Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Writers' Corner

Notices

View Poll Results: Do you want English to have a genderless pronoun?
No. 37 48.68%
He works for me. 7 9.21%
She works for me. 0 0%
He/she works for me 0 0%
Alternating he and she in example works for me. 1 1.32%
Yes. 31 40.79%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-29-2012, 02:50 AM   #106
pdurrant
The Ghost Mouse
pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pdurrant's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,212
Karma: 88959342
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
Device: NOOK ST GlowLight
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
What you're clearly, utterly and blatantly missing is the distinction between popular usage and technically correct pronouns based on a synecdochic substitution.
Not missing. Refuting. In English grammar, "technically correct" is just a synonym for "popular among grammarians". Nothing to do with whether it's proper English.

It's like split infinitives. Grammarians have been insisting for a century of two that splitting the infinitive is wrong in English. It isn't. Just as it's fine to end a sentence with a preposition if the sentence works that way.

It only remains for me to boldly state that these sort of simple-rule based criticisms of my language are something I'll no longer put up with. Any person who tells me I'm wrong can go [expletive deleted] themselves.
pdurrant is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 07:15 AM   #107
Prestidigitweeze
Fledgling Demagogue
Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Prestidigitweeze ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Prestidigitweeze's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,261
Karma: 24940597
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: White Plains
Device: Aura HD; Nexus 7; PRS-350, 950; Kindle K; OnePlus One; Galaxy S4; MBP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Not missing. Refuting. In English grammar, "technically correct" is just a synonym for "popular among grammarians". Nothing to do with whether it's proper English. . . .

It only remains for me to boldly state that these sort of simple-rule based criticisms of my language are something I'll no longer put up with. Any person who tells me I'm wrong can go [expletive deleted] themselves.
P. Durrant: That was not a response to anything you've said. The irony is that I had just defended your point of view.

That was a response to QuantumIguana's insistence that the use of the genderless pronoun he is a matter of the conflation of genders with once gender-specific professions and not a formidable obstacle in the structure of most modern languages.

You seem to have mistaken an expression of the idea that masculine genderless pronouns are built into languages (and are therefore quite difficult to remove) for the spectacle of you or someone else being beaten to death for improper usage.

No one wants to go on saying he but meaning he and she. The challenge is finding a way to do it without having to join the Oulipo Society.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 08-29-2012 at 07:29 AM.
Prestidigitweeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #108
QuantumIguana
Philosopher
QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
QuantumIguana's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,884
Karma: 17180000
Join Date: Jan 2012
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2 gen, Kindle Fire 1st Gen, Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
That was a response to QuantumIguana's insistence that the use of the genderless pronoun he is a matter of the conflation of genders with once gender-specific professions and not a formidable obstacle in the structure of most modern languages.
I said that was part of it, but I didn't "insist" on anything. I simply observed the fact that the culture in the English-speaking world was strongly sex-segregated and no longer is today. I further observed the fact that as culture became less sex-segregated, the generic "he" fell out of favor. I simply don't think that is coincidence. Yes, sex-bias is part of the language, but why is it part of the language? Why is that bias there in the first place? I submit that at, least partially, this bias comes from sex-segregation, it arises from the assumptions made when the language came into being.

Quote:
You seem to have mistaken an expression of the idea that masculine genderless pronouns are built into languages (and are therefore quite difficult to remove) for the spectacle of you or someone else being beaten to death for improper usage.
Actually, it's quite easy to remove. The generic "he" is falling out of favor, while the singular "they" is ascendant. It doesn't matter whether you favor or oppose such a language change, it's happening. Dictionaries are waving the white flag on the issue.

I should say it is easy to remove in English, which is what we are discussing. Bias in language would be much more difficult to remove in Spanish, where even a table has a gender. Esperanto contains bias, which may have been one reason it didn't gain more popularity; those who wanted language reform may have felt that with the bias in place, it wasn't a real reform. In Esperanto, words are male by default, you have to add the "-ino" suffic to make it female. For example, "man" is "viro", "woman" is "virino", "boy" is "knabo", "girl" is "knabino".

