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The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe => Podcast Episodes => Topic started by: Steven Novella on December 08, 2018, 11:15:48 AM

Title: Episode #700
Post by: Steven Novella on December 08, 2018, 11:15:48 AM
Interview with Nick Pyenson; Living in the era of fake news; News Items: Back to the Moon, Gene Editing Babies; Who’s That Noisy; Science or Fiction
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: God Bomb on December 09, 2018, 01:44:39 AM
2 questions:

Question the first:  Who do you think sent the fake news email?

2nd question:  Why would having a permanent lunar orbital base/ lunar base make missions to mars and other places cheaper.  Yes it's easier to escape lunar gravity, but anything we get into lunar orbit (or surface) has to come from the earth first.  Putting materials into outer space via the moon just means those materials have to escape 2 orbits.  I guess you could make the case that materials could be mined from the Moon and the bulk of the craft assemble in situ, but the amount of equipment, fuel and personnel you would need to ship to the moon to begin a manufacturing process would outweigh the actual craft multiple times over.  Making this scenario only economical if they intend to produce a large quantity of craft.
Then the issue is that the only raw material on the moon is rock of quality so low it would be considered "not worth mining" on earth, and water, which could be used to make fuel, but may also be fairly difficult to extract.  Given these limitations of the moon's resources it doesn't seem economical to set up a mass production facility.   Given that the moon offers no actual dollar value in terms of resources, this facility would be a constant drain on the economies of Earth, unlike  missions such as fly-bys and rovers which don't need much maintenance.

Is there some part of this I'm missing? 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 09, 2018, 02:36:08 AM
With a permanent Moon base, you would do the manufacturing several times over indefinitely into the future. So it depends on your perspective.

Having a Moon base is a potential first step in setting up manufacturing that's independent of Earth's gravity well, with the advantage of always being a few days away instead of more than a month once every other year (or much further out on some asteroid/Galilean moon). We either build an extraterrestrial base, or have to always lift everything out from the Earth, and we won't ever be able to build something as large as a Moon base if that's not worth doing even once.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 09, 2018, 05:33:10 AM
‘Science or fiction’:

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 09, 2018, 12:40:42 PM
There are seven and a half billion people alive on Earth today. Why do we need to make it possible for otherwise infertile couples to make more babies? Why the fuck can’t infertile couples adopt some of the many unwanted children? Personally, I’ve never understood the maniacal urge to produce more and more babies. Once upon a time if you wanted to fuck you had to accept the risk of pregnancy, but that’s no longer the case. Once upon a time, the survival of your tribe or village depended on making lots of babies because so few survived. But that’s no longer the case.

We need to prohibit measures that increase fertility and make it easier to adopt instead.

As for experimentation on humans, which most of us, including myself, regard as unconscionable except where there’s no alternative and the subjects have given fully-informed consent, I’ve never understood how we can apply a different standard to animals without believing in a magical man in the sky who is somehow the font of morality and gets to make arbitrary rules. (The same applies to eating them.)

It’s a case of willful ethical blindness. We want to use animals for food and experimentation so badly that we create a moral distinction out of thin air. In politics the myth of exceptionality allows us to pretend that our country is morally superior to all others so we have the right to drop bombs on them if they don’t behave as we dictate. Here’s another myth of exceptionality: that humans are “morally superior” to all other animals so we have the right to murder them for food or in the course of experimentation. Animals cannot give consent, so we decide it’s not necessary because they are “inferior” to us.

Because I don’t believe in a God, I cannot find any moral distinction between experimenting on people or on animals; or any moral distinction between eating people or eating animals.

Considering how cruel and heartless and bloodthirsty humans are,  figuring out ways for more people to have more babies seems like a really bad idea.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 09, 2018, 01:52:39 PM
More like "peen-hacking", amirite?

Also, I am not quite sure what Steve meant by comparing the new cancer test against a "gold standard" (unless that was a pun). Is there any test like this that is more reliable, for any kind of cancer?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 09, 2018, 02:12:05 PM
We need to prohibit measures that increase fertility and make it easier to adopt instead.

We can have both. IVF is never going to add significantly to population growth. Why deny couples a chance at having their own kids?

I do agree adoption should be made easier and open to more couples.

I realise you understand you are an outlier on the rest of your rant  ;)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 09, 2018, 06:10:49 PM
I realise you understand you are an outlier on the rest of your rant  ;)

Yep, I do. What a crazy idea: that we are just animals like any other animals and are not something special, except to ourselves.

In an over-populated world, I do not see everybody having an inalienable right to make more people. They want to have “a baby of their own”? Fuck them. That’s just selfish. (For the record, I don’t have kids and have never wanted to bring more of the cancer that is the human race to this unfortunate planet. If I did have a wife and she wanted kids, I’d have insisted on adoption.)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 09, 2018, 10:55:16 PM
I agree with Daniel as far as I don't think we should do anything to promote reproduction, there are enough people around already. I'm okay with IVF, because trying to interfere with it means we're targeting a particular group of people based on their medical situation. One thing I'm not sure about is whether the government should pay for it in a public healthcare system. I could argue for not prioritizing it over other treatments that the budget has to cover.

Everyone should be encouraged to adopt rather than reproduce, regardless of how fertile they are. Primarily for the sake of the children who need homes. Not that it has to be one or other, but there's a limit to how many children a family can take care of.

Other than that, maximizing choice seems to be the way to go to reduce fertility rates. Give everyone the ability to have sex without producing children, and to delay reproduction for as long as possible, and they'll be less likely to reproduce. Build a society where people have as much freedom as possible, and they'll have to weigh having children up against what else they want to do with their lives. It should be a big deal to choose to have a child, and it should be a choice, not something that just happens.

Which is a point in favor of IVF/fertility treatment. At least we know they made a deliberate choice.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 10, 2018, 01:23:59 AM
In an over-populated world, I do not see everybody having an inalienable right to make more people. They want to have “a baby of their own”? Fuck them. That’s just selfish.

Selfish is too strong, and judgmental a term for something that can cause many couples years of emotional grief and depression.

Yes it would be nice if all non-fertile couples would adopt and that all couples (married, defacto, LGBTI etc) who can provide a safe and loving environment for a child, could adopt, but life is more complicated than that. If having a baby through IVF or any other scientific procedure can give a couple happiness, then why deny them that.


Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: God Bomb on December 10, 2018, 03:00:54 AM
I'm usually that guy complaining about too many people and not enough planet, but this CRISPR thing really didn't hit that nerve with me. i don't think allowing people who have HIV to have kids who don't have HIV is going to be a net negative, nor do I think this specific treatment would be a significant needle mover in terms of overall population trends.  The only realistic solutions to the problem seem to be a top down approach like China of legislation.  Or having a society wealthy and apathetic (and secular) enough to not want to breed as much, e.g. Japan.   I don't think withholding fertility treatments is going to make a dent, so topics like this don't even trigger my over-population alarm.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 10, 2018, 10:12:20 AM
In an over-populated world, I do not see everybody having an inalienable right to make more people. They want to have “a baby of their own”? Fuck them. That’s just selfish.

Selfish is too strong, and judgmental a term for something that can cause many couples years of emotional grief and depression.

Yes it would be nice if all non-fertile couples would adopt and that all couples (married, defacto, LGBTI etc) who can provide a safe and loving environment for a child, could adopt, but life is more complicated than that. If having a baby through IVF or any other scientific procedure can give a couple happiness, then why deny them that.

Because when every couple’s “happiness” depends on having a passel of babies, the planet cannot support the resulting mountain of babies. Note, and this is hugely important, that it’s not just a question of how many humans can the Earth feed; it’s a matter of maintaining an ecological balance while feeding them. We are already causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world. Yes, the green revolution has enabled us to feed 7.53 billion people, but the cost has been such environmental destruction that we are exterminating the life of other creatures at breakneck speed. Morality aside, this is not sustainable.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 10, 2018, 10:26:31 AM
Reproducing should not be considered a right under any circumstances. People should not be allowed to reproduce above replacement rate. The government should limit subsidizing things related to children: rather, making up for it by charging an impact fee. If you make something (children) expensive, then parents will respond accordingly. If someone reproduces when they are already on welfare, the government should not give them more money, but rather encourage them to have an abortion, or take their offspring otherwise.

Abortions, birth control, and sterilization procedures (vasectomy and tubal ligation) should be included for free in universal Medicaid (or whatever you would call it, when we have it).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: gebobs on December 10, 2018, 11:12:53 AM
Yeah, I'm not getting on board with the push for six months or a year of family leave. We don't need to encourage people to have more children. Fine if your company wants to do it, but I don't think the government should be in that business.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 10, 2018, 12:24:24 PM
I'm all for parental leave, because I don't consider it a tool to encourage people to have children, it's more about the children being well cared for. I don't think you can do much after the fact about making it more difficult to have children, without negatively impacting the children.

And I don't think companies should be involved in healthcare or non-job personal matters at all, it's not their concern. People shouldn't have the additional burden of worrying about their health if their job is at risk one way or the other. They should be able to change and choose jobs based on what the job itself involves, and an uncomplicated wage.

Reproducing should not be considered a right under any circumstances. People should not be allowed to reproduce above replacement rate.

Societies shouldn't, but it can get very nasty if we try to actively stop individuals from reproducing, with poor people and minorities being at much greater risk of being interfered with by the government.

There are plenty of countries with below replacement fertility, with examples of how to reduce fertility rates without use of force. The Nordic countries all have at least 6 months of total leave (to be split between the parents), and fertility rates are below replacement.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 10, 2018, 12:38:35 PM
Reproducing should not be considered a right under any circumstances. People should not be allowed to reproduce above replacement rate.

Societies shouldn't, but it can get very nasty if we try to actively stop individuals from reproducing, with poor people and minorities being at much greater risk of being interfered with by the government.

There are plenty of countries with below replacement fertility, with examples of how to reduce fertility rates without use of force. The Nordic countries all have at least 6 months of total leave (to be split between the parents), and fertility rates are below replacement.

Then we have a situation where the least socially conscious people (breeders) are overrepresented in the future population (i.e. Idiocracy). That is why I want fertility limits at the individual level.

Poor people basically are the only reason why the fertility rate is still above replacement level. Which is why this isn't a problem in North/West Europe or Japan. And poor breeders  generally beget more poor breeders.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 10, 2018, 01:57:09 PM
In an over-populated world, I do not see everybody having an inalienable right to make more people. They want to have “a baby of their own”? Fuck them. That’s just selfish.

Selfish is too strong, and judgmental a term for something that can cause many couples years of emotional grief and depression.

Yes it would be nice if all non-fertile couples would adopt and that all couples (married, defacto, LGBTI etc) who can provide a safe and loving environment for a child, could adopt, but life is more complicated than that. If having a baby through IVF or any other scientific procedure can give a couple happiness, then why deny them that.

Because when every couple’s “happiness” depends on having a passel of babies, the planet cannot support the resulting mountain of babies. Note, and this is hugely important, that it’s not just a question of how many humans can the Earth feed; it’s a matter of maintaining an ecological balance while feeding them. We are already causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world. Yes, the green revolution has enabled us to feed 7.53 billion people, but the cost has been such environmental destruction that we are exterminating the life of other creatures at breakneck speed. Morality aside, this is not sustainable.

You discount happiness too easily. I know women who have been clinically depressed and on medication because of their inability to have children. You are looking it as a black and white solution. Couple A want baby, Baby B need parents = Couple A adopt Baby B. It's not that simple. Some women want the whole experience of having a baby including the growing, anticipation, birth etc. As men we can't understand that fully.  There are hundreds of reasons why IVF is the answer to many couples. Some reasons may be selfish, but not all and that's their right to decide.

IVF only accounts for 4% of babies born in Australia each year. It's not a rate that's going to cause global over population.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: DaKine Oregon on December 10, 2018, 02:02:01 PM
Re: Nick Pyenson. On YouTube, the Field Museums's The Brain Scoop (featuring their Chief Curiosity Correspondent, Emily Graslie) this week visited NMNH's  Whale Warehouse with Dr. Michael McGowen, Curator of Marine Mammals.   


https://youtu.be/au4j36pQfVY (https://youtu.be/au4j36pQfVY)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: amysrevenge on December 10, 2018, 03:21:52 PM
Poor people basically are the only reason why the fertility rate is still above replacement level.

Which is a great argument for doing our best to make fewer people poor.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 11, 2018, 09:46:26 AM
In an over-populated world, I do not see everybody having an inalienable right to make more people. They want to have “a baby of their own”? Fuck them. That’s just selfish.

Selfish is too strong, and judgmental a term for something that can cause many couples years of emotional grief and depression.

Yes it would be nice if all non-fertile couples would adopt and that all couples (married, defacto, LGBTI etc) who can provide a safe and loving environment for a child, could adopt, but life is more complicated than that. If having a baby through IVF or any other scientific procedure can give a couple happiness, then why deny them that.

