Author Topic: Episode #700  (Read 25645 times)

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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #120 on: December 23, 2018, 06:05:49 PM »
Yeah.
Fuck non binary and gender fluid people right?
Is there a way they can contact you for approval of any alternative terms they may want to use in case they dont meet your weird arbitrary standards?

Well, of course transsexual people have the right to have their personal identification documentation marked anyway they want, whether ‘male,’ ‘female,’ or ‘blank.’

But if you’re talking about people in the 3rd person generally (not specifically) it’s not necessary to have ‘they’ as a 3rd person singular pronoun.  You can put it into the plural.  ‘All children have the right to feel secure in their own homes’ means the same as ‘every child has the right to feel secure in his own home’ (without being gendered) making ‘every child has the right to feel secure in their own home’ unnecessary.

If you’re talking or writing about a specified person in the 3rd person, then you should use the appropriate pronoun.  And if you don’t know the person’s gender ‘he or she’ might do.  It’s just laziness to use ‘they’ instead trying to work out whether the person being referred to would want to be called male or female or neither.  Very disrespectful.  It would be a nonsense to write ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of ABC Corporation’ instead of ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of ABC Corporation.’
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #121 on: December 23, 2018, 06:16:03 PM »
The next time someone asks me "why is it so difficult to attract a younger, more diverse, more mainstream group of people to skepticism?", I'll simply show them this discussion board. Fights to maintain anachronistic grammar conventions, claims about the proper way to listen to classical music, fascinating details about strange dietary/exercise rituals.... what's not to like?

There’s nothing challenging or threatening about discussions about topics people find interesting, whether it’s ‘they’ as a lazy cop out for the 3rd person singular pronoun, classical music, diet or exercise.  If the discussion was taking a female or young person antagonistic slant, I’d agree.  But it’s not.

Scepticism involves thinking about everything.  There’s no limitation on topics suitable for sceptic pondering.  If you don’t find something interesting, then just don’t read it.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #122 on: December 23, 2018, 06:52:06 PM »
There’s nothing challenging or threatening about discussions about topics people find interesting, whether it’s ‘they’ as a lazy cop out for the 3rd person singular pronoun, classical music, diet or exercise.  If the discussion was taking a female or young person antagonistic slant, I’d agree.  But it’s not.

The thing is, bachfiend, "they" is the 3rd person singular pronoun. People have tried inventing others (like hir) but they have never caught on. "They" is accepted and used, and sometimes preferred, by real people.

And yes, if CarbShark had said "My preferred pronoun is "he/him" then I would respect that. But CarbShark's response was, and I quote, "Y'all need to chill".
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #123 on: December 23, 2018, 07:10:07 PM »
The next time someone asks me "why is it so difficult to attract a younger, more diverse, more mainstream group of people to skepticism?", I'll simply show them this discussion board. Fights to maintain anachronistic grammar conventions, claims about the proper way to listen to classical music, fascinating details about strange dietary/exercise rituals.... what's not to like?

Or maybe young people just find other things more interesting. Or maybe they just see us as a bunch of old fuddy-duddies for caring whether someone goes to a naturopath rather than a medical doctor, or maybe they’d rather drink alcohol, do drugs, and have sex than hang around with people who spend so much time thinking about how we know things. Or maybe they’ve never heard of skepticism because they listen to what passes for music in that crowd instead of podcasts about science.

I really doubt that the occasional thread about grammar is what’s keeping young people away from skepticism.
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #124 on: December 23, 2018, 07:28:44 PM »
There’s nothing challenging or threatening about discussions about topics people find interesting, whether it’s ‘they’ as a lazy cop out for the 3rd person singular pronoun, classical music, diet or exercise.  If the discussion was taking a female or young person antagonistic slant, I’d agree.  But it’s not.

The thing is, bachfiend, "they" is the 3rd person singular pronoun. People have tried inventing others (like hir) but they have never caught on. "They" is accepted and used, and sometimes preferred, by real people.