Last edited by QuantumIguana; 08-29-2012 at 12:45 PM.
QuantumIguana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #109
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 37,682
Karma: 18475502
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Sony Reader PRS-650, iPad, nook STR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
The issue with s/he is not only the clumsiness in conversation but the limited applicability of that solution in any form. Try the same thing with her and him and you'll see what I mean (i.e., h/e/i/r/m).
That's an easy solution. Instead of him or her, use hir.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #110
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,711
Karma: 97312994
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano. Other devices gathering dust.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
That's an easy solution. Instead of him or her, use hir.
Not bad. "Hur" would sound too much like "her", "Har" would be too much like a laugh, "Hir" sounds too much like "Here" or "Hire", and that leaves only one other of the five regular vowels as a possibility, and I don't even want to go there...

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 08-29-2012 at 01:26 PM.
WT Sharpe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #111
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 37,682
Karma: 18475502
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Sony Reader PRS-650, iPad, nook STR
Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Not bad. "Hur" would sound too much like "her", "Har" would be too much like a laugh, "Hir" sounds too much like "Here" or "Hire", and that leaves only one other of the five regular vowels as a possibility, and I don't even want to go there...
The Star Trek New Frontier series has a character that is a hermafroditer and the word hir is used there.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 04:49 PM   #112
JohnGalt
Enthusiast
JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 35
Karma: 817528
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KY, USA
Device: Onyx M92
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
Yes, language changes. One of those changes is a singular use of the word "they". It's not a new usage, it goes back centuries. I've never heard anyone claim a proscriptive rule saying you couldn't use "he" as a generic pronoun. I have heard people shouting from the mountaintops that there was a proscriptive rule against the singular they. The generic "he" is well on its way to becoming dated or archaic. It's not wrong to use archaic words, it is just not what readers expect.
I'm honestly not trying to be argumentative, but I'm very surprised by this assertion that the use of "they" singularly goes back centuries. Do you have any examples to substantiate that?
JohnGalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #113
JohnGalt
Enthusiast
JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JohnGalt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 35
Karma: 817528
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KY, USA
Device: Onyx M92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
You're arguing for popular usage based on the anecdotal -- that nurses were referred to as she and doctors he in conversations in which people made assumptions about those professions. What you're clearly, utterly and blatantly missing is the distinction between popular usage and technically correct pronouns based on a synecdochic substitution.

It is now illogical to assume that nurses are women and doctors men, but it is neither illogical nor incorrect (however offensive some might find it) to use he as a gender-indeterminate pronoun.

This is because, in many languages, the female gender is semantically marked, the male, assumed. Linguistically, female-gendered language is often treated as a kind of exception to or deviation from the "dominant default" (linguists' term, not mine), i.e., the unmarked language which is nearly always the male-gendered and therefore the indeterminate-gendered.

Sexism becomes quite difficult to unthread when it is interwoven inextricably into the structure of a given language.

Popular usage has no bearing on correct English unless and until it is adopted as a standard. He is still the correct pronoun technically (despite giving the impression the person who uses it is sexist). It has never been technically correct to identify a group of people of both genders as belonging to a single gender. Never in the history of English has it been acceptable to say, "God made Adam and Eve, therefore he made only one sex." However, it is often said that God made man in His image.

That is because man and mankind are also synecdochic, and for the same reason that he is synecdochic. One could even argue that He is synecdochic (a presumption of gender with regard to God themselves (ouch! -- let's not do that again!)), and there we enter into discussions of the inherent sexism in language.

Things could be worse in terms of unmarked (i.e., male-normative) language -- we could be speaking French. But then again, one doesn't find many French people attempting to strip gender from French nouns.



WT Sharpe: s/he is pronounced s-slash-he. In terms of pronounced syllables, it turns out to be no shorter than she or he.