Because when every couple’s “happiness” depends on having a passel of babies, the planet cannot support the resulting mountain of babies. Note, and this is hugely important, that it’s not just a question of how many humans can the Earth feed; it’s a matter of maintaining an ecological balance while feeding them. We are already causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world. Yes, the green revolution has enabled us to feed 7.53 billion people, but the cost has been such environmental destruction that we are exterminating the life of other creatures at breakneck speed. Morality aside, this is not sustainable.

You discount happiness too easily. I know women who have been clinically depressed and on medication because of their inability to have children. You are looking it as a black and white solution. Couple A want baby, Baby B need parents = Couple A adopt Baby B. It's not that simple. Some women want the whole experience of having a baby including the growing, anticipation, birth etc. As men we can't understand that fully.  There are hundreds of reasons why IVF is the answer to many couples. Some reasons may be selfish, but not all and that's their right to decide.

IVF only accounts for 4% of babies born in Australia each year. It's not a rate that's going to cause global over population.

I would argue that the solution is better education (stop indoctrinating little girls with the idea that their only value as human beings is having babies) and then treat the depression as the mental health issue it is rather than artificially making them pregnant.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Skepmic on December 11, 2018, 06:26:10 PM
Where is this place that treats depressed women with impregnation?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on December 11, 2018, 06:49:03 PM
In an over-populated world, I do not see everybody having an inalienable right to make more people. They want to have “a baby of their own”? Fuck them. That’s just selfish.

Selfish is too strong, and judgmental a term for something that can cause many couples years of emotional grief and depression.

Yes it would be nice if all non-fertile couples would adopt and that all couples (married, defacto, LGBTI etc) who can provide a safe and loving environment for a child, could adopt, but life is more complicated than that. If having a baby through IVF or any other scientific procedure can give a couple happiness, then why deny them that.

Because when every couple’s “happiness” depends on having a passel of babies, the planet cannot support the resulting mountain of babies. Note, and this is hugely important, that it’s not just a question of how many humans can the Earth feed; it’s a matter of maintaining an ecological balance while feeding them. We are already causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world. Yes, the green revolution has enabled us to feed 7.53 billion people, but the cost has been such environmental destruction that we are exterminating the life of other creatures at breakneck speed. Morality aside, this is not sustainable.

You discount happiness too easily. I know women who have been clinically depressed and on medication because of their inability to have children. You are looking it as a black and white solution. Couple A want baby, Baby B need parents = Couple A adopt Baby B. It's not that simple. Some women want the whole experience of having a baby including the growing, anticipation, birth etc. As men we can't understand that fully.  There are hundreds of reasons why IVF is the answer to many couples. Some reasons may be selfish, but not all and that's their right to decide.

IVF only accounts for 4% of babies born in Australia each year. It's not a rate that's going to cause global over population.

I would argue that the solution is better education (stop indoctrinating little girls with the idea that their only value as human beings is having babies) and then treat the depression as the mental health issue it is rather than artificially making them pregnant.

I think most first world countries are very close to, or below, replacement levels of reproduction.  These are the countries in which IVF is or will be used.  The solution to overpopulation is education and economic development.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 12, 2018, 08:46:44 PM
Where is this place that treats depressed women with impregnation?
High school


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Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 12, 2018, 10:08:25 PM
Where is this place that treats depressed women with impregnation?
High school


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That doesn’t even make any sense.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 12, 2018, 11:50:56 PM
...that may be one of the best dark descriptions of high school I've ever seen.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Skepmic on December 13, 2018, 05:21:04 PM
Can I get a source on this?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 13, 2018, 06:27:23 PM
Can I get a source on this?

The risk of unintended pregnancy among young women with mental health symptoms (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898511/)
Social disparities in the relationship between depression and unintended pregnancy during adolescence and young adulthood (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5441928/)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 13, 2018, 07:18:07 PM
Can I get a source on this?

The risk of unintended pregnancy among young women with mental health symptoms (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898511/)
Social disparities in the relationship between depression and unintended pregnancy during adolescence and young adulthood (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5441928/)

Your linked articles don’t provide any evidence for what you’re claiming; that high school is the ‘place where depressed women are treated with impregnation.’  Depressed people made bad decisions, including engaging in unprotected sex.  Your so-called treatment wouldn’t make the depression better, and anyway, if the students are in high school they’re not women, they’re teenagers.
Title: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 13, 2018, 07:20:44 PM
Fine. It was a good, darkly comic line.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 14, 2018, 03:53:55 AM
What about a home woman, one child (tradeable) right.  Worldwide and all medically assisted child bearing treatments banned.  Rough, but not as rough as all the requirements to keep global temperatures reasonable.  Basically, the world is fucked if we don't make rather drastic measures now.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 14, 2018, 04:58:07 AM
What about a home woman, one child (tradeable) right.  Worldwide and all medically assisted child bearing treatments banned.  Rough, but not as rough as all the requirements to keep global temperatures reasonable.  Basically, the world is fucked if we don't make rather drastic measures now.

But it's the type of measure that leads to women dying in childbirth and from easily treatable conditions during pregnancy, and children being born in secrecy to be outcasts for the rest of their lives, or being discarded and left to die.

And that's before we get to the part where we deliberately punish people for having had too many children.

It's so much easier and less hazardous to implement mandatory science-based sex education, and free birth control, condoms and sterilization, for anyone who wants it. A little bit more difficult to deal with the specific motivations for having children, but we are already doing it with things like banning child labor and implementing public welfare.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 15, 2018, 12:50:09 PM
I just mentioned that, but NOTHING less will work to save us.  I'll be dead, most likely, before the death spiral begins... or maybe it as already started.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Billzbub on December 17, 2018, 11:45:19 AM
My wife thinks we should put sterilization chemicals in the water supply and only distribute the antidote to people who pass a basic parenting test.  Of course this is more of a thought experiment since we couldn't actually do any of that, but her point is that people should be sterile until proven responsible enough to have a child.  She works in education and sees some horrendous parents.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 17, 2018, 12:41:44 PM
I heard that first on a RNZ interview of Jim Flynn (professor at Otago and author of the Flynn Effect) by Kim Hill.  He of course said it was only in jest...
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 17, 2018, 06:54:29 PM
My wife thinks we should put sterilization chemicals in the water supply and only distribute the antidote to people who pass a basic parenting test.  Of course this is more of a thought experiment since we couldn't actually do any of that, but her point is that people should be sterile until proven responsible enough to have a child.  She works in education and sees some horrendous parents.

As you say, we could never do that. But it sure would be a great idea.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 17, 2018, 07:17:09 PM
As I have said before, the problem is not that there are too many people. The problem is that the globe's resources are unevenly distributed, and there are people in power who have a vested interest in remaining that way. We could easily feed the global population today - no-one needs to starve. With the application of technology we already have, we could sustain a much higher population. The problem is that there is no political will to do this.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 17, 2018, 07:37:07 PM
As I have said before, the problem is not that there are too many people. The problem is that the globe's resources are unevenly distributed, and there are people in power who have a vested interest in remaining that way. We could easily feed the global population today - no-one needs to starve. With the application of technology we already have, we could sustain a much higher population. The problem is that there is no political will to do this.

While we could feed the world today, present systems are not sustainable. We are rapidly transforming the Earth’s environment into one in which we will not be able to feed everyone. And we’re still multiplying like rabbits.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 18, 2018, 03:22:21 AM
As I have said before, the problem is not that there are too many people. The problem is that the globe's resources are unevenly distributed, and there are people in power who have a vested interest in remaining that way. We could easily feed the global population today - no-one needs to starve. With the application of technology we already have, we could sustain a much higher population. The problem is that there is no political will to do this.

Total BS, IMHO.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Isranner on December 18, 2018, 07:21:09 AM
My wife thinks we should put sterilization chemicals in the water supply and only distribute the antidote to people who pass a basic parenting test.  Of course this is more of a thought experiment since we couldn't actually do any of that, but her point is that people should be sterile until proven responsible enough to have a child.  She works in education and sees some horrendous parents.

— And who the fvck are you to tell other people how or when to procreate? Power junkies, control freaks, wannabe tyrants, that's who you are. You could blend in perfectly with the communist ruling caste of the Chinese regime.

(http://i.imgur.com/1xbVWY9.png)

• David Emery. “Did Bill Nye Say Parents Should Be Penalized for Having ‘Extra Kids’?” Snopes.com (2017-04-05)
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bill-nye-extra-kids

• Valerie Richardson. “Bill Nye, the science guy, is open to criminal charges and jail time for climate change dissenters.” The Washington Times (2016-04-14)
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/14/bill-nye-open-criminal-charges-jail-time-climate-c

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.”

— H.L. Mencken. “Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks.” Alfred A. Knopf (1956)
https://books.google.com/books?id=ZVD1AAAAQBAJ&pg=PA369
https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/04/06/rule-humanity
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 18, 2018, 07:30:21 AM
We can feed more and more people, we can feed everyone now. But we have annual emissions of 37 billion tons of CO2, which is about 37 billion tons too much. And by the time we achieve a total of 0 in emissions, we'll probably need net negative emissions.

One thing that would be very handy to reduce emissions with, is lots and lots of land to grow forests on, and any other growth or stable structures that can hold carbon indefinitely. If we fully transition from animals to synthetically produced meat, that could do it. But a larger population means we'll have less land to work with and greater needs to meet.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Isranner on December 18, 2018, 09:59:49 AM
We can feed more and more people, we can feed everyone now. But we have annual emissions of 37 billion tons of CO2, which is about 37 billion tons too much. And by the time we achieve a total of 0 in emissions, we'll probably need net negative emissions.

One thing that would be very handy to reduce emissions with, is lots and lots of land to grow forests on, and any other growth or stable structures that can hold carbon indefinitely. If we fully transition from animals to synthetically produced meat, that could do it…

— Because plant-based diets only work for herbivorous hippies and privileged elitists.

“Give me steak, or give me death!”

Steve Jobs died of cancer because of his vegetarian diet. See?:

“Although it has been speculated that Steve Jobs was a vegan or vegetarian, apparently such was not the case (he was pescetarian, which is basically a vegetarian diet plus seafood). So post-surgical difficulties maintaining nutrition because of a special diet that might not have meshed well with Jobs’ new anatomy could have been the problem.”

— David Gorski. “Steve Jobs’ cancer and pushing the limits of science-based medicine.” Science-Based Medicine (2011-10-10)
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-death-of-steve-jobs


“None of us, of course, can say for certain what caused the pancreatic cancer that led to Steve Jobs’s death, or what, if anything could have saved him. Dietary, lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors all must have come into play. But McDougall’s failure to even consider the role that Jobs’s vegan diet — and frequent fruitarianism — may have played in his death is unhelpful at best and irresponsible at worst.
Shortly after Jobs’s death on October 5, 2011, I read the Walter Isaacson biography Steve Jobs and posted two ‘iVegetarian’ blogs at this website in which I thoroughly documented a longstanding pattern of food fanaticism, eating disorders and mood swings dating back to Jobs’s teenage years.

[…]
That the fructose in Jobs’s fruit heavy diet likely contributed to this cancer is supported by research published in the November 2007 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concluded there was ‘evidence for a greater pancreatic cancer risk with a high intake of fruit and juices but not with a high intake of sodas.’ In other words, the ‘healthy’ juices regularly drunk by Jobs may have been been even worse than the soft drinks he seems to have rejected.
More recently, in the August 2010 issue of Cancer Research, Dr. Anthony Healy of the Jonsson Cancer Center and Director of the Pituitary Tumor and Neuroendocrine Program at UCLA, proposed that aberrant fructose metabolism—and not just aberrant glucose metabolism—might be involved in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer. Seems fructose provides the raw material cancer cells prefer to use to make the DNA they need to divide and proliferate.
Although the UCLA findings are preliminary, based on cell lines, and more suggestive than bulletproof at this stage, the Reuters headline ‘Cancer Cells Slurp Up Fructose’ is fair warning to any of us addicted to fruit and fruit juices. Although the work is widely cited in recommendations to step back on the amount of high fructose corn syrup in modern diets, it suggests the dangers of fruit juice as well.
McDougall read the Isaacson biography and based a lot of his speculation on it. Yet he somehow missed — or chose to ignore — the fact that Jobs’s brand of veganism included massive amounts of fruit juice, with its dangerous load of fructose. Instead, McDougall sees the main flaw in Jobs’s ‘mostly excellent’ diet as eating meat analogue products high in carcinogenic soy protein isolate. In fact, as I discuss extensively in Chapter 16 of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, soy protein isolate and other soy protein products are well-established risk factors for the exocrine type of pancreatic cancer that killed actors Michael Landon, Patrick Swayze and astronaut Sally Ride, but not for the much rarer endocrine type that killed Jobs.
Furthermore, we have little evidence that Jobs ate much soy over his lifetime. In a book full of food references, Isaacson does not mention soy even once. Certainly, the Apple culture was soy friendly with soy milk readily available in vending machines and at coffee stations and with soy meats served up at company cafeterias, but we have no good evidence yet that Jobs favored it. Indeed, it is very likely he rejected it because of his longstanding fascination with the book The Mucusless Diet Healing System by Arnold Ehret (1866-1922). Ehret’s peculiar brand of VeganThink held the human body is an ‘air-gas engine’ that runs well only on fruits, starchless vegetables and edible green leaves. Soy and other legumes, according to this way of thinking, were to be disdained as mucus-producing forbidden foods. Ehret — whose own ‘air-gas engine’ sputtered, stalled and died at age 56, the same age as Jobs — not only condemned protein and fat as ‘unnatural’ but said they could not be used by the body.
Inspired by Ehret’s theories, Jobs appears to have eaten a diet low in both fat and protein for most of his life. And what did he eat instead? Carbs high in fructose, the very type of carbs linked to blood sugar problems and pancreatic cancer.”


