Author Topic: Episode #700  (Read 25426 times)

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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #285 on: January 06, 2019, 10:40:37 pm »


‘They’ means two or more persons, or at least the possibility of two or more persons.  ‘He’ and ‘she’ mean one person of male or female gender.  Using ‘they’ for a single person is an abomination designed to be ambiguous.
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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #286 on: January 06, 2019, 10:44:53 pm »


‘They’ means two or more persons, or at least the possibility of two or more persons.  ‘He’ and ‘she’ mean one person of male or female gender.  Using ‘they’ for a single person is an abomination designed to be ambiguous.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #287 on: January 07, 2019, 12:05:15 am »
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.

No, I am not happy with that. I would say the following:

I saw John Smith this morning. They are the chair of the ABC Corporation.

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?

The first is wrong, because not every child is male. The second and third are both fine.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #288 on: January 07, 2019, 01:06:15 am »
Okay. First. Bachfiend goes on about people with "easily ascertainable gender" as though that is a given. It isn't. Someone may present fully as male, with a beard and everything, and still insist on a female pronoun. Someone may appear very feminine and still prefer the pronoun "they". Gender is ascertainable only by asking, not by looking. Note that Bachfiend assumed my preferred pronoun based on my avatar, rather than asking. I object to that.

Second. Bachfiend suggests inventing a new nonbinary singular pronoun. This would be laudable, if it hadn't been tried and failed many times in the last fifty years. Ze/mer was proposed in 1997. E/em was proposed in 1983. Xe/xem was proposed in 1973. There are many more. None of them caught on. Singular "they" did, and is being actively used by many people. Resistance to it now is perverse and transphobic.
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #289 on: January 07, 2019, 02:32:46 am »
Okay. First. Bachfiend goes on about people with "easily ascertainable gender" as though that is a given. It isn't. Someone may present fully as male, with a beard and everything, and still insist on a female pronoun. Someone may appear very feminine and still prefer the pronoun "they". Gender is ascertainable only by asking, not by looking. Note that Bachfiend assumed my preferred pronoun based on my avatar, rather than asking. I object to that.

Second. Bachfiend suggests inventing a new nonbinary singular pronoun. This would be laudable, if it hadn't been tried and failed many times in the last fifty years. Ze/mer was proposed in 1997. E/em was proposed in 1983. Xe/xem was proposed in 1973. There are many more. None of them caught on. Singular "they" did, and is being actively used by many people. Resistance to it now is perverse and transphobic.

It’s ‘bachfiend,’ not ‘Bachfiend.’  You should ‘respect’ my preference.

Many people being wrong regarding the meaning of ‘they’ doesn’t make it correct.

It doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) matter to a person who regards personal gender to be different from biological gender to be referred to in the 3rd person as ‘he’ or ‘she.’  If there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns (eg ‘youm’ for males and ‘youf’ for females) then there would be would be grounds for complaint.  Someone would be entitled to complain if she was addressed with ‘youm’ if she regarded herself as a female.

But there are no gendered 2nd person singular pronouns.

I’m not transphobic.  But there are better ways of expressing support than perverting the meaning of ‘they.’
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #290 on: January 07, 2019, 08:53:18 am »
Many people being wrong regarding the meaning of ‘they’ doesn’t make it correct.



The meme format is based on this commercial, btw.

I'm not sure whether the commercial started the 'not how any of this works' or just made use of it.
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Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #291 on: January 07, 2019, 12:45:27 pm »
I think this discussion represents the "Rolling Resistance" that would keep language from changing too fast for easy communication between separated populations.  That resistance is more easily challenged with near instantaneous communication and adoption of new words and usages.

I used to get all upset about what I considered to be violations of language rules, but the last 25 years or so have really mellowed me out. 

https://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462906419/everyone-uses-singular-they-whether-they-realize-it-or-not
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #292 on: January 07, 2019, 02:24:07 pm »
I think this discussion represents the "Rolling Resistance" that would keep language from changing too fast for easy communication between separated populations.  That resistance is more easily challenged with near instantaneous communication and adoption of new words and usages.

I used to get all upset about what I considered to be violations of language rules, but the last 25 years or so have really mellowed me out. 

https://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462906419/everyone-uses-singular-they-whether-they-realize-it-or-not

I agree with some, perhaps many, uses of the singular you, but the one usage that I completely disagree with is using the singular they to refer to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender. 

