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My distaste for improper English

 
 
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 05:16 pm
Today's cultural necessity with using plural pronouns to match with singular subjects causes David Lyga much pain and suffering. This garbage began decades ago with the women's liberation movement and has grown only more and more defiant with the transgender crowd, were 'they' can be demanded instead of 'he' or 'she'.

I utterly despise the following;

"Everyone does it their own way."

Instead of the previously (and correct) normative default:
"Everyone does it his own way."

Or, allowing for cultural sensitivity, we could allow:

"Everyone does it his or her (or his/her) own way."

Why do we allow such linguistic derogation? Why do so few care? Am I the only one who does care? - David Lyga
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Type: Discussion • Score: 19 • Views: 1,367 • Replies: 107

 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 05:41 pm
@david lyga,
I write for a living and I don't care.

This is prescriptivist at best. At worst, pedantic.

Writing and speech are communications. They need to be understood. Native English speakers understand the singular use of the 3rd person plural pronoun they.

"Steve, you got a phone call."

"Well, what did they want?"

The term is well understood.

And it has nothing to do with women's liberation.
david lyga
 
  3  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 05:46 pm
@jespah,
Well, we do have a major disagreement here. Certainly, your view presides, but that does not make it correct. My distaste for misusing the pronoun is intense, and the only places I seem to see correct usage is with legal writing or IRS output. There, accuracy really matters, but not so much within our modern culture.

The women's liberation demanded that the male default be obfuscated. - David Lyga
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 05:50 pm
@david lyga,
Probably because the male default often doesn't make any sense. If you really want to get technical (and, apparently, you do), then use either it or one.

And recognize what a weird hill you've chosen to die on.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 06:20 pm
@david lyga,
david lyga wrote:

Today's cultural necessity with using plural pronouns to match with singular subjects causes David Lyga much pain and suffering. This garbage began decades ago with the women's liberation movement and has grown only more and more defiant with the transgender crowd, were 'they' can be demanded instead of 'he' or 'she'.

I utterly despise the following;

"Everyone does it their own way."

Instead of the previously (and correct) normative default:
"Everyone does it his own way."

Or, allowing for cultural sensitivity, we could allow:

"Everyone does it his or her (or his/her) own way."

Why do we allow such linguistic derogation? Why do so few care? Am I the only one who does care? - David Lyga


I disagree with your examples. We have been using the "their" pronouns for describing a member of a group almost since Shakespeare.

The problem is when it is used to describe a singular person who is not part of a group.

My daughter's friend called me and said "Is Sam there". I replied "No she isn't, I don't know where she is".

The friend said "They were supposed to meet me at the train station." That is the normal usage in Cambridge, and it is quite a bit worse than the examples you are given.

I told my daughter she can choose to be male or female... but that she can't be plural. I did offer to refer to her as "it" as a compromise. It didn't make her happy.
david lyga
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 06:30 pm
@maxdancona,
There is a difference between British and American English in that groups in Britain are considered plural. "The British Museum do this every year." Whereby in the USA, it would be the singular "The British Museum does this every year."

However, for the use of "they" to denote "Sam" ... that is plain wrong on either side of the pond. You tolerate it; I disdain it. We can still be friends. - David Lyga
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 06:37 pm
@david lyga,
You can tolerate something that you disdain.

Actually.... I don't know if you can tolerate something you don't disdain. I tolerate brussel sprouts (which I dislike).

I would never say I "tolerate" pistachio ice cream. I love pistachio ice cream.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 06:47 pm
It is worse in Spanish (I speak Spanish almost fluently).

I despise the word Latinx. It is supposed to be some kind of gender neutral version of "latino" (masculine) and "latina" (feminine). But it completely fucks with the language.

In Spanish, the gender of the adjective has to match the gender of the noun it describes. So we come to the weird phrase "Latinx family". This is a phrase that you will hear on NPR incessantly now (if you listen to NPR).

The problem is that in Spanish the word for family is "familia". It is a feminine word. So in more traditional times, the correct word is "familia latina" you would always use "latina" because it matches the gender of the word "familia".

In Spanish it feels to me that the rule being broken is much more fundamental. The phrase should be "familix latinx".... and we should all be eating tacxs mexicanx with corn tortillxs.

neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 07:14 pm
@david lyga,
My pet peeve?

Someone who refers to himself in the 3rd person. As if we don't know it's YOU.
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 09:16 pm
@neptuneblue,
Sort of the way Senator Bob Dole speaks/spoke/spake.

'When you vote for Bob Dole, he'll get the job done!'

nacredambition
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 09:22 pm
@david lyga,
My distaste for improper English

Quote:
Today's cultural necessity with using plural pronouns to match with singular subjects causes David Lyga much pain and suffering.


Quite.

0 Replies
 
FreedomEyeLove
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 10:20 pm
@david lyga,
Wow.

I'm glad david lyga came into this community.

We need some intelligent people here.
glitterbag
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2020 11:18 pm
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:

Sort of the way Senator Bob Dole speaks/spoke/spake.

'When you vote for Bob Dole, he'll get the job done!'




I remember a friend of my son who said Dole would look more approachable if instead of the pencil he carried in his injured hand he should carry a Turkey leg around Thanksgiving, and maybe a peppermint cane during the Christmas holidays. Gosh I hope that was original and not from some comedian's stand up routine.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 01:37 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
It is worse in Spanish

French have gendered adjectives and articles, which makes what they call l'écriture inclusive odious to read. E.g. "Le·la moniteur·trice"...
0 Replies
 
david lyga
 
  3  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 03:02 am
@FreedomEyeLove,
I guess the overriding purpose of my thread was to bring attention to the fact that faulty English is tenaciously supported ... and people like David Lyga become miscreants for their efforts to dissuade such.

I knew that this would happen; it is not a shock to me. We live within a culture which is not only mired in mediocrity, but celebrated as being so ill-informed. Yes, it is a clumsy one, buoyed by our collective obsession with the mobile phone which, when all is said and done, is not very 'smart', after all. - David Lyga
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 03:43 am
@jespah,
It’s poorly disguised transphobia. That’s all it is.

He started a thread about being old, white and friendless. Maybe he should join the KKK.
david lyga
 
  3  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 03:54 am
@izzythepush,
I guess that ad hominem is OK as long as the jespah is in charge.

Of course, the moderators would never dream of confronting Queen Jespah. Instead they will delete both my presence and prescience. - David Lyga
izzythepush
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 04:12 am
@david lyga,
That’s not an ad hom, it’s an observation based on your posts.

Do you deny being transphobic?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  0  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 04:51 am
@david lyga,
The jespah? Odd. Shrug.

Report whatever you like and, just like with over a million other members, it will be reviewed.

And, in case you haven't noticed, your stuff-- and you-- are still here.

There is also a Contact Us link at the bottom of every page for more general questions. And and while you're there, feel free to peruse the Terms of Service and the rules (everyone should, you're not being singled out).
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2020 04:57 am
@jespah,
Interesting how the OP seems to know so much about individual members despite only having joined yesterday.

He is one of a recent number of new arrivals who claim to be left leaning or centrist only to spout a load of right wing ideology.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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