— Kaayla T Daniell, PhD (The Naughty Nutritionist™). “VeganThink: Dr. John McDougall Explains the Death of Steve Jobs.” Weston A. Price (2012-12-31)
https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/veganthink-dr-john-mcdougall-explains-the-death-of-steve-jobs
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 18, 2018, 11:16:03 AM
Going vegan would definitely be a way to get off of using animals for meat production. But if we can produce the same product in a significantly more efficient way, that will make it a lot easier to make the switch.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: gebobs on December 18, 2018, 11:49:24 AM
We got a live one here.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 18, 2018, 04:32:17 PM
E.O Wilson doesn't think there is currently a sustainable human population; someone that thinks deeply about this and has shown the world he's not only a great biologist, but excellent at putting numbers to ecology.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 18, 2018, 06:27:19 PM
As I have said before, the problem is not that there are too many people. The problem is that the globe's resources are unevenly distributed, and there are people in power who have a vested interest in remaining that way. We could easily feed the global population today - no-one needs to starve. With the application of technology we already have, we could sustain a much higher population. The problem is that there is no political will to do this.

Total BS, IMHO.

You're welcome to do your own research.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 18, 2018, 10:17:44 PM
As I have said before, the problem is not that there are too many people. The problem is that the globe's resources are unevenly distributed, and there are people in power who have a vested interest in remaining that way. We could easily feed the global population today - no-one needs to starve. With the application of technology we already have, we could sustain a much higher population. The problem is that there is no political will to do this.

Total BS, IMHO.



You're welcome to do your own research.

I have.  I trust the work of eminent biologists and ecologists. 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 18, 2018, 10:22:42 PM
As I have said before, the problem is not that there are too many people. The problem is that the globe's resources are unevenly distributed, and there are people in power who have a vested interest in remaining that way. We could easily feed the global population today - no-one needs to starve. With the application of technology we already have, we could sustain a much higher population. The problem is that there is no political will to do this.

Total BS, IMHO.



You're welcome to do your own research.

I have.  I trust the work of eminent biologists and ecologists.

You're going to show this work, I presume?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 19, 2018, 03:24:07 AM
Here are two scientists (and some of their publications) that have helped form my opinion. 

Wilson:

Character displacement". Systematic Zoology. 5 (2): 49–64. 1956. doi:10.2307/2411924. JSTOR 2411924., coauthored with William Brown Jr.; paper honored in 1986 as a Science Citation Classic, i.e., as one of the most frequently cited scientific papers of all time.[65]
The Theory of Island Biogeography, 1967, Princeton University Press (2001 reprint), ISBN 0-691-08836-5, with Robert H. MacArthur
The Insect Societies, 1971, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-45490-1
Sociobiology: The New Synthesis 1975, Harvard University Press, (Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition, 2000 ISBN 0-674-00089-7)
On Human Nature, 1979, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01638-6, winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
Genes, Mind and Culture: The Coevolutionary Process, 1981, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-34475-8
Promethean Fire: Reflections on the Origin of Mind, 1983, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-71445-8
Biophilia, 1984, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-07441-6
Success and Dominance in Ecosystems: The Case of the Social Insects, 1990, Inter-Research, ISSN 0932-2205
The Ants, 1990, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-04075-9, Winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, with Bert Hölldobler
The Diversity of Life, 1992, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-21298-3, The Diversity of Life: Special Edition, ISBN 0-674-21299-1
The Biophilia Hypothesis, 1993, Shearwater Books, ISBN 1-55963-148-1, with Stephen R. Kellert
Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration, 1994, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-48525-4, with Bert Hölldobler
Naturalist, 1994, Shearwater Books, ISBN 1-55963-288-7
In Search of Nature, 1996, Shearwater Books, ISBN 1-55963-215-1, with Laura Simonds Southworth
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, 1998, Knopf, ISBN 0-679-45077-7
The Future of Life, 2002, Knopf, ISBN 0-679-45078-5
Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Ant Genus, 2003, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-00293-8
From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books. 2005, W. W. Norton.
The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, September 2006, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-06217-5
Nature Revealed: Selected Writings 1949–2006, ISBN 0-8018-8329-6
The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies, 2009, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-06704-0, with Bert Hölldobler
Anthill: A Novel, April 2010, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-07119-1
Kingdom of Ants: Jose Celestino Mutis and the Dawn of Natural History in the New World, 2010, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, with José María Gómez Durán
The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct, 2011, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-33868-3, with Bert Hölldobler
The Social Conquest of Earth, 2012, Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York, ISBN 0871403633
Letters to a Young Scientist, 2014, Liveright, ISBN 0871403854
A Window on Eternity: A Biologist's Walk Through Gorongosa National Park, 2014, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 1476747415
The Meaning of Human Existence, 2014, Liveright, ISBN 0871401002
Half-Earth, 2016, Liveright, ISBN 978-1-63149-082-8
The Origins of Creativity, 2017, Liveright, ISBN 978-1-63149-318-8

Lovelock:

Lovelock, James (2014). A Rough Ride to the Future. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0241004760.
Lovelock, James (2009). The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning: Enjoy It While You Can. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-185-0.
Lovelock, James (2006). The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity. Santa Barbara (California): Allen Lane. ISBN 0-7139-9914-4.
Lovelock, James (2005). Gaia: Medicine for an Ailing Planet. Gaia Books. ISBN 1-85675-231-3.
Lovelock, James (2001) [Gaia Books 1991]. Gaia: The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-521674-1.
Lovelock, James (2000) [1979]. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-286218-9.
Lovelock, James (2000). Homage to Gaia: The Life of an Independent Scientist. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860429-7. (Lovelock's autobiography)
Lovelock, James (1995) [1988]. Ages of Gaia. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-393-31239-9.
Lovelock, James (1991). Scientists on Gaia. Cambridge, Mass., USA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-19310-8.
Lovelock, James; Michael Allaby (1984). The Greening of Mars. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-32967-3.
Lovelock, James; Michael Allaby (1983). Great Extinction. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-18011-X.
Lovelock, James; Sidney Epton (6 Feb 1975). "The Quest for Gaia". New Scientist. 65 (935): 304. Retrieved 10 April 2014.

Then there is Leaky, Ehrlich, Flannery and Malthus. 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 19, 2018, 10:27:10 AM
Going vegan would definitely be a way to get off of using animals for meat production. But if we can produce the same product in a significantly more efficient way, that will make it a lot easier to make the switch.

We are unlikely to commercialize affordable synthetic meat in a time frame that would allow re-forestation soon enough to prevent a climate disaster. Note that unless the synthetic meat is widely perceived as indistinguishable from the real thing and costs the same or less than meat from animals, people will not switch.

Further, it will still require energy to produce, so unless we switch our energy production away from fossil fuels, synthetic meat will actually increase carbon production.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 19, 2018, 12:12:23 PM
Going vegan would definitely be a way to get off of using animals for meat production. But if we can produce the same product in a significantly more efficient way, that will make it a lot easier to make the switch.

We are unlikely to commercialize affordable synthetic meat in a time frame that would allow re-forestation soon enough to prevent a climate disaster. Note that unless the synthetic meat is widely perceived as indistinguishable from the real thing and costs the same or less than meat from animals, people will not switch.

Further, it will still require energy to produce, so unless we switch our energy production away from fossil fuels, synthetic meat will actually increase carbon production.

Well managed pastures for large herbivores are carbon sinks as well as a sustainable source of protein. 

No synthetic protein source will work as well in our human bodies as what humans have (eaten) for two and a half million years.  Reductionist thinking in nutrition is not optimal.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 19, 2018, 03:20:26 PM
We are unlikely to commercialize affordable synthetic meat in a time frame that would allow re-forestation soon enough to prevent a climate disaster. Note that unless the synthetic meat is widely perceived as indistinguishable from the real thing and costs the same or less than meat from animals, people will not switch.

I agree that it's unlikely. We can't rely on any one solution. The media keeps celebrating how much renewable energy some countries have or install, vehicles keep getting more efficient, etc. But the things we're doing now aren't even keeping up with the increase in consumption, and emissions are higher than they've ever been.

Quote
Further, it will still require energy to produce, so unless we switch our energy production away from fossil fuels, synthetic meat will actually increase carbon production.

It doesn't matter that some of the energy comes from fossil fuels, that's a separate issue. If the total energy needed to produce the meat is less than what it takes to manage all the land to produce the meat in bovine, or if it allows us to use more land for carbon sequestration, then it's an improvement.

But we have to be able to use such advances to reduce land use, instead of to increase our consumption further.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 19, 2018, 06:37:44 PM
Here are two scientists (and some of their publications) that have helped form my opinion.

Thanks, but I was hoping you might, you know, actually make some arguments rather than just pasting a wall of citations that you claim support your premise.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 19, 2018, 09:28:48 PM
Here are two scientists (and some of their publications) that have helped form my opinion.

Thanks, but I was hoping you might, you know, actually make some arguments rather than just pasting a wall of citations that you claim support your premise.

Still a citation (below) but estimates are (in Britain) that soil fertility will be exhausted in a few decades.  This is probably a global phenomenon and means that the amount of food from soil will diminish in step with it. 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/24/uk-30-40-years-away-eradication-soil-fertility-warns-michael-gove

There ya go... argument one, backed by soil scientists.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 19, 2018, 09:42:52 PM
Here are two scientists (and some of their publications) that have helped form my opinion.

Thanks, but I was hoping you might, you know, actually make some arguments rather than just pasting a wall of citations that you claim support your premise.

Still a citation (below) but estimates are (in Britain) that soil fertility will be exhausted in a few decades.  This is probably a global phenomenon and means that the amount of food from soil will diminish in step with it. 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/24/uk-30-40-years-away-eradication-soil-fertility-warns-michael-gove

There ya go... argument one, backed by soil scientists.

Cool, thanks for that, but that's hardly irreversible. It's a problem that can be completely solved by the application of appropriate technology - technology that we have today, mind you - and changes to farming practices.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 20, 2018, 09:20:27 AM
My wife thinks we should put sterilization chemicals in the water supply and only distribute the antidote to people who pass a basic parenting test.  Of course this is more of a thought experiment since we couldn't actually do any of that, but her point is that people should be sterile until proven responsible enough to have a child.  She works in education and sees some horrendous parents.

I'm turning into a real misanthrope, because this sounds appealing. Besides, such a drug is merely hypothetical currently.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Billzbub on December 20, 2018, 04:58:54 PM
My wife thinks we should put sterilization chemicals in the water supply and only distribute the antidote to people who pass a basic parenting test.  Of course this is more of a thought experiment since we couldn't actually do any of that, but her point is that people should be sterile until proven responsible enough to have a child.  She works in education and sees some horrendous parents.
— And who the fvck are you to tell other people how or when to procreate? Power junkies, control freaks, wannabe tyrants, that's who you are. You could blend in perfectly with the communist ruling caste of the Chinese regime.

Well, this is partially accurate.  I think that in real life, my wife's idea would be terrible because there would be way to much possibility that the controllers of the antidote would abuse the power and become actual tyrants as you say.  This sentiment is more of an expression of disgust that terrible people with no parenting skills can have multiple children that they neglect and abuse.  It would be great if there was some way to prevent people from getting pregnant unless they want children and will take basic care of them.  Ideally, nobody would be telling anyone when to procreate.  They would just be telling them that to procreate, they should want kids and put in a tiny bit of effort in learning how to care for them once they have them.  Anyone would be free to do so regardless of any factors other than desire to have kids and knowledge to take care of them.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 20, 2018, 07:08:16 PM
The human race is a cancer. It’s not that people are bad or evil (with notable individual exceptions). It’s just that we reproduce out of control, which is the definition of cancer. My solution would be to sterilize everybody and allow the world return to the Eden it was before we came along.