Replacing ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation with ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation’ just in case I’m wrong regarding John Smith’s gender, or that he’s transgender, and prefers ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun seems to me to be overreach, and creating the possibility of ambiguity and being misleading. 

Obviously John Smith is male, and as a result he’s a chairman (I won’t go into what we should call persons in charge of meetings that are non-gendered), in the same way that Sigourney Weaver is female, and she’s an actress.

I don’t disagree with using the singular they in other situations.  ‘Did anyone leave their books here?’ instead of ‘Did anyone leave his books here?’. ‘Anybody’ includes the possibility that there’s two or more persons concerned, not just one.

Alex left the room with her laptop’ is unambiguous and non-misleading.  Alex is probably the shortened form of Alexandra, and it’s her laptop.  ‘Alex left the room with their laptop’ is ambiguous.  Whose laptop?  Alex’s laptop?  Someone else’s? 
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #293 on: January 07, 2019, 02:40:15 pm »
Why?
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Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #294 on: January 07, 2019, 02:43:30 pm »
I think this discussion represents the "Rolling Resistance" that would keep language from changing too fast for easy communication between separated populations.  That resistance is more easily challenged with near instantaneous communication and adoption of new words and usages.

I used to get all upset about what I considered to be violations of language rules, but the last 25 years or so have really mellowed me out. 

https://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462906419/everyone-uses-singular-they-whether-they-realize-it-or-not

I agree with some, perhaps many, uses of the singular you, but the one usage that I completely disagree with is using the singular they to refer to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender. 

Replacing ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation with ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation’ just in case I’m wrong regarding John Smith’s gender, or that he’s transgender, and prefers ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun seems to me to be overreach, and creating the possibility of ambiguity and being misleading. 

Obviously John Smith is male, and as a result he’s a chairman (I won’t go into what we should call persons in charge of meetings that are non-gendered), in the same way that Sigourney Weaver is female, and she’s an actress.

I don’t disagree with using the singular they in other situations.  ‘Did anyone leave their books here?’ instead of ‘Did anyone leave his books here?’. ‘Anybody’ includes the possibility that there’s two or more persons concerned, not just one.

Alex left the room with her laptop’ is unambiguous and non-misleading.  Alex is probably the shortened form of Alexandra, and it’s her laptop.  ‘Alex left the room with their laptop’ is ambiguous.  Whose laptop?  Alex’s laptop?  Someone else’s?

I understood what you wrote the very first time you wrote it.  You have asked (repeatedly) for evidence that your position is wrong (or, at least, wrong-ish). I assume you have read and/or listened to it - I don't think there is any evidence that you will accept or that will change your mind.

The bottom line is, language changes.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #295 on: January 07, 2019, 04:03:04 pm »
You have been making variations on the same argument for what seems like weeks now.
'Alex left the room with her laptop' is just as clear as 'with their laptop.'
In both sentences, one must intentionally reach for the miscommunication.
'Her laptop'- Who's? Jane's?
Use of neither pronoun makes the sentence more or less clear to whom we are referring.

Its a shit argument. You are being petty and destroying any credibility you had as a reasonable person.
Sorry, 'destroying' is grammatically incorrect. It should be 'have destroyed'.

Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #296 on: January 07, 2019, 04:03:58 pm »
I think this discussion represents the "Rolling Resistance" that would keep language from changing too fast for easy communication between separated populations.  That resistance is more easily challenged with near instantaneous communication and adoption of new words and usages.

I used to get all upset about what I considered to be violations of language rules, but the last 25 years or so have really mellowed me out. 

https://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462906419/everyone-uses-singular-they-whether-they-realize-it-or-not

I agree with some, perhaps many, uses of the singular you, but the one usage that I completely disagree with is using the singular they to refer to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender. 

Replacing ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation with ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation’ just in case I’m wrong regarding John Smith’s gender, or that he’s transgender, and prefers ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun seems to me to be overreach, and creating the possibility of ambiguity and being misleading. 

Obviously John Smith is male, and as a result he’s a chairman (I won’t go into what we should call persons in charge of meetings that are non-gendered), in the same way that Sigourney Weaver is female, and she’s an actress.

