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Thread: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

  1. #11
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    Re: The "Bye, Ubuntu" thread

    I can't believe people are giving Aysiu crap about this. Given how frequently I see she used as the singular anonymous third person these days, and certainly in computer books, I'm surprised that anyone can even manage to be irritated by it. And those that consider it PC should probably consider that they are the ones insisting on a convention, or a sense of 'correctness'; Aysiu, on the other hand, is not insisting on any type of 'correctness', or even insisting that anyone use anything other than their preferred third person singular pronoun.

    Incidentally, the tendency to assume that one is using he as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun is often betrayed when it comes to referring to unspecified nurses, secretaries, and other roles that are conventionally thought of women. In that case, the normal anonymous singular third-person pronoun becomes she.

  2. #12
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    Re: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

    from my experiences in writing if you use he in one paragraph, be consistent in that graph. you are more than free to use she in the next.

  3. #13
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    Re: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

    A compromise would be to either avoid 3rd-person singular pronouns at all or write "she/he". I find the use of an isolated "he" or "she" both confusing & not particularly politically correct. It's a bit silly for guys to use a single "she" and equally for girls to use "he".

    Guess the adherence to "he/she" or plural "they" would resolve all our problems. And yes, writing an essay, etc. one should be consistent. Otherwise you lose credibility.

  4. #14
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    Re: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

    In my language, there's only one pronoun for third person, so we don't have a problem. As a woman, it's good to see someone to use she instead the common he(though I don't read two much english nowdays). But I agree with wieman01, we should use they, I don't like the form he/she.
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  5. #15
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    Re: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

    Unfortunately, the form he/she or even s/he is just too clunky looking in a document. From my understanding, we here in the US have the most difficult language to learn...I am starting to see why.

  6. #16
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    Re: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

    Actually, beside the she/he problem, english is a very simple to learn language. Of corse, when you get involved, it's a little bit harder, cos there are too much exceptions. But for basic use it is easy. I know that my language is really hard for others.
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  7. #17
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    Re: The Third-Person Singular Pronoun

    it's not normally full of exceptions, people take exception to complex rules because they're lazy and their brains can remember exceptions rather than rules.

    spelling is another matter though
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  8. #18
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    Re: The "Bye, Ubuntu" thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ComplexNumber View Post
    aysiu, you're a nice enough person and all that, but i really wish you wouldn't be so politically correct in your language (eg your insistance upon using "she" and her" instead of the more normal unisex address of "he", "his", "they", and "their"). it really confuses what you say, but it doesn't serve any useful purpose.
    I'm confused. How does aysiu make saying "You can't force someone to use an OS that doesn't suit her needs" confuse anything? "He" is not neuter. It is male. There is no neuter singular gender in English. If you want that, use German or Russian. "They" is plural. Colloquially, it takes the place of a singular pronoun, however. Regardless, "he" would not be gender-neutral. "They" can be. "She" is also not gender-neutral. It does not confuse things one bit, though. It is much more standard now to say "s/he" or "he or she." Also becoming popular is the practice of alternating between male and female pronouns. Aysiu's writing is perfectly acceptable.

    Dorcssa, what language family is Hungarian?

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  9. #19
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    Re: The "Bye, Ubuntu" thread

    Quote Originally Posted by macogw View Post
    I'm confused. How does aysiu make saying "You can't force someone to use an OS that doesn't suit her needs" confuse anything? "He" is not neuter. It is male. There is no neuter singular gender in English. If you want that, use German or Russian. "They" is plural. Colloquially, it takes the place of a singular pronoun, however. Regardless, "he" would not be gender-neutral. "They" can be. "She" is also not gender-neutral. It does not confuse things one bit, though. It is much more standard now to say "s/he" or "he or she." Also becoming popular is the practice of alternating between male and female pronouns. Aysiu's writing is perfectly acceptable.

    Dorcssa, what language family is Hungarian?
    Hungarian is a separate language family... So is Finnish.

    As for German, there is no such thing as "neuter singular gender", so I am not sure what you are referring to. So the German language is facing pretty much the same problem as English in that respect.

  10. #20
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    Re: The "Bye, Ubuntu" thread

    By the way, does anyone know what languages have gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns?

    I know Chinese does, and I think Korean does as well. What others are there?

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