And yes, if CarbShark had said "My preferred pronoun is "he/him" then I would respect that. But CarbShark's response was, and I quote, "Y'all need to chill".

No, it isn’t.  ‘They’ is the 3rd person plural pronoun.  It’s unnecessary to use it as a 3rd person singular pronoun, since there are alternatives, such as using the plural when you’re referring to unspecified people generally.  It’s not necessary to use the singular (such as ‘child’ or ‘author’) and then follow up with ‘he’ or ‘his’ when you can use ‘children’ or ‘authors’ followed by ‘they’ and ‘their.’

And if you’re insisting that ‘they’ is a 3rd person singular pronoun, would it be: he thinks, she thinks, it thinks, CarbShark thinks, they thinks?  They thinks is singular and they think is plural?

My point all along is that ‘they’ as a 3rd person pronoun is unnecessary, and just lazy.  It’s got nothing with being disrespectful to women or transsexual people.  I referred to JK Rowling approvingly.  She published her Harry Potter’ with her initials thinking that boys wouldn’t read books written by a female author (and for some strange inexplicable reason, she’s published her adult novels as Robert Galbraith, but to me she’s Joanne K Rowling, and she’s a very good author - but not a very good screenplay writer, the latest Grindelwald film was terrible).
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #125 on: December 23, 2018, 07:46:44 PM »
Wow.
Your understanding of gender identity seems about as up to date as your ideas on grammar.
English IS your first language but are you posting from the 90s? Because that would explain everything and would be frankly awesome.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #126 on: December 23, 2018, 07:48:03 PM »
No, it isn’t.

I posted the citation. So have others.

‘They’ is the 3rd person plural pronoun.

It's both. "You" is both the second person singular and the second person plural pronoun. Why can't "they" also do double duty?

It’s unnecessary to use it as a 3rd person singular pronoun, since there are alternatives, such as using the plural when you’re referring to unspecified people generally.  It’s not necessary to use the singular (such as ‘child’ or ‘author’) and then follow up with ‘he’ or ‘his’ when you can use ‘children’ or ‘authors’ followed by ‘they’ and ‘their.’

Tell that to people for whom it is their preferred pronoun. Actually don't, because it would be extremely disrespecful.

And if you’re insisting that ‘they’ is a 3rd person singular pronoun, would it be: he thinks, she thinks, it thinks, CarbShark thinks, they thinks?  They thinks is singular and they think is plural?

Yes, exactly. You're getting it.

My point all along is that ‘they’ as a 3rd person pronoun is unnecessary, and just lazy.

For all the reasons stated previously, you are just wrong.

It’s got nothing with being disrespectful to women or transsexual people.

It is disrespectful to people to ignore their pronoun preference. Notice that, even after all this, CarbShark still hasn't stated a preference, which I take to mean that they don't have a problem with my using the gender neutral pronoun.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #127 on: December 23, 2018, 07:51:36 PM »
Also- Its transgender. Not transsexual.
Those are different things.
And non binary and gender fluid folks are also distinct kinds of people you may and probably have met.

Online Tassie Dave

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #128 on: December 23, 2018, 07:54:15 PM »
My point all along is that ‘they’ as a 3rd person pronoun is unnecessary, and just lazy.  It’s got nothing with being disrespectful to women or transsexual people. 

It is disrespectful if someone asks for 'they, them and their' to be their preferred pronouns.

Rivers Solomon has chosen to be identified as non-binary gender. They just ask for their wishes to be respected.

I would say use 'They think' instead of 'they thinks'. It sounds better.

Grammar rules will always lag behind social conventions. It will catch up. We don't use grammar the same way our great grandparents used it. Word meanings change. Sentence structure changes

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #129 on: December 23, 2018, 10:46:20 PM »
The great courses has a wonderful series on language by John McWhorter. It seems that prescriptivist positions on the correctness of language correlate with ignorance of the nature of language.
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #130 on: December 23, 2018, 11:21:35 PM »
OK, all of you who want to use ‘they’ as a 3rd person singular pronoun, I take it you’ll be completely happy with writing or saying:

i saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation.

