Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Gender Neutral Pronoun we've been using for ages

To the Politically Correct,
    Language is a initially a complicated matter, but as society creates demands for change, it becomes even more so. This becomes a big problem as it becomes harder even for natives to master the language, which in turn creates even more complications. This also makes it very difficult for foreigners to learn the language and may even result in the death of a language. However, perhaps the saddest result is that newer generations will not be able to understand us or our ancestors rich literature.
    It is difficult to satisfy both requirements of simplicity and change, but if the changes were to make the language simpler, then perhaps that is the best route.
    A recent movement that makes things complicated is the idea of gender neutral pronouns. English, like every language I have studied, has historically used the male to represent both genders. However, a lot of women are annoyed that they may be excluded or an after thought due to ambiguity.
    There have been attempts to introduce a gender neutral word, but to find a good word and convince people to use it is too troublesome. I recall an article from a long time ago where a country tried "hen" which has a lot of problems. Why call someone a bird that is also female? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? Add a bonus fact that the same word in Japanese means "strange/perverted" and we have irony. Another method was to add female words to clarify, but to add "or she" to every instance of he is tedious. Next attempt is to use "they" even when it's singular. That just adds another complication and is grammatically incorrect.

   So my proposed solution is as follows: use "It". The issue for this was that "It" is for objects, not people. Except that this is not entirely true. We have had the complication of using "It" as a gender neutral pronoun for ages. Here are some examples:

Who is it?
It is I
It's a girl!

Since we already use it for when we don't know the gender and sometimes even when we do know the gender, let's just expand its role. That's simpler and removes complications.

N. D. Moharo

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