The issue with s/he is not only the clumsiness in conversation but the limited applicability of that solution in any form. Try the same thing with her and him and you'll see what I mean (i.e., h/e/i/r/m).
Isn't that sort of the case with the English as well? Man + "wo" equals Woman. Men + "wo" = women. He + "s" = she. The default is the the male, and the female is a modified version of the male.



http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=woman:

late O.E. wimman (pl. wimmen), lit. "woman-man," alteration of wifman (pl. wifmen), a compound of wif "woman" (see wife) + man "human being" (in Old English used in reference to both sexes; see man (n.)). Cf. Du. vrouwmens "wife," lit. "woman-man." The formation is peculiar to English and Dutch. Replaced older Old English wif and quean as the word for "female human being." The pronunciation of the singular altered in Middle English by the rounding influence of -w-; the plural retains the original vowel. Meaning "wife," now largely restricted to U.S. dialectal use, is attested from mid-15c. Women's liberation is attested from 1966; women's rights is from 1840, with an isolated example in 1630s.
JohnGalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:29 PM   #114
VydorScope
Wizard
VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VydorScope's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,394
Karma: 35207650
Join Date: Jun 2011
Device: Kindle Fire HD 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
I'm honestly not trying to be argumentative, but I'm very surprised by this assertion that the use of "they" singularly goes back centuries. Do you have any examples to substantiate that?
Actually it has been provided in this very thread more then once. Shakespeare was the big one mentioned already, but this one dates form the 1400's...

Quote:
Historical usage: Geoffrey Chaucer is widely credited as the father of English literature. He was one of the first well-known authors to write in Middle English instead of the prevailing literary tongue, Latin, bringing legitimacy to the language. And, what’s this? Why, it’s a line from The Canterbury Tales, ca. 1400:

“And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame,
They wol come up [...]“

It’s a little hard to tell in the Middle English, but whoso is a quantified expression, like whoever, that is syntactically singular, but then is paired to the syntactically plural they. So, since at least the beginnings of literary Middle English, 600 years ago, it’s been all right to use singular they. It’s been consistently attested since then; Henry Churchyard reports examples from the Oxford English Dictionary in 1434, 1535, 1643, 1749, 1848, and a wide variety of years in between. There has literally been no point since 1400 when singular they went unattested in contemporary English.
It is also attested to by various grammars:

For example:

Quote:
An English Grammar by Baskervill & Sewell, originally published in 1896, states that while he is preferred to singular they in general, they is “frequently found when the antecedent includes or implies both genders. The masculine does not really represent a feminine antecedent [...]” (Italics in original.) Further, as an exercise, they give examples of singular they, and tell the reader, “In the above sentences, unless both genders are implied, change the pronoun to agree with its antecedent.” (Again, italics in original.)
The simple fact is that they is grammatically acceptable to use a singular, and always has been.

And the current edition of the OED website attests to its usage:

Quote:
You can use the plural pronouns ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘their’ etc., despite the fact that, technically, they are referring back to a singular noun:

If your child is thinking about a gap year, they can get good advice from this website.
A researcher has to be completely objective in their findings.

Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical. In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing.
So, yeah, its legit.
VydorScope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:33 PM   #115
QuantumIguana
Philosopher
QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
QuantumIguana's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,884
Karma: 17180000
Join Date: Jan 2012
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2 gen, Kindle Fire 1st Gen, Kindle Touch
No problem, here's a link to the use of the singular they in Jane Austen's novels:

http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/austheir.html

One of the examples from Pride and Prejudice:

"To be sure, you knew no actual good of me -- but nobody thinks of that when they fall in love."

Shakespeare did it too:

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/langu...es/002748.html

A Comedy of Errors, Act IV, Scene 3:

There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
As if I were their well-acquainted friend

And the King James Bible does as well:

http://englishbibles.blogspot.com/20...sh-bibles.html

Singular "they" appears with the antecedent "his brother" in some versions of Matt. 18:35:
So lyke wyse shall my hevenly father do vnto you except ye forgeve with youre hertes eache one to his brother their treaspases. (Tyndale, 1526)

So lykewyse, shall my heauenly father do also vnto you, yf ye from your heartes, forgeue not, euery one his brother, their trespasses. (Bishops, 1568)

So likewise shall mine heauenly Father doe vnto you, except ye forgiue from your hearts, eche one to his brother their trespasses. (Geneva, 1587)

So likewise shall my heauenly Father doe also vnto you, if yee from your hearts forgiue not euery one his brother their trespasses. (KJV, 1611)
QuantumIguana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #116
frahse
occasional author
frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.frahse ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
frahse's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,713
Karma: 2050438260
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Wandering God's glorious hills, valleys and plains.
Device: Kindle3-3G, Archos 43, Samsung S3
This is becoming interesting.