The worst possible outcome would be if we metastasized to other worlds and stars. Fortunately I don’t believe that this is a technological possibility, no matter what the Star Trek fans say.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 20, 2018, 07:17:16 PM
Are you aware of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (http://www.vhemt.org/)?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 20, 2018, 07:17:47 PM
The human race is a cancer. It’s not that people are bad or evil (with notable individual exceptions). It’s just that we reproduce out of control, which is the definition of cancer. My solution would be to sterilize everybody and allow the world return to the Eden it was before we came along.

The worst possible outcome would be if we metastasized to other worlds and stars. Fortunately I don’t believe that this is a technological possibility, no matter what the Star Trek fans say.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

--Max Ehrmann
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 20, 2018, 07:55:48 PM
The human race is a cancer. It’s not that people are bad or evil (with notable individual exceptions). It’s just that we reproduce out of control, which is the definition of cancer. My solution would be to sterilize everybody and allow the world return to the Eden it was before we came along.

The worst possible outcome would be if we metastasized to other worlds and stars. Fortunately I don’t believe that this is a technological possibility, no matter what the Star Trek fans say.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

--Max Ehrmann

The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.  Like the trees and the stars we also can go extinct too.  There are no rights in the universe.  It’s indifferent.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 20, 2018, 08:02:42 PM
The human race is a cancer. It’s not that people are bad or evil (with notable individual exceptions). It’s just that we reproduce out of control, which is the definition of cancer. My solution would be to sterilize everybody and allow the world return to the Eden it was before we came along.

The worst possible outcome would be if we metastasized to other worlds and stars. Fortunately I don’t believe that this is a technological possibility, no matter what the Star Trek fans say.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

--Max Ehrmann

The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.  Like the trees and the stars we also can go extinct too.  There are no rights in the universe.  It’s indifferent.

Some people can't take a joke
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 20, 2018, 08:11:12 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 20, 2018, 08:24:23 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 20, 2018, 08:38:06 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 20, 2018, 09:00:29 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well played, arthwollipot, well played.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 20, 2018, 09:02:42 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 20, 2018, 09:02:58 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Plus, there's that whole thing "no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here"  Well, if rights aren't a thing, then you have no more or no less right to be here than any tree or star. And take that a little further the human race then is not a cancer but a part of the universe, the same merit or lack thereof of any tree or star.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 20, 2018, 09:04:09 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 20, 2018, 09:05:44 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Plus, there's that whole thing "no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here"  Well, if rights aren't a thing, then you have no more or no less right to be here than any tree or star. And take that a little further the human race then is not a cancer but a part of the universe, the same merit or lack thereof of any tree or star.

OK, humans have equal rights as trees or stars to be in the universe, none.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 20, 2018, 09:08:05 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.

Nope, I’m laughing at him for not using the correct personal pronoun.  I regard such grammatical errors to be a sign of low intelligence.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 20, 2018, 09:14:24 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.

Nope, I’m laughing at him for not using the correct personal pronoun.  I regard such grammatical errors to be a sign of low intelligence.

I was using the singular they as I do not, in fact, know CarbShark's preferred pronoun. I am trying to develop the habit of using gender-neutral pronouns by default.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 20, 2018, 10:02:19 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.

Nope, I’m laughing at him for not using the correct personal pronoun.  I regard such grammatical errors to be a sign of low intelligence.

I was using the singular they as I do not, in fact, know CarbShark's preferred pronoun. I am trying to develop the habit of using gender-neutral pronouns by default.

You could have written ‘he or she,’ or ‘(s)he,’ or just simply ‘he.’  Being fluent in German with its three genders - masculine, feminine and neuter, which have nothing to do with sex (das Mädchen - the girl - is neuter and takes ‘es’ - it - as a personal pronoun, and ‘sein’ - his or its - as the possessive pronoun, I’m perfectly comfortable with ‘he’ as the standard fallback.

You’re certaining trying in using a plural pronoun to replace a singular subject.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 20, 2018, 10:04:33 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.

Nope, I’m laughing at him for not using the correct personal pronoun.  I regard such grammatical errors to be a sign of low intelligence.
Got it. One more thing you're wrong about.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 20, 2018, 10:11:14 PM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.

Nope, I’m laughing at him for not using the correct personal pronoun.  I regard such grammatical errors to be a sign of low intelligence.

I was using the singular they as I do not, in fact, know CarbShark's preferred pronoun. I am trying to develop the habit of using gender-neutral pronouns by default.

You could have written ‘he or she,’ or ‘(s)he,’ or just simply ‘he.’  Being fluent in German with its three genders - masculine, feminine and neuter, which have nothing to do with sex (das Mädchen - the girl - is neuter and takes ‘es’ - it - as a personal pronoun, and ‘sein’ - his or its - as the possessive pronoun, I’m perfectly comfortable with ‘he’ as the standard fallback.

You’re certaining trying in using a plural pronoun to replace a singular subject.

"They" is a valid singular pronoun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they) and has been since the 14th Century. You've probably used it yourself.

"There's someone at the door!"
"What do they want?"

And no, I am absolutely against using the masculine pronoun as a default, and you should be too.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 20, 2018, 10:34:46 PM
I'm not that bothered about what other people do, but I also try to be gender neutral as a default. Because it's more universally applicable, and gender is ultimately irrelevant in most discussions anyway.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 21, 2018, 02:05:31 AM
The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well, the entire poem is rubbish.  It’s expressing a touchy-feely spiritual viewpoint of the universe, which is just indifferent to the Sun, the Earth, let alone us.    We can go extinct,and no one else in the universe would miss us.

Which is probably why CarbShark chose to quote just a small portion of it - the bit that they thought relevant.

Since when is CarbShark plural so as to need the ‘-the bit that they thought relevant?’  Perhaps he’s like the Gerasene  demons?

Dude, you just got owned by arthwollipot, and now you're lashing out.

Nope, I’m laughing at him for not using the correct personal pronoun.  I regard such grammatical errors to be a sign of low intelligence.

I was using the singular they as I do not, in fact, know CarbShark's preferred pronoun. I am trying to develop the habit of using gender-neutral pronouns by default.

You could have written ‘he or she,’ or ‘(s)he,’ or just simply ‘he.’  Being fluent in German with its three genders - masculine, feminine and neuter, which have nothing to do with sex (das Mädchen - the girl - is neuter and takes ‘es’ - it - as a personal pronoun, and ‘sein’ - his or its - as the possessive pronoun, I’m perfectly comfortable with ‘he’ as the standard fallback.

You’re certaining trying in using a plural pronoun to replace a singular subject.

"They" is a valid singular pronoun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they) and has been since the 14th Century. You've probably used it yourself.

"There's someone at the door!"
"What do they want?"

And no, I am absolutely against using the masculine pronoun as a default, and you should be too.

Perhaps I might have, in conversation, but I’d never use ‘they’ with ‘someone’ when I’m writing and can ‘preview’ before pressing ‘submit.’  And anyway - the first question in your dialogue wouldn’t be ‘what do they want?’ but ‘who is it?’, and then you can use the appropriate pronoun.

I’m not against using the masculine pronoun as a default (there’s a tendency to use the feminine pronoun as compensation).  Trying to use illiterate formulations when you’re writing is political correctness gone mad.

And anyway, it doesn’t take much intelligence to realise that CarbShark is male, and that you can use ‘he’ instead of ‘they’ as the personal pronoun.  He signs his comment with ‘I’m just a guy who has done...’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 21, 2018, 09:48:20 AM
I’m ambivalent on the pronoun issue. I definitely feel that individuals who have expressed a preference for a particular pronoun should be given the respect of using their preferred pronoun. But in general usage, grammatical gender is not the same kind of thing as biological gender. In many languages, including Spanish (the only language I speak other than my native English) all nouns have grammatical gender even though the objects they reference are not biological. And some nouns referring to animals have a specific gender even when the individual has the opposite biological gender. “Tortuga” (turtle) is a feminine word, even when referring to a male turtle, which is “la tortuga macha.” “Macha” being he feminine grammatical form of the adjective “male.”

In English, up until a few decades ago, the masculine pronoun was the default correct pronoun to use for an individual whose gender was unknown or unspecified. Some people objected that this was offensive to women, to refer to a person who might turn out to be female with a male pronoun, but the opposite case could be made, that the use of the male pronoun for any unknown person left the gender of any man to whom it was applied ambiguous.

But the fact is that although English has lost most of the grammatical distinctions of its root languages, grammatical gender has nothing to do with biological gender. And I’d much prefer not to use a plural pronoun to refer to a single individual. Sadly, the only neutral single pronoun in English is “it,” which is not properly applied to humans (except that now, some people in the queer community prefer it, so as to avoid any gender reference without having to resort to the use of a plural pronoun).

So I often use “they” to avoid offense, but I honestly think that the people complaining about gender in grammar are misunderstanding grammar itself.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 21, 2018, 11:31:25 AM
Linguistic/grammatical gender is a load of WTF. And it doea affect the psychology of the user.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2009/04/06/102518565/shakespeare-had-roses-all-wrong

Quote
Boroditsky proposes that because the word for "bridge" in German — die brucke — is a feminine noun, and the word for "bridge" in Spanish — el puente — is a masculine noun, native speakers unconsciously give nouns the characteristics of their grammatical gender.

"Does treating chairs as masculine and beds as feminine in the grammar make Russian speakers think of chairs as being more like men and beds as more like women in some way?" she asks in a recent essay. "It turns out that it does. In one study, we asked German and Spanish speakers to describe objects having opposite gender assignment in those two languages. The descriptions they gave differed in a way predicted by grammatical gender."
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 21, 2018, 11:49:27 AM
Linguistic/grammatical gender is a load of WTF. And it doea affect the psychology of the user.

https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2009/04/06/102518565/shakespeare-had-roses-all-wrong

Quote
Boroditsky proposes that because the word for "bridge" in German — die brucke — is a feminine noun, and the word for "bridge" in Spanish — el puente — is a masculine noun, native speakers unconsciously give nouns the characteristics of their grammatical gender.

"Does treating chairs as masculine and beds as feminine in the grammar make Russian speakers think of chairs as being more like men and beds as more like women in some way?" she asks in a recent essay. "It turns out that it does. In one study, we asked German and Spanish speakers to describe objects having opposite gender assignment in those two languages. The descriptions they gave differed in a way predicted by grammatical gender."

Personally, I think that psychology study is a load of bullshit.  I think the different adjectives used by German speakers compared to Spanish speakers has more to do with the speakers rather than the gender of nouns.  In German, ‘table’ can be masculine ‘der Tisch’ or feminine ‘die Tafel.’  Do the characteristics of a table change depending on whether it’s masculine or feminine?  And ‘the girl’ in German is neuter ‘das  Mädchen’ along with ‘es’ (it) and ‘sein’ (its or his).  German speakers don’t think girls are sexless.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on December 21, 2018, 04:23:47 PM
Use of "they" as a singular pronoun is grammatically acceptable, according to the AP Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns (https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 21, 2018, 06:29:30 PM
Use of "they" as a singular pronoun is grammatically acceptable, according to the AP Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns (https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns)

No, it’s not acceptable to many grammarians, and it’s certainly not acceptable to me.  It’s as bad as putting unnecessary apostrophes into its, CDs.  Using ‘they’ or ‘their’ after a singular subject is inviting confusion, since the reader will be tempted to look for a different subject.

And it wasn’t necessary to use ‘they’ with CarbShark.  CarbShark is clearly male.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 21, 2018, 06:35:07 PM
Use of "they" as a singular pronoun is grammatically acceptable, according to the AP Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns (https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns)

No, it’s not acceptable to many grammarians, and it’s certainly not acceptable to me. 

It used to bug me until I found out that "you" was originally plural only... then I realized I was just being stubborn.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 21, 2018, 07:21:09 PM
Use of "they" as a singular pronoun is grammatically acceptable, according to the AP Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns (https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns)

No, it’s not acceptable to many grammarians, and it’s certainly not acceptable to me.  It’s as bad as putting unnecessary apostrophes into its, CDs.  Using ‘they’ or ‘their’ after a singular subject is inviting confusion, since the reader will be tempted to look for a different subject.

And it wasn’t necessary to use ‘they’ with CarbShark.  CarbShark is clearly male.

Y'all need to chill
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 21, 2018, 09:14:58 PM
Use of "they" as a singular pronoun is grammatically acceptable, according to the AP Style Guide and the Chicago Manual of Style.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns (https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/03/31/english-has-a-traditional-solution-to-gender-neutral-pronouns)

The AP style guide is not an authority on grammar. It is a guide for reporters hoping to have their pieces picked up by the AP. The whole kerfuffle over the use of “he” and “him” as a standard when the biological gender of the subject is unknown, has made the AP afraid to stand by standard English grammar, pandering instead to a minority that takes offense at any use of the masculine gender, and goes so far as to try to ban any word with “man” in it even when the etymology does not come from “man” as masculine human person, but has an entirely different origin.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 21, 2018, 10:25:33 PM
The AP style guide is an authority on grammar.