I don’t disagree with using the singular they in other situations.  ‘Did anyone leave their books here?’ instead of ‘Did anyone leave his books here?’. ‘Anybody’ includes the possibility that there’s two or more persons concerned, not just one.

Alex left the room with her laptop’ is unambiguous and non-misleading.  Alex is probably the shortened form of Alexandra, and it’s her laptop.  ‘Alex left the room with their laptop’ is ambiguous.  Whose laptop?  Alex’s laptop?  Someone else’s?

I understood what you wrote the very first time you wrote it.  You have asked (repeatedly) for evidence that your position is wrong (or, at least, wrong-ish). I assume you have read and/or listened to it - I don't think there is any evidence that you will accept or that will change your mind.

The bottom line is, language changes.

Agreed, language changes, but it doesn’t change so that it expresses ideas less clearly and more ambiguously.  New words and new meanings of old words develop to reflect changes in technology and culture.  And as a result, ideas are expressed more clearly.  Once people got used to the Internet, the Web acquired a new meaning besides a spider’s insect trap.

But there are changes that are just incorrect, and should be resisted.  Many people use ‘infer’ when they actually mean ‘imply.’  The same is happening with using ‘they’ when ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the correct pronoun.  Using ‘they’ reduces clarity and increases ambiguity.

Proponents of using ‘they’ for single specified persons are right in that it’s being used.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to survive.  There’s a lot of resistance to it.  And I’m not ‘wrong’ (or even ‘wrong-ish’).  ‘They’ means ‘two or more.’  I’m not wrong in asserting that it doesn’t mean ‘one and only one.’
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #297 on: January 07, 2019, 04:24:07 pm »
You have been making variations on the same argument for what seems like weeks now.
'Alex left the room with her laptop' is just as clear as 'with their laptop.'
In both sentences, one must intentionally reach for the miscommunication.
'Her laptop'- Who's? Jane's?
Use of neither pronoun makes the sentence more or less clear to whom we are referring.

Its a shit argument. You are being petty and destroying any credibility you had as a reasonable person.
Sorry, 'destroying' is grammatically incorrect. It should be 'have destroyed'.

‘Alex left the room with her laptop’ is much clearer and less ambiguous than ‘Alex left the room with their laptop,’ obviously.  Alex is female, and it’s her laptop.  In the alternative, Alex could be male or female (I guess most people would have thought she was male), and also that she’d left the room with someone else’s laptop.

By the way - it’s ‘it’s’ not ‘its.’  Misuse of apostrophes is also one of my mild dislikes (it has been suggested that the apostrophe should be dropped from the English language, since punctuation marks indicate pronunciation, and ‘it’s is pronounced the same as ‘its,’ but nothing came of it).  Dropping the apostrophe would have meant that no one would ever be wrong in misusing it, in the same way that using ‘they’ for single identified persons would mean that no one would ever be wrong regarding the person’s gender.  At the cost of loss of clarity and increased ambiguity.  In most cases, the apostrophe is unnecessary.  With the possible exception of ‘she won’t’ compared to ‘her wont.’
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #298 on: January 07, 2019, 05:40:07 pm »
Oh.
How silly of me >:D

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Re: Episode #700
« Reply #299 on: January 07, 2019, 06:27:06 pm »
Oh.
How silly of me >:D

It’s excusable, or it would be excusable, if the apostrophe was abolished.  German manages to get along fine without an apostrophe.  There’s no apostrophe in ‘Georgs Buch’ or ‘am’ - short for ‘an dem’ as in Frankfurt am Main).  Using ‘they’ for ‘he’ or ‘she’ isn’t excusable.  Just because it’s been done for years and by many doesn’t make it correct.  Ever since Australia went on the metric system 50 years ago, kilometre has been mispronounced in a similar way to speedometer and thermometer, instead of similarly to kilogram.  It’s so common, that it’s almost a shock to hear someone pronouncing it correctly.  But the common mispronunciation of kilometre is still incorrect.

I don’t want ‘he’ and ‘she’ to go the same way, with ‘they’ replacing both.  At least with ‘you’ (which is the same in singular and plural), it’s usually obvious who’s being addressed (German partly gets around the problem by having different familiar pronouns du/ihr in the singular/plural).
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