Friday, September 19, 2008

Someone needs to tell Barney



that his attempt at gender neutral language is appreciated, though it is so forced as to sound... awkward.

however.

1) english is an ordinally hierarchical language and, thus, "his or her," while seemingly PC on the surface, actually implies a hierarchy with "his" being above "her."

2) grammar is fluid and goes to usage. thus, it has become not only PC but *grammatically acceptable* to say "everyone is special in *their* own way." "Their" being an acceptable gender-neutral single pronoun. (Actually has been since Jane Austen, apparently.)

7 comments:

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I hate prescriptvism. If nigh unto everyone uses "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, then it's bloody well a singular pronoun. So there. Debate's over. You lost. Get over it.

No one's complaining that we lost our front rounded vowels in English or heavy declination of nouns and adjectives, so why complain that "their" is being used as a singular?

/end rant

Jér said...

I agree. "They" and "their" have been used in this way for centuries. The prescriptivists have always been wrong.

Besides: "they" and "their" are from Old Norse, not Old English. Maybe we should go back to the Old English forms?

bff said...

Ok, actually not Jane. "Hem" and "hir" are theld English forms. So "em" which people assume contracts the th from "them" is actually an older form of the plural, dropping the h.

Jane Austen? Honestly, Kerry, What happened to Chaucer?

Trisha said...

I have no grammatical comment to make, just that Ava stopped dead in her tracks to watch that video. Bad sign?? Barney will never enter our home again!

Kerry said...

I'm actually a fan of Barney, Trish. He taught Lily about, yanno, *emotions.* (she didn't fully understand their purpose/definition/usefulness/function/etc. before. now she'll even give me a hug!)

Kerry said...

chaucer, schmacer.

dude was a hack.

Mark- TCM said...

Time for a bit of perspective.

Barney helped Luke "go potty."

Okay, Bear in thr Big Blue House helped even more, but, yanno, I gotta shout out to the big purple dude too!

Darn! I think I just used a Kerryism (i.e. the ever so descriptive "yanno")...;-)