There is no doubt.

It is not the supreme authority with the final say on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but for the English language there ain’t no such thing.

But AP style guide is a close as it comes.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 21, 2018, 10:54:40 PM
The AP style guide is an authority on grammar.

There is no doubt.

It is not the supreme authority with the final say on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but for the English language there ain’t no such thing.

But AP style guide is a close as it comes.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

On a different thread, we had an argument regarding whether ‘imply’ can mean ‘suggest’ or not, despite ‘imply’ being a synonym of ‘suggest.’ 

‘They’ and ‘their’ definitely do not mean ‘he or she’ and ‘his or her.’

It might be acceptable to use the plural personal pronoun and plural possessive adjective in colloquial speech, but in written language, it’s not acceptable, particularly when it’s possible to rephrase a sentence to avoid political incorrectness, if that’s desired.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 22, 2018, 12:27:16 AM
The AP style guide is an authority on grammar.

There is no doubt.

It is not the supreme authority with the final say on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but for the English language there ain’t no such thing.

But AP style guide is a close as it comes.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

On a different thread, we had an argument regarding whether ‘imply’ can mean ‘suggest’ or not, despite ‘imply’ being a synonym of ‘suggest.’ 

‘They’ and ‘their’ definitely do not mean ‘he or she’ and ‘his or her.’

It might be acceptable to use the plural personal pronoun and plural possessive adjective in colloquial speech, but in written language, it’s not acceptable, particularly when it’s possible to rephrase a sentence to avoid political incorrectness, if that’s desired.

You're creating a false dichotomy here. You are correct "they" and "their" do not mean "his" or "her" or "he" or "she"

"They" can be used when referring to a person but not specifying gender.

So no those words do not have the exact same meaning but they can have the exact same usage.

English rocks, don't it?

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 12:58:55 AM
The AP style guide is an authority on grammar.

There is no doubt.

It is not the supreme authority with the final say on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but for the English language there ain’t no such thing.

But AP style guide is a close as it comes.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

On a different thread, we had an argument regarding whether ‘imply’ can mean ‘suggest’ or not, despite ‘imply’ being a synonym of ‘suggest.’ 

‘They’ and ‘their’ definitely do not mean ‘he or she’ and ‘his or her.’

It might be acceptable to use the plural personal pronoun and plural possessive adjective in colloquial speech, but in written language, it’s not acceptable, particularly when it’s possible to rephrase a sentence to avoid political incorrectness, if that’s desired.

You're creating a false dichotomy here. You are correct "they" and "their" do not mean "his" or "her" or "he" or "she"

"They" can be used when referring to a person but not specifying gender.

So no those words do not have the exact same meaning but they can have the exact same usage.

English rocks, don't it?

You can’t use ‘they’ or ‘their’ when you’re referring to a single specified person.  If you do, you’ll  have nonsensical sentences such as: ‘the hotel manager was asked to book a theatre ticket, so they picked up the telephone.’  If you’re referring to a specified person, whether it’s a hotel manager or CarbShark, you’ve got to either decide which gender the person has, or find some other way of formulating the sentence.

If you’re not referring to a single specified  person, then you can use the plural with ‘they’ or ‘their,’ or be politically incorrect, and use ‘he’ and ‘his.’

There’s nothing stopping you from changing ‘a hotel manager often books theatre tickets for his guests’ to ‘hotel managers often book theatre tickets for their guests.’  Changing it to ‘a hotel manager often books theatre tickets for their guests’  is wrong and clumsy.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 22, 2018, 02:38:19 AM
The AP style guide is an authority on grammar.

There is no doubt.

It is not the supreme authority with the final say on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but for the English language there ain’t no such thing.

But AP style guide is a close as it comes.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

On a different thread, we had an argument regarding whether ‘imply’ can mean ‘suggest’ or not, despite ‘imply’ being a synonym of ‘suggest.’ 

‘They’ and ‘their’ definitely do not mean ‘he or she’ and ‘his or her.’

It might be acceptable to use the plural personal pronoun and plural possessive adjective in colloquial speech, but in written language, it’s not acceptable, particularly when it’s possible to rephrase a sentence to avoid political incorrectness, if that’s desired.

You're creating a false dichotomy here. You are correct "they" and "their" do not mean "his" or "her" or "he" or "she"

"They" can be used when referring to a person but not specifying gender.

So no those words do not have the exact same meaning but they can have the exact same usage.

English rocks, don't it?

You can’t use ‘they’ or ‘their’ when you’re referring to a single specified person. 

Says who?

Quote

There’s nothing stopping you from changing ‘a hotel manager often books theatre tickets for his guests’ to ‘hotel managers often book theatre tickets for their guests.’  Changing it to ‘a hotel manager often books theatre tickets for their guests’  is wrong and clumsy.

Sexist! Hotel managers can be women, too



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 22, 2018, 07:11:16 AM
Bachfiend, this might be the most petty tantrum I have seen in quite a while.
English has over 100 dialects with distinct grammar and vocabulary that are valid and interchangeable at a conversational level at the very least.
'They' as a singular pronoun has been in valid use for all of my life at least and I suspect long before my time. Usage changes language and linguistic evolution is completely valid. Only snobs and contrarians whine about it.

Furthermore, to make such a big deal about it in an online conversation and to be so rude as to attack the intelligence of the user is both tacky and immature.

Also- Why is the first letter of your username not capitalised?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: swan on December 22, 2018, 10:56:42 AM
It's sad when a thread devolves into bickering over grammar, especially when it's not that important to a discussion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu5XDrdD7KM

Heck, may as well throw in some related Godwin's Law while we're at it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: lonely moa on December 22, 2018, 02:28:11 PM
Truly boring.  I live with a grammar Nazi.  She points out my indiscretions; I refer her to a style book (she has a few of them as she writes and edits) and vindicate myself... she hates that.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on December 22, 2018, 02:42:07 PM
Every episode thread is bound to fizzle out or drift from the episode topic after it's not the most recent episode anymore.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 02:51:44 PM
The AP style guide is an authority on grammar.

There is no doubt.

It is not the supreme authority with the final say on what’s acceptable and what’s not, but for the English language there ain’t no such thing.

But AP style guide is a close as it comes.   


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

On a different thread, we had an argument regarding whether ‘imply’ can mean ‘suggest’ or not, despite ‘imply’ being a synonym of ‘suggest.’ 

‘They’ and ‘their’ definitely do not mean ‘he or she’ and ‘his or her.’

It might be acceptable to use the plural personal pronoun and plural possessive adjective in colloquial speech, but in written language, it’s not acceptable, particularly when it’s possible to rephrase a sentence to avoid political incorrectness, if that’s desired.

You're creating a false dichotomy here. You are correct "they" and "their" do not mean "his" or "her" or "he" or "she"

"They" can be used when referring to a person but not specifying gender.

So no those words do not have the exact same meaning but they can have the exact same usage.

English rocks, don't it?

You can’t use ‘they’ or ‘their’ when you’re referring to a single specified person. 

Says who?

Quote

There’s nothing stopping you from changing ‘a hotel manager often books theatre tickets for his guests’ to ‘hotel managers often book theatre tickets for their guests.’  Changing it to ‘a hotel manager often books theatre tickets for their guests’  is wrong and clumsy.

Sexist! Hotel managers can be women, too



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, hotel managers can be women too.  But if you’re referring to a specific person, whether it’s a hotel manager or CarbShark, then you should make the effort of determining the gender of the person, and use the appropriate personal pronoun and possessive adjective instead of taking the lazy way out and using ‘they’ or ‘their.’

Or if you can’t know, and don’t want to be politically incorrect, reformulate your sentence to avoid using the personal pronoun or possessive adjective.

But if you’re not referring to specific people, hotel managers or American presidents in general, it’s nonsense to have a singular subject being followed by ‘they’ or ‘their’ to avoid ‘he’ or ‘his’ when plural subjects could have been used first.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 22, 2018, 03:32:49 PM
Is english your first language? Because it really seems like you are going by the kinds of rules used to teach people to communicate in the broadest and most accessible version of english. These rules are not immutable because language changes.
Anyone who grows up speaking english hears this kind of usage daily and has no problem extracting meaning without miscommunication.
So the use of the 'they' in this context is not remotely incorrect or suboptimal.

You seem to be attacking arths lack of observation in reaching the same conclusions as you regarding a person (I assume) neither of you have ever met. Thats pretty weird. He says he uses it when unsure and you continue to berate him for missing what you think is obvious evidence and not being sure.

My non binary friend for example refers to themselves as a dude, a guy, a person, a gal etc as it feels and applies in the moment.
They and many other non binary or gender fluid folks do actually prefer the term 'they'. So what arth said was not only correct, it was more polite.

Even if he was sure, 'they' is in very common usage online for people who we do not know well or know much about. Its completely reasonable that someone might refer to a person as 'him' in one place and 'them' in another due to simple, unremarkable error or being sure one moment and having a failure of memory the next.
The only thing you are correct about in this situation is how you yourself feel about the term (I assume) none of your other arguments hold any water whatsoever and you are just making it harder to take you seriously as a reasonable or even a nice person (considering the nasty turn you took upon being very reasonably corrected about the validity of the initial quote).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 04:26:20 PM
Is english your first language? Because it really seems like you are going by the kinds of rules used to teach people to communicate in the broadest and most accessible version of english. These rules are not immutable because language changes.
Anyone who grows up speaking english hears this kind of usage daily and has no problem extracting meaning without miscommunication.
So the use of the 'they' in this context is not remotely incorrect or suboptimal.

You seem to be attacking arths lack of observation in reaching the same conclusions as you regarding a person (I assume) neither of you have ever met. Thats pretty weird. He says he uses it when unsure and you continue to berate him for missing what you think is obvious evidence and not being sure.

My non binary friend for example refers to themselves as a dude, a guy, a person, a gal etc as it feels and applies in the moment.
They and many other non binary or gender fluid folks do actually prefer the term 'they'. So what arth said was not only correct, it was more polite.

Even if he was sure, 'they' is in very common usage online for people who we do not know well or know much about. Its completely reasonable that someone might refer to a person as 'him' in one place and 'them' in another due to simple, unremarkable error or being sure one moment and having a failure of memory the next.
The only thing you are correct about in this situation is how you yourself feel about the term (I assume) none of your other arguments hold any water whatsoever and you are just making it harder to take you seriously as a reasonable or even a nice person (considering the nasty turn you took upon being very reasonably corrected about the validity of the initial quote).

No, English is my first language.  My second language is German, which has taught me everything I know about English grammar.  The initial quote wasn’t valid.  CarbShark is obviously male (or at least pretends to be male), since he refers to himself as a guy who has done a ton of research.  If you’re referring to a specific person, then you should make the effort of determining the gender of the person instead of being lazy and using the plural.  It’s jarring to have the incorrect plural in written text, because it leads the reader to go back in the text to find the other subjects (which doesn’t usually arise in spoken conversation).

German doesn’t have a problem with gender.  Every noun has a gender, which has nothing to do with sex.  Das Kind (child), das Mädchen (girl) and das Fräulein (young woman) are all neuter and take es (it) and sein (its or his).  English does have a problem with gender.  The German translator of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ got trapped by this by referring to one of the very minor characters (Zabini, Blaise) as female because he’d been allocated to Slytherin  and ‘zu einer Slytherin  gemacht wurde,’ (zu einer is dative feminine).  But then JK Rowling mentioned this very minor character 5 volumes later as clearly male, so the German editors of the later eBooks corrected the German translations to make the original mention correct.

I suppose it is a sign of a wasted late adulthood that I have all the hardcover German Harry Potters, plus the two different German audiobook versions and all the German eBooks.

The nasty turn arose when I continued CarbShark’s touchy-feely spiritual quotation from a poem to note that the next sentence referred to an non-existent being, so the entire poem can be dismissed.  And arth then wrote a very short comment saying that everything I write can then be dismissed.  So I dismissed his opinion with the comment that he or she (probably he on the basis of probabilities) is not literate enough to be able to get CarbShark’s gender right.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 22, 2018, 05:39:40 PM
I happen to also speak some German (my reading level isnt much beyond Marvel comics though) so I am aware of what you are referring to.

But none of what you have said refutes anything that has been said to explain why you are wrong.
Its seeming more and more that you are just another person who hates been corrected and will octuple down to save face.
Have fun with that.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 22, 2018, 05:44:45 PM
.,, arth then wrote a very short comment saying that everything I write can then be dismissed. ...

You got that wrong, Dr Reading comprehension.

He wasn’t commenting on your writing, but specifically the works of Bach. JS Bach, who was a deeply religious man and composed beautiful religious music.

It wasn’t about you.

The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well played, arthwollipot, well played.



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Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 06:41:04 PM
I happen to also speak some German (my reading level isnt much beyond Marvel comics though) so I am aware of what you are referring to.