You don’t know that John Smith is male.  She could be transgender and wants to be regarded as female.  Or her parents could have decided that ‘John’ was a good name for a girl.  And ‘chairman’ is hopelessly sexist.  It’s much safer and less offensive to use ‘they are the chairman of ABC Corporation.’

Right?  Just to be consistent.

And which of the following alternatives is best:

Every child should feel safe in his own home.

All children should feel safe in their own homes.

Every child should feel safe in their own home.


How do the alternatives differ in meaning?  Why is your selection best?
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Online fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #131 on: December 23, 2018, 11:54:04 PM »
The great courses has a wonderful series on language by John McWhorter. It seems that prescriptivist positions on the correctness of language correlate with ignorance of the nature of language.

I second brilligtove's recommendation to check out McWhorter's work. He does a podcast called "Leixcon Valley" on language, and it is fantastic. I've learned a lot from listening to it.

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #132 on: December 23, 2018, 11:59:48 PM »
Here is a great piece by McWhorter on the singular they:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/the-new-they/568993/

Online fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #133 on: December 24, 2018, 12:11:52 AM »
Lest you think McWhorter represents a fringe opinion in the linguistics community, I'll post a quote from The Economist's language column that I linked to earlier. The Economist is not generally viewed as an iconoclastic champion of radically progressive ideas.

Quote
The AP and Chicago (and the forthcoming edition of The Economist stylebook) open the door to a controversial—but surprisingly traditional—solution to the problem: “each president chooses their own cabinet”. Some people say it is illogical: each president is singular, and their is clearly plural. Efforts to use their instead of his are modern political correctness running roughshod over grammatical good sense.

But that is wrong. Their can do double-duty just as your can for both singular and plural. You has a partly parallel history. First, it was the object form of ye for a plural: we-us, ye-you. Then it replaced ye: we-us, you-you. It was then used as a polite way to refer to a single person, much like the French vous. Then it started edging out the common way to refer to a single person, thou. From second-person-plural pronoun in the objective case to a singular in the nominative is a pretty big shift. Pressing they/their/them into service for a generic or unknown referent is actually less of a leap.

Supporters of the epicene they argue that it is high time this was accepted, in a world aware of sex discrimination. But this is unlikely to convince traditionalists. A better argument is that the singular they is hardly a newfangled political invention. The Oxford English Dictionary’s first citation for a sex-neutral, indefinite they is from about 1375. (Singular you as a subject dates back only to 1405.) Singular they appears subsequently in an unbroken stream of high-quality sources from the King James Bible (“in lowlinesse of minde let each esteeme other better then themselues”) to the writings of Walter Bagehot, a former editor of The Economist (“Nobody fancies for a moment that they are reading about any thing beyond the pale of ordinary propriety”) to today. The American Dialect Society crowned singular they its word of the year for 2015.

The alternatives are worse. He or she quickly becomes wearisome on repetition. Alternating he and she is distracting. Inventing pronouns does not help: from hersh to ze, made-up gender-neutral pronouns have never taken off and probably never will.

One alternative would be to make the referent plural: “Presidents choose their own cabinets.” This is usually the best thing to do. But there are times when a writer wants to conjure an individual, albeit a generic one. In such cases, the truly newfangled options have failed to gain widespread acceptance among editors and writers of quality. Singular, epicene they has not just modern gender equality but seven centuries of the finest literary tradition on its side. As usage disputes go, this should be an easy one.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 12:16:05 AM by fuzzyMarmot »

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #134 on: December 24, 2018, 01:08:51 AM »
Quote from: bachfiend
No, it isn’t.  ‘They’ is the 3rd person plural pronoun.  It’s unnecessary to use it as a 3rd person singular pronoun

You keep repeating yourself... everyone here understands your point,  they just disagree with it.

And yeah...McWhorter.
Amend and resubmit.