutral basically meaning “that person whatever their gender may be”.

Obviously we should avoid “me” or “we” as they are taken and pronouns in their own right. I would propose rejected “ze” as it sounds like we are saying “he” with a crappy french accent. “pe” is right out, I don’t think I should have to explain why. I kind of like “xe” as it gives us more ways to use the X in scrabble and an X is frequently used as a placeholder for an unknown quantity. Now I realize that xe is the symbol for Xenon, but I don’t see how that matters, because, Xenon, right? Of course, then the question becomes how do we pronounce it, and immediately you think, “zee” which runs into the whole french accent thing (it’s not a dig at the french, just, you know it would sound goofy).

So I was thinking, maybe “ye”, as a Y is also well known as a letter used for unknown quantities. Granted it still has the old(e) english meaning, such as “ye olde basterd”. But, shold we let that get in the way of prgress.

Of course it doesn’t have to end in “e”, but for sconsistency sake (me, we, he, she), I think it should.

These are just my intial thoughts, I am welcoming all suggestions at this point, an open debate to resolve this pressing matter.

Thank you for your support.

Just use the singular they.

‘s/he’ comes across much less awkwardly online than in real-life conversation.

I like s’h’it.

I have used “They” for years. It is easy and it works to convey meaning.

They know what I mean.


Yeah, it’s “they”.

The grammar people (MBLA? whoever writes those stupid books) will admit it eventually and move on.

They exist already. Good luck getting anyone to use them.

They has been coming in as the gender neutral singular for years now. It’s very much accepted in speech. Next time you are in a conversation with a group listen for it. You will hear they, their, them used in singular. Written language changes much more slowly than verbal, but it does change, especially in situations like this where the speakers of the language feel there is a gap in the language.

I’ve been watching this language change for more than a decade now. I expect in the next ten years they, them, their will be acceptable as singular in the written form as well as in the verbal.

Yes, in the long term, even the most old-fashioned prescriptionist will accept it themself!

(But I like keeping a little ahead of the trend)

We also, in this darling English language of ours, need separate pronouns for second-person… whatever it is… (not “formal” and “informal” like the French *tu *and vous, but rather, words that’s clearly indicate whether you mean “you” (the individual I am talking to), or “you” (the generic, all-encompassing “anybody”).

I guess we can use “you” (you suck!), and “one” (“one shouldn’t chew with one’s mouth full”), and I sometimes do that; but I like "thee " and “thou” better. Do they work (do those work?) Isn’t that what those old-timey words were for?

Help me out here— I’m struggling with the right terms here… but maybe you know what I mean.

Like that last “you”. Should that have been “you all”? “Thou”? “Vous”? What are the words for this and why don’t we use them!?!?

What’s wrong with using ‘he’ for both masculine and gender neutral pronouns, again?

Half of us don’t have the right body parts for that.

“It puts the lotion on its skin…”

Yeah, that works most of the time until you run into someone who objects to being a “they” because they’re like, a person with gender you know! :rolleyes:

Sure as shit as soon as we come up with a new gender neutral pronoun someone will object and in this day and age it’s all about the offendee’s feelings.

I really don’t like using they, because I am irrational and a crumudgeon.

I don’t see what’s wrong with ‘s/he’ for print, and the amalgamation of ‘it’, ‘they’, ‘one’, and the passive voice that for speech.

But only a few of us have plural bodies. Or tapeworms.


Way the heck down here, we’re getting “youse”, which I hate, loathe and detest. But there is the very valid point that the plural ‘you’ is a separate word in many polynesian languages and that’s where alot of our speakers have originated from.

I may have to hate, loathe and accept it eventually.

Oh and, I’d pronounce ‘xe’ as ‘chee’, YMMV.

Or kick it Anglo-Saxon style and use “hit.”

Well “they” doesn’t work. Ever. At all.

My kids periodically get papers from the school that go something like this: “Make sure your child returns the approval form or they won’t be able to go on the field trip.”

Well, that’s patently ridiculous: child, they? Come on.