But none of what you have said refutes anything that has been said to explain why you are wrong.
Its seeming more and more that you are just another person who hates been corrected and will octuple down to save face.
Have fun with that.

‘Octuple down?’  OK, I’ve found it in a ‘Daily Stormer’ Internet article referring to Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi and the Kavanaugh rape allegations, but I also regard ‘octuple down’ to be substandard English.  ‘Double down’ is sufficient.

If something’s wrong, then regardless of how many people use it, it’s still wrong.  I don’t have any face to lose.  I’m anonymous.  It shouldn’t take any effort to use the correct English.  ‘It is I’ should be automatic, instead of the usual ‘it’s me.’  JK Rowling managed to use the correct form in one of her Harry Potter books.People should be able to pronounce ‘kilometre’ correctly instead of the very common almost universal rhyming of it with ‘speedometer’ as was done in today’s SGU episode
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 06:49:47 PM
.,, arth then wrote a very short comment saying that everything I write can then be dismissed. ...

You got that wrong, Dr Reading comprehension.

He wasn’t commenting on your writing, but specifically the works of Bach. JS Bach, who was a deeply religious man and composed beautiful religious music.

It wasn’t about you.

The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well played, arthwollipot, well played.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A lot of people reply to my pseudonym bachfiend as Bach, so that’s the way I took it.  Arthwolipot didn’t correct me, so I take it that’s the way he meant it.

bachfiend of course is in homage to the great JS Bach.  I’ve even done a pilgrimage to the Thomaskirche, his old church in Leipzig, and I sat through a church service on the 6th Sunday after Easter this year, which was brilliant.

I’m a purist about Bach.  I prefer his keyboard concertos to be played on the harpsichord instead of on the piano (although as piano concertos they’re much better than a lot of music composed today).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 22, 2018, 06:51:27 PM
It shouldn’t take any effort to use the correct English.

There is no such thing as correct English. It is an evolving language with multiple forms in use around the world.

Australian English is no less wrong, (or right), than American English. Both have tried to mangle the King's/Queen's English, and some might say succeeded  ;)

Grammar Rules are only guidelines. It is pedantic to stick strictly to them, as they will move as community uses of the language move.

We live in a world of fluid gender identity and non-binary gender preferences. They is a valid singular pronoun.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 07:53:33 PM
It shouldn’t take any effort to use the correct English.

There is no such thing as correct English. It is an evolving language with multiple forms in use around the world.

Australian English is no less wrong, (or right), than American English. Both have tried to mangle the King's/Queen's English, and some might say succeeded  ;)

Grammar Rules are only guidelines. It is pedantic to stick strictly to them, as they will move as community uses of the language move.

We live in a world of fluid gender identity and non-binary gender preferences. They is a valid singular pronoun.

“‘They’ is a valid singular pronoun.’”

No it isn’t.  If there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised instead of taking ‘they’ and corrupting its meaning for reasons of laziness and convenience.

Actually, I’ll use they as a 3rd person singular pronoun, when Christians use They as the 3rd person singular pronoun for God, which makes more sense, since Christianity isn’t a monotheistic religion, with all its angels, demons and saints.  Let alone its incoherent Trinity.

I have a difficult decision to make.  Should I go to the gym for my daily exercise fix or listen to the ABC’s playing of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and go later?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 22, 2018, 08:30:22 PM
No it isn’t.  If there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised instead of taking ‘they’ and corrupting its meaning for reasons of laziness and convenience.

Thou wouldst have a point had this not already occurred with the 2nd person in English.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 22, 2018, 09:12:02 PM
It shouldn’t take any effort to use the correct English.

There is no such thing as correct English. It is an evolving language with multiple forms in use around the world.

Australian English is no less wrong, (or right), than American English. Both have tried to mangle the King's/Queen's English, and some might say succeeded  ;)

Grammar Rules are only guidelines. It is pedantic to stick strictly to them, as they will move as community uses of the language move.

We live in a world of fluid gender identity and non-binary gender preferences. They is a valid singular pronoun.

“‘They’ is a valid singular pronoun.’”

No it isn’t.  If there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised instead of taking ‘they’ and corrupting its meaning for reasons of laziness and convenience.

The Oxford Dictionary doesn't agree with you.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they

The word they (with its counterparts them, their, and themselves) as a singular pronoun to refer to a person of unspecified gender has been used since at least the 16th century. In the late 20th century, as the traditional use of he to refer to a person of either gender came under scrutiny on the grounds of sexism, this use of they became more common. It is now generally accepted in contexts where it follows an indefinite pronoun such as anyone, no one, someone, or a person, as in anyone can join if they are a resident and each to their own. In other contexts, coming after singular nouns, the use of they is now common, though less widely accepted, especially in formal contexts. Sentences such as ask a friend if they could help are still criticized for being ungrammatical. Nevertheless, in view of the growing acceptance of they and its obvious practical advantages, they is used in this dictionary in many cases where he would have been used formerly. In a more recent development, they is now being used to refer to specific individuals (as in Alex is bringing their laptop). Like the gender-neutral honorific Mx, the singular they is preferred by some individuals who identify as neither male nor female.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 22, 2018, 10:50:53 PM
It shouldn’t take any effort to use the correct English.

There is no such thing as correct English. It is an evolving language with multiple forms in use around the world.

Australian English is no less wrong, (or right), than American English. Both have tried to mangle the King's/Queen's English, and some might say succeeded  ;)

Grammar Rules are only guidelines. It is pedantic to stick strictly to them, as they will move as community uses of the language move.

We live in a world of fluid gender identity and non-binary gender preferences. They is a valid singular pronoun.

“‘They’ is a valid singular pronoun.’”

No it isn’t.  If there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised instead of taking ‘they’ and corrupting its meaning for reasons of laziness and convenience.

The Oxford Dictionary doesn't agree with you.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they

The word they (with its counterparts them, their, and themselves) as a singular pronoun to refer to a person of unspecified gender has been used since at least the 16th century. In the late 20th century, as the traditional use of he to refer to a person of either gender came under scrutiny on the grounds of sexism, this use of they became more common. It is now generally accepted in contexts where it follows an indefinite pronoun such as anyone, no one, someone, or a person, as in anyone can join if they are a resident and each to their own. In other contexts, coming after singular nouns, the use of they is now common, though less widely accepted, especially in formal contexts. Sentences such as ask a friend if they could help are still criticized for being ungrammatical. Nevertheless, in view of the growing acceptance of they and its obvious practical advantages, they is used in this dictionary in many cases where he would have been used formerly. In a more recent development, they is now being used to refer to specific individuals (as in Alex is bringing their laptop). Like the gender-neutral honorific Mx, the singular they is preferred by some individuals who identify as neither male nor female.
Oxford dictionary? What do they know?


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Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 22, 2018, 11:57:21 PM
It shouldn’t take any effort to use the correct English.

There is no such thing as correct English. It is an evolving language with multiple forms in use around the world.

Australian English is no less wrong, (or right), than American English. Both have tried to mangle the King's/Queen's English, and some might say succeeded  ;)

Grammar Rules are only guidelines. It is pedantic to stick strictly to them, as they will move as community uses of the language move.

We live in a world of fluid gender identity and non-binary gender preferences. They is a valid singular pronoun.

“‘They’ is a valid singular pronoun.’”

No it isn’t.  If there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised instead of taking ‘they’ and corrupting its meaning for reasons of laziness and convenience.

The Oxford Dictionary doesn't agree with you.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/they

The word they (with its counterparts them, their, and themselves) as a singular pronoun to refer to a person of unspecified gender has been used since at least the 16th century. In the late 20th century, as the traditional use of he to refer to a person of either gender came under scrutiny on the grounds of sexism, this use of they became more common. It is now generally accepted in contexts where it follows an indefinite pronoun such as anyone, no one, someone, or a person, as in anyone can join if they are a resident and each to their own. In other contexts, coming after singular nouns, the use of they is now common, though less widely accepted, especially in formal contexts. Sentences such as ask a friend if they could help are still criticized for being ungrammatical. Nevertheless, in view of the growing acceptance of they and its obvious practical advantages, they is used in this dictionary in many cases where he would have been used formerly. In a more recent development, they is now being used to refer to specific individuals (as in Alex is bringing their laptop). Like the gender-neutral honorific Mx, the singular they is preferred by some individuals who identify as neither male nor female.

The Oxford Dictionary doesn’t disagree with me.  Did you miss the part ‘the use of they is now common, though less widely accepted, especially in formal contexts.

Would you be happy with: ‘CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  They thinks they’re healthier.’?

The pronouns would be I, you, he she it they, we, you, they.

And the verb conjugation would be:  I think, you think, he she it they thinks, we think, you think, they think.

So they thinks would be 3rd person singular and they think would be 3rd person plural.  Simple and non-ambiguous.

Some common innovations need to be resisted.  Such as the mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ to rhyme with ‘speedometer’ and not ‘millimetre.’  And the greengrocer’s plural (‘apple’s’).  And the football commentator’s prepositional case (‘it was a good contest between Jedda and he’).  And I include ‘they’ as a 3rd person singular pronoun since it can be avoided.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 23, 2018, 05:43:34 AM
Oh my god. Are you trolling?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 23, 2018, 09:26:53 AM
.,, arth then wrote a very short comment saying that everything I write can then be dismissed. ...

You got that wrong, Dr Reading comprehension.

He wasn’t commenting on your writing, but specifically the works of Bach. JS Bach, who was a deeply religious man and composed beautiful religious music.

It wasn’t about you.

The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well played, arthwollipot, well played.



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A lot of people reply to my pseudonym bachfiend as Bach, so that’s the way I took it.  Arthwolipot didn’t correct me, so I take it that’s the way he meant it.

bachfiend of course is in homage to the great JS Bach.  I’ve even done a pilgrimage to the Thomaskirche, his old church in Leipzig, and I sat through a church service on the 6th Sunday after Easter this year, which was brilliant.

I’m a purist about Bach.  I prefer his keyboard concertos to be played on the harpsichord instead of on the piano (although as piano concertos they’re much better than a lot of music composed today).

It is the most ghastly heresy in the history of the universe to play Bach on a piano. It is the height of hubris when a pianist thinks he can transpose the most brilliant music ever created to an entirely different instrument, merely because both have keyboards. The piano is more ill-suited to Bach than a brass band. (Canadian Brass does the later and it’s more tolerable than Bach played on the piano.)

Wim Winters plays Bach on a clavichord, and although a harpsichord has a much better sound, at least the clavichord has just one string per note, and Winters plays so well that the instrument works.

And just to go completely off topic (this is the internet, after all) I’ll post a video of my favorite organist playing the “Dorian” toccata because these days I cannot get enough of it.

https://youtu.be/eWr2_4kgoLI

My advice on exercise vs. music, however, is exercise first, if you don’t have a way to listen to the music during exercise (which I do back in Spokane, but cannot do here). But that’s because I cannot exercise after my big mid-day meal.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 23, 2018, 10:47:12 AM
Oh my god. Are you trolling?

Of whom is that asked?


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Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on December 23, 2018, 10:56:57 AM
It is the most ghastly heresy in the history of the universe to play Bach on a...
...YouTube video. A pipe organ begs to be heard in person, not on flimsiest of speakers or earbuds.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 23, 2018, 11:40:51 AM
I think I accidentally clicked on The Snobs Guide to the Universe ;D
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 23, 2018, 11:43:25 AM
Anyone who has a problem with singular gender-neutral pronouns should get their ass off this site.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 23, 2018, 11:51:29 AM
Anyone who has a problem with singular gender-neutral pronouns should get their ass off this site.

They should, indeed.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 23, 2018, 01:20:33 PM
.,, arth then wrote a very short comment saying that everything I write can then be dismissed. ...

You got that wrong, Dr Reading comprehension.

He wasn’t commenting on your writing, but specifically the works of Bach. JS Bach, who was a deeply religious man and composed beautiful religious music.

It wasn’t about you.

The next sentence reads ‘Therefore be at peace with God.’  There’s no God, so the poem’s nonsense.

Load of rubbish. By that argument everything written by Bach is nonsense. The quoted portion of the passage expresses a sentiment that is valid regardless of what follows.

Well played, arthwollipot, well played.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A lot of people reply to my pseudonym bachfiend as Bach, so that’s the way I took it.  Arthwolipot didn’t correct me, so I take it that’s the way he meant it.

bachfiend of course is in homage to the great JS Bach.  I’ve even done a pilgrimage to the Thomaskirche, his old church in Leipzig, and I sat through a church service on the 6th Sunday after Easter this year, which was brilliant.

I’m a purist about Bach.  I prefer his keyboard concertos to be played on the harpsichord instead of on the piano (although as piano concertos they’re much better than a lot of music composed today).