Not often do we get to see the "exalted" and "elevated" duking it out.

frahse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 06:03 PM   #117
VydorScope
Wizard
VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.VydorScope ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
VydorScope's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,394
Karma: 35207650
Join Date: Jun 2011
Device: Kindle Fire HD 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by frahse View Post
This is becoming interesting.

Not often do we get to see the "exalted" and "elevated" duking it out.

Well there will be no resolution to this, so hope you have a LOT of popcorn.
VydorScope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 06:36 PM   #118
pdurrant
The Ghost Mouse
pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pdurrant's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,212
Karma: 88959342
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
Device: NOOK ST GlowLight
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
You seem to have mistaken an expression of the idea that masculine genderless pronouns are built into languages (and are therefore quite difficult to remove) for the spectacle of you or someone else being beaten to death for improper usage.

No one wants to go on saying he but meaning he and she. The challenge is finding a way to do it without having to join the Oulipo Society.
I disagree that a masculine genderless pronoun is built into English. It has been crowbarred into English into the past couple of centuries, in an attempt to displace the much more sensible singular they/their/them.

There is no need to invent a new genderless singular pronoun for English. We already have one.
pdurrant is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 10:01 PM   #119
QuantumIguana
Philosopher
QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.QuantumIguana ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
QuantumIguana's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,884
Karma: 17180000
Join Date: Jan 2012
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2 gen, Kindle Fire 1st Gen, Kindle Touch
I found this interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-...Middle_English

Historically, there were two gender neutral pronouns native to English dialects, "ou" and "a", but they have long since died out. According to Dennis Baron's Grammar and Gender:

In 1789, William H. Marshall records the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular "ou": "'Ou will' expresses either he will, she will, or it will." Marshall traces "ou" to Middle English epicene "a", used by the 14th century English writer John of Trevisa, and both the OED and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of "a" for he, she, it, they, and even I. This "a" is a reduced form of the Anglo-Saxon he = "he" and heo = "she"
—Dennis Baron, Grammar and Gender[8]

Baron goes on to describe how relics of these sex-neutral terms survive in some British dialects of Modern English (for example "hoo" for "she", in Yorkshire), and sometimes a pronoun of one gender might be applied to a person or animal of the opposite gender.
QuantumIguana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 03:47 AM   #120
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 64,010
Karma: 42472847
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Kobo H2O, N7
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
Baron goes on to describe how relics of these sex-neutral terms survive in some British dialects of Modern English (for example "hoo" for "she", in Yorkshire), and sometimes a pronoun of one gender might be applied to a person or animal of the opposite gender.[/I]
This is a relic of Old English, which had grammatical gender (as most European languages still do). There are other remnants of grammatical gender to be found in both Shakespeare and the King James Bible. Eg, Matthew 5:13:

Quote:
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?
"his savour" is not "personification" of salt, but applying grammatical gender to the noun "salt". The KJV was deliberately written in an archaic style for the time, which is why, for example, it uses 2nd-person "-eth" endings, such as "goeth", rather than "goes", even though "goes" had more or less taken over as the standard form by the early 17th century when it was written.

Last edited by HarryT; 08-30-2012 at 03:50 AM.
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Telling time in U. K. English SeaBookGuy General Discussions 424 07-26-2012 04:22 AM
Spanish libraries adopt ebook lending DMcCunney News 0 02-28-2011 09:17 PM
Will Kindle ever adopt an ePub format? tkingny Which one should I buy? 24 12-25-2009 09:38 AM
Adopt a Word Andybaby Lounge 1 01-31-2009 05:53 PM
OverDrive to Adopt epub jasonkchapman News 2 12-14-2007 02:38 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:46 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.