It is the most ghastly heresy in the history of the universe to play Bach on a piano. It is the height of hubris when a pianist thinks he can transpose the most brilliant music ever created to an entirely different instrument, merely because both have keyboards. The piano is more ill-suited to Bach than a brass band. (Canadian Brass does the later and it’s more tolerable than Bach played on the piano.)

Wim Winters plays Bach on a clavichord, and although a harpsichord has a much better sound, at least the clavichord has just one string per note, and Winters plays so well that the instrument works.

And just to go completely off topic (this is the internet, after all) I’ll post a video of my favorite organist playing the “Dorian” toccata because these days I cannot get enough of it.

https://youtu.be/eWr2_4kgoLI

My advice on exercise vs. music, however, is exercise first, if you don’t have a way to listen to the music during exercise (which I do back in Spokane, but cannot do here). But that’s because I cannot exercise after my big mid-day meal.

Bach on a piano isn’t Bach, but it’s still very good music.  I eventually just downloaded the Christmas Oratorio onto my iPod and listened to it exercising.

I always exercise before eating.  I’m currently giving Penn Jillette’s diet in ‘Presto’ a trial by eating once a day (without going unethical vegan) at around 5:30 to 6:00 pm to see if it’s possible.  I’m on day 4, but I think I’m going to have to abandon it.  I’m not particularly hungry, but I can’t eat enough, and I’ve already lost over 1 kg, which I can’t afford (hopefully some of that is just water).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Ron Obvious on December 23, 2018, 02:55:22 PM

It is the most ghastly heresy in the history of the universe to play Bach on a piano. It is the height of hubris when a pianist thinks he can transpose the most brilliant music ever created to an entirely different instrument, merely because both have keyboards. The piano is more ill-suited to Bach than a brass band. (Canadian Brass does the later and it’s more tolerable than Bach played on the piano.)


Oh, c'mon! The two and three part inventions, for starters, are perfectly lovely when played on a piano.  Not the organ pieces, I'll agree with you there.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 23, 2018, 03:45:07 PM
Anyone who has a problem with singular gender-neutral pronouns should get their ass off this site.

They should, indeed.

Using ‘they’ as a 3rd person singular pronoun is a solution in search of a problem.

Compared to other languages, English is relatively non-gendered.  Certain female restricted names have disappeared from the language, such as ‘actress’ and manageress.’  ‘Lioness’ still exists, but it’s necessary, because lionesses do the work, whereas lions just generally lie around.

Some other languages have gender-specific verb endings.  English doesn’t.  ‘I,’ ‘you’ and ‘we’ are non-gendered.  If ‘you’ was gendered, then people would be right to object.  If that was the case, people would be justified in objecting to being addressed with the wrong gendered form of ‘you’ (if it existed).

But having a gendered form of the 3rd person singular pronoun shouldn’t be of any concern.  If the speaker or writer isn’t referring to a specific person (eg ‘a hotel manager’ instead of ‘the hotel manager’), then the sentence can be formulated in the plural with ‘they’ as the pronoun.  And if it is referring to a specific person, then the speaker or writer should know the person’s gender and use the appropriate pronoun ‘he’ or ‘she,’ or reformulate the sentence to just repeat the person’s name eg ‘CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  CarbShark thinks they’re healthiest.’  Or use ‘he or she.’  I’m not going to be disrespectful by using ‘they’ referring to him since I know he’s male.

Automatically using ‘they’ is just lazy, particularly since CarbShark is obviously male.  He tells us that with every single one of his comments.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 23, 2018, 03:56:24 PM
It is the most ghastly heresy in the history of the universe to play Bach on a...
...YouTube video. A pipe organ begs to be heard in person, not on flimsiest of speakers or earbuds.

It all depends on the speakers. The iPod Pro has surprisingly good speakers. And more to the point, Katja Segar lives in Zurich, I think, and it’s not convenient for me to travel there every time I want to listen to her play Bach. I agree that the organ should be heard live, but for those of us who have no access to organ concerts, other means will have to do.

I also have a pair of ear buds that produce the same quality as the full-size speakers I had a couple of decades ago.

Listening to Bach played on a piano is like eating porcupines with the quills on.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 23, 2018, 03:57:02 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?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on December 23, 2018, 03:57:49 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?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on December 23, 2018, 05:22:51 PM
I was referring specifically to Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot 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".
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave 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
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 23, 2018, 10:46:20 PM
The great courses has a wonderful series on language by John McWhorter (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McWhorter). It seems that prescriptivist positions on the correctness of language correlate with ignorance of the nature of language.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on December 23, 2018, 11:54:04 PM
The great courses has a wonderful series on language by John McWhorter (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot 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/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/the-new-they/568993/)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 24, 2018, 02:01:04 AM
Here is a great piece by McWhorter on the singular they:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/the-new-they/568993/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/the-new-they/568993/)

The first example John McWhorter provides:

Ariela isn’t wearing the green one.  They think it’s time to wear their other one,

is just incoherent.

It should be:

Ariela isn’t wearing the green one.  They think it’s time for her to wear her other one.

If you persist in claiming that you can use ‘they’ as a 3rd person singular pronoun for a single specified person, then it should be:

Ariela isn’t wearing the green one.  They think it’s time for them to wear their other one.

Which is just terrible.  The second sentence doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the first.  The ‘they’ think that ‘they’ should be wearing something other than Ariela’s green one.

In the example I provided, ‘every child should feel safe in his own home,’ ‘all children should feel safe in their own homes,’ and ‘every child should feel safe in their own home,’ the first option is completely unacceptable.  I prefer the second option, but the third is also acceptable.  ‘Every child’ is designating all children, male and female, so ‘their’ is OK for describing more than one unspecified person.  It’s similar to ‘the wages of sin is death.’  Grammatically, it should be ‘the wages of sin are death,’ but death is such a strong concept it overpowers wages of sin.

But if you’ve got one specified person - CarbShark - it’s just wrong to use ‘they’ as the pronoun, when ‘he’ is the obvious choice.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on December 24, 2018, 07:05:15 AM
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.
I binge listened to them all just this past week. He's got a way with words. Whimsical erudition as it were.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 24, 2018, 11:45:33 AM
I recommend starting with his first episode - not the most recent - because he gradually becomes more and more eclectic. I think if you start with the latest you'll be a bit lost and confused.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 24, 2018, 02:39:00 PM
The final example John McWhorter provides of the old-new use of ‘they’ is: ‘Tell each student that they can’.  Again, ‘each student’ means more than one student - it means all students..

It’s not an example of a single specified person taking ‘they’ as a personal pronoun, which would have been the case if it had been ‘tell that student (or the student) that they can.’

I concede I overreached when I wrote that it’s possible to put general statements into the plural to avoid the incorrect use of ‘they.’  ‘A child should feel safe in their own home’ is just as correct as ‘all children should feel safe in their own homes.’

Sometimes, it’s not possible to avoid putting a sentence into the plural to avoid this use of ‘they.’  Steven Pinker in ‘the Sense of Style’ provide 4 incorrect examples:

Is it your brother or your sister who can hold his breath for four minutes?

The average American needs the small routines of getting ready for work.  As he shaves or pulls on his pantyhose, he is easing himself by small stages into the demands of the day.

She and Louis had a game-who could find the ugliest photograph of himself.

I support the liberty of every father or mother to educate his children as he desires.


In all the examples, ‘he’ and its derivatives should be ‘they’ and their derivatives, since in each case ‘he’ implies ‘two or more’ not just ‘one and only one.’  Both your brother and your sister could hold their breath for longer than 4 minutes, the average American is many Americans (both male and female), not just a single American, she and Louis could find equally ugly photos of themselves, every father or mother is all fathers and mothers, not just one father or mother.

Grammatically, it’s necessary to use ‘they.’  My favourite one should have read The average American needs the small routines of getting ready for work.  As they shave or pull on their pantyhose, they are easing themselves by small stages into the demands of the day.’

Can anyone cite a single example of ‘they’ being used correctly to refer to a single specified person, not just to avoid a gendered 3rd person pronoun?  Does anyone think that the statement ‘Many people realise that CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  They think they’re healthiest’ is grammatically correct?  Let alone make any sense.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 24, 2018, 02:54:54 PM
Does anyone think that the statement ‘Many people realise that CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  They think they’re healthiest’ is grammatically correct?  Let alone make any sense.

It sounds ok to me.  8)

Mate, It's 3:50AM your time Christmas Day. Relax and have a few drinks and enjoy what looks like being a nice Perth Xmas day

This is not that important a subject to be obsessing over in the middle of the night. Take a break for the day  8)



Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 24, 2018, 03:52:32 PM
Does anyone think that the statement ‘Many people realise that CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  They think they’re healthiest’ is grammatically correct?  Let alone make any sense.

It sounds ok to me.  8)

Mate, It's 3:50AM your time Christmas Day. Relax and have a few drinks and enjoy what looks like being a nice Perth Xmas day

This is not that important a subject to be obsessing over in the middle of the night. Take a break for the day  8)

Why does it make sense?  Does the first ‘they’ refer to ‘many people’ or ‘CarbShark’?  Does the second ‘they’ refer to ‘many people,’ ‘CarbShark,’ or ‘ketogenic diets’?

It obviously should be ‘Many people realise that CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  He thinks they’re healthiest.’  It’s both clear and non-ambiguous.  Using ‘they’ for a single specified person, when it wouldn’t have taken much effort to realise that he’s male is just laziness.

I’m up early, because I’m always up early.  I take the dog for her 5 am walk while it’s still cool.  And it’s going to be a hot 35 degree Celsius day, so I’m planning to visit the gym early then aestivate most of the rest of the day, till she gets her evening walk.  Then I’ll have brinner.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 24, 2018, 07:23:45 PM
Dave is right, the meaning is perfectly clear.
It has been in every example you have tried to use to make your point.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 24, 2018, 07:42:44 PM
Does anyone think that the statement ‘Many people realise that CarbShark recommends ketogenic diets.  They think they’re healthiest’ is grammatically correct? 

The problem with that sentence is that you're using an indefinite pronoun. It has nothing to do with plural or singular. The following examples have the exact same problem:

"Many people realize that intelligent people recommend the ketogenic diet.They think they’re healthiest"

"Bachfiend finally realized that carbShark is right to recommend the ketogenic diet. He thinks they’re healthiest"
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 24, 2018, 07:55:30 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?

There are asymmetries in English pronouns. Not only is there (or was there) a missing singular gender neutral pronoun, it is also missing gendered plurals. Surely it is equally important to describe the men's/women's sports team or whatever, using a plural gendered 3rd person pronoun just to make it is clear they are all the same gender (i.e. he-they's and she-they's, and of course hims-theirs and hers-theirs for object pronouns).

As someone mentioned, gendered second-person is missing. Obviously, I am being facetious, and gendering second-person seems unnecessary. I would be more interested in having a proper explicit plural second-person (you-all or you-people, but without sounding so informal that people don't recogize it as a pronoun phrase).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 24, 2018, 09:31:47 PM
I would be more interested in having a proper explicit plural second-person (you-all or you-people, but without sounding so informal that people don't recognize it as a pronoun phrase).

'youse' works  ;)

"you stay here Bob, youse blokes follow me"

It has become coarse sounding in modern times and fallen out of favour, but it was originally a quite acceptable plural of 'you'

It is still alive and well in the UK and Australasia.  ;)
Title: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 24, 2018, 09:52:15 PM
It is still alive and well in the UK and Australasia.  ;)

As is y’all in much of the US. Albeit mostly Trump country.

I’d wager in the UK  youse is more prevalent among the Brexit crowd.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 24, 2018, 10:41:20 PM
It is still alive and well in the UK and Australasia.  ;)

As is y’all in much of the US. Albeit mostly Trump country.

I’d wager in the UK  youse is more prevalent among the Brexit crowd.

It is definitely more used by the working class in UK and Oz than the middle class and higher.




Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 24, 2018, 10:58:44 PM
It is still alive and well in the UK and Australasia.  ;)

As is y’all in much of the US. Albeit mostly Trump country.

I’d wager in the UK  youse is more prevalent among the Brexit crowd.

It is definitely more used by the working class in UK and Oz than the middle class and higher.
Youse used to be common in the Bronx, too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 24, 2018, 11:04:41 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?

There are asymmetries in English pronouns. Not only is there (or was there) a missing singular gender neutral pronoun, it is also missing gendered plurals. Surely it is equally important to describe the men's/women's sports team or whatever, using a plural gendered 3rd person pronoun just to make it is clear they are all the same gender (i.e. he-they's and she-they's, and of course hims-theirs and hers-theirs for object pronouns).

As someone mentioned, gendered second-person is missing. Obviously, I am being facetious, and gendering second-person seems unnecessary. I would be more interested in having a proper explicit plural second-person (you-all or you-people, but without sounding so informal that people don't recogize it as a pronoun phrase).

I think it was I who noted that English lacks a gendered 2nd person pronoun.  As you note, it’s unnecessary.

Compared to other languages, English is remarkably ungendered.  German has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter.  Das Kind, das Mädchen and das Fräulein (child, girl and young woman) are all neuter and take es and sein (it and its).  Other languages have gender specific verb endings depending on whether the speaker is male or female.

From what I can see ‘they’ is used as a 3rd person singular pronoun when the subject is implicitly ‘two or more.’  ‘Each American president has the right to choose their own cabinet’ because it implicitly refers to all presidents, not just the peanut currently in office.  I can’t find any convincing cases in which ‘they’ is used referring to a single specified person.

If you have a single specified person, then you should know the person’s gender (or at least you should know by which gender the person wants to be identified) and use he or she.  Using they is just a lazy cop out.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 25, 2018, 12:12:53 AM

I think it was I who noted that English lacks a gendered 2nd person pronoun.

Dude?


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Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 25, 2018, 12:25:21 AM

I think it was I who noted that English lacks a gendered 2nd person pronoun.

Dude?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

And your point?

This argument about ‘they’ as a 3rd person singular pronoun arose because arthwollipot referred to CarbShark as ‘they.’  Not knowing or caring that he’s male.  And being in the habit of using ‘they’ as a non-gendered option.

I argue that a single specified person should be referred to as either ‘he’ or ‘she’ (or whatever gender the person wants).  ‘He or she’ applies to single specified persons (one person and only one person) and ‘they’ applies to anything else, including one person - but it may also include two or more people.

As an illustration, consider the following statements:

John Smith is to blame.  He should accept responsibilty.

Someone is to blame.  They should accept responsibility.

An American is to blame.  He (or perhaps it should be she) should accept responsibility.


In the first statement, it’s a single specified person who’s male.  The pronoun must be ‘he.’  In the second statement, someone could be one person.  It could also be two or more people.  The pronoun must be ‘they.’  The third statement is difficult owing to English not having a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun.  The American could be male or female.  Converting the statement into the plural won’t work, because one person and only one person might have been seen doing whatever the person is being blamed for (perhaps the person is known to be an American because the person is wearing a ‘make America great again’ cap, a ‘Stars and Stripes’ t-shirt, and is singing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ - including the last two words, ‘play ball!’, but the witnesses can’t agree about the person’s gender).  This is perhaps the only occasion that I might accept ‘they’ as the pronoun (it’s the one case where English really needs a 3rd person singular pronoun), although it gives the impression that there might have been more than one person involved.  ‘An American’ also isn’t specifying the person, unlike ‘CarbShark.’   It would be better to reformulate the sentence as ‘An American is to blame, who should accept responsibilty.’

Can anyone give a historical example of a single specified person being referred to as ‘they?’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 26, 2018, 06:09:13 PM
A quick google shows examples dating back to 1375. How historical do you mean?
And now I have pointed you in the right direction and you are arguing in good faith, I assume you shouldnt have a problem using google yourself right?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 26, 2018, 06:58:17 PM
A quick google shows examples dating back to 1375. How historical do you mean?
And now I have pointed you in the right direction and you are arguing in good faith, I assume you shouldnt have a problem using google yourself right?

I wasn’t asking for ‘they’ being used with a single person.  I was asking for historical examples of ‘they’ being used with a single specified person.

The examples I offered:

John Smith is to blame.  He should accept responsibility.

Someone is to blame.  They should accept responsibility.
A single person is indicated, but it’s no specified person.  It could be one person, male or female, or it could have been two or more people.

An American is to blame.  He (she or they) should accept responsibility.  This one is difficult.  ‘They’ possibly best, but again, no single specified person is being indicated.  The statement is best reformulated asAn American is to blame, who should take responsibility.

I was asking for historical cases where ‘they’ has been used referring to a single specified person being.  Such as CarbShark, when his gender wasn’t apparent to the commentator owing to laziness (‘he’ should have been used, since he’s obviously male).  Using ‘they’ for cases in which the person being referred to doesn’t want to be designated as male or female is a novel modern development.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 26, 2018, 07:07:37 PM
If no such example could be found, you would still be wrong.
Quote
Under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to their wife."[a] Ballantyne, "Transplant Jury to Vet Live Donors", Sunday Times (London) 25 3. 1990

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

The reason you would be wrong is that its quite easy to know something in one moment and forget or be unsure in the next.
Your only vaguely valid critique is of Arths ability as a detective. Your gripe is pettiness in the extreme.

And again- Why is the first letter of your username  not capitalised?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: swan on December 26, 2018, 07:36:11 PM
If no such example could be found, you would still be wrong.
Quote
Under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to their wife."[a] Ballantyne, "Transplant Jury to Vet Live Donors", Sunday Times (London) 25 3. 1990

Sir Reginald's wife will be quite disappointed…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XWo4ufMkG4

(risqué lyrics but still SFW)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 26, 2018, 07:40:53 PM
If no such example could be found, you would still be wrong.
Quote
Under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to their wife."[a] Ballantyne, "Transplant Jury to Vet Live Donors", Sunday Times (London) 25 3. 1990

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

The reason you would be wrong is that its quite easy to know something in one moment and forget or be unsure in the next.
Your only vaguely valid critique is of Arths ability as a detective. Your gripe is pettiness in the extreme.

And again- Why is the first letter of your username  not capitalised?

Anyone in ‘’Under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to their wife’ isn’t a single specified person.

I was also going to note that the sentence should have read ‘under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to his wife,’ but that would be incorrect with same sex marriage being increasingly accepted.  Perhaps ‘wife’ should have been replaced with ‘marital partner?’

‘Anyone’ isn’t a single specified person unlike CarbShark, who is, even under his username (and he identifies himself every time as a guy).

Do you have any historical examples of ‘they’ being used referring to a single specified person along the lines of my hypothetical model: ‘I saw John Smith (a single specified person) this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation.’  No one would write that.  It’s natural to write: ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of ABC Corporation.’  It’s not sexist to use the term ‘chairman’ when it’s being applied to a male holding the position, in the same way it wouldn’t be sexist using the word ‘actress’ for a woman engaged in that career.

I use ‘bachfiend’ without a capital letter, because it’s none of your business.  I can pick any username I want and formulate it anyway I want.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 26, 2018, 07:49:58 PM
If no such example could be found, you would still be wrong.
Quote
Under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to their wife."[a] Ballantyne, "Transplant Jury to Vet Live Donors", Sunday Times (London) 25 3. 1990

Sir Reginald's wife will be quite disappointed…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XWo4ufMkG4

(risqué lyrics but still SFW)

A reverend visiting two of his elderly spinster parishioners in their home was shocked to see an unused condom on their piano.  When he asked them why, one of them said that they’d found it on the footpath, and the instruction on the packet read ‘to prevent infection, place on organ.’  And since they didn’t have an organ...
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on December 27, 2018, 11:48:18 AM
Here's a pretty good essay on the "problem."

https://aeon.co/ideas/we-need-the-singular-they-and-it-wont-seem-wrong-for-long
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 27, 2018, 11:59:28 AM

Dude?

And your point?



Maybe one should pick one's battles?

We have  pages and pages and hundreds of posts about a silly grammatical preference. 

If you convince anyone you're right, no one is going to eat better and live longer as a result, or shorten their life by eating worse.

It's not going to lead to acceptance of new science, or a better understanding of the law, or history or nature or anything else.

It doesn't get us any closer to solving or even understanding any of the great or lessor mysteries of the universe.

It's not even correcting an in incorrect usage.

It's very simply you imposing your own personal preference that's not shared by experts and authorities (or, apparently anyone here), in a dynamic and evolving system (English language and grammar).

Even though back in the mid-19th century when you were scolded for using "they" that way for the very reasons you give now, English has moved on, and they is now acceptable in third person references to single individuals where the gender is not known or the speaker or the subject prefer, for whatever reason, to not specify.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 27, 2018, 01:09:55 PM
http://www.flamewarriorsguide.com/warriorshtm/tirelessrebutter.htm
Quote
For Tireless Rebutter there is no such thing as a trivial dispute. He regards all challenges as barbarians at the gates. His unflagging tenacity in making his points numbs and eventually wears down the opposition. Confident that his arguments are sound, Tireless Rebutter can't understand why he is universally loathed.

Thank you all for your service.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 27, 2018, 02:18:46 PM

Dude?

And your point?



Maybe one should pick one's battles?

We have  pages and pages and hundreds of posts about a silly grammatical preference. 

If you convince anyone you're right, no one is going to eat better and live longer as a result, or shorten their life by eating worse.

It's not going to lead to acceptance of new science, or a better understanding of the law, or history or nature or anything else.

It doesn't get us any closer to solving or even understanding any of the great or lessor mysteries of the universe.

It's not even correcting an in incorrect usage.

It's very simply you imposing your own personal preference that's not shared by experts and authorities (or, apparently anyone here), in a dynamic and evolving system (English language and grammar).

Even though back in the mid-19th century when you were scolded for using "they" that way for the very reasons you give now, English has moved on, and they is now acceptable in third person references to single individuals where the gender is not known or the speaker or the subject prefer, for whatever reason, to not specify.

It’s not a ‘silly grammatical preference.’

A single specified person with a readily determined gender should be identified wth the appropriate personal pronoun and possessive adjective.  ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ is not only grammatically incorrect, but it’s also silly.  ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation’ is not only grammatically correct, but it also sensible.  And reads much better.

It has nothing to do with avoiding sexism in language and ambiguity.  And respecting people’s preferences in how they’re identified.

English compared to other languages is relatively ungendered.  Some languages take different verb endings depending whether the speaker is male or female.  If English had different 2nd person singular pronouns for males and females (say ‘youm’ for males and ‘youf’ for females) then people would have reason to complain.  But it doesn’t.

I don’t disagree that ‘he’ should be avoided after the use of an indefinite subject such as ‘someone,’ etc.  But if the subject is CarbShark, then the following personal pronoun should be ‘he’, since CarbShark is obviously male, and identifies himself as ‘a guy’ every time he comments.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 27, 2018, 04:08:46 PM

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


Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 27, 2018, 06:20:26 PM

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


Just because the people who respond insisting that ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender such as CarbShark, who signs every single one of his comments with ‘I’m just a guy,’ doesn’t make them right.

If ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons, then ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ would be acceptable.

Are you arguing that?  Really?

It’s got nothing to attempting to avoid sexism in language or political correctness. 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 27, 2018, 06:50:24 PM
Yeah. Really. That example is absolutely fine.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 27, 2018, 06:55:55 PM
If no such example could be found, you would still be wrong.
Quote
Under new rules to be announced tomorrow, it will be illegal for anyone to donate an organ to their wife."[a] Ballantyne, "Transplant Jury to Vet Live Donors", Sunday Times (London) 25 3. 1990

Sir Reginald's wife will be quite disappointed…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XWo4ufMkG4

(risqué lyrics but still SFW)

Marvelous! Thanks for posting that.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 27, 2018, 06:58:27 PM

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


Just because the people who respond insisting that ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender such as CarbShark, who signs every single one of his comments with ‘I’m just a guy,’ doesn’t make them right.

If ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons, then ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ would be acceptable.

Are you arguing that?  Really?

It’s got nothing to attempting to avoid sexism in language or political correctness.

(https://i.imgur.com/UP2Tmzt.jpg)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 27, 2018, 07:06:51 PM
Yeah. Really. That example is absolutely fine.

Could you repost your comment and make it explicit that you think ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ is an acceptable formulation?  I want it as a ‘keeper.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on December 27, 2018, 07:13:24 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XWo4ufMkG4


I envy his impressive rackett!
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 27, 2018, 07:47:11 PM
Yeah. Really. That example is absolutely fine.

Could you repost your comment and make it explicit that you think ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ is an acceptable formulation?  I want it as a ‘keeper.’
You are a very strange person.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 27, 2018, 10:34:43 PM

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


Just because the people who respond insisting that ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender such as CarbShark, who signs every single one of his comments with ‘I’m just a guy,’ doesn’t make them right.

If ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons, then ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ would be acceptable.

Are you arguing that?  Really?

It’s got nothing to attempting to avoid sexism in language or political correctness.

(https://i.imgur.com/UP2Tmzt.jpg)

Yes, I know I feel as though I’m flogging the dead horse of people thinking that it’s not allowed to write or say John Smith is a ‘he’ instead it’s necessary to write or say John Smith is a ‘they’. as if John Smith is a man is unallowably sexist, and only John Smith is a person is permissible.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 28, 2018, 12:22:50 AM

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


Just because the people who respond insisting that ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender such as CarbShark, who signs every single one of his comments with ‘I’m just a guy,’ doesn’t make them right.

If ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons, then ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ would be acceptable.

Are you arguing that?  Really?

It’s got nothing to attempting to avoid sexism in language or political correctness.

(https://i.imgur.com/UP2Tmzt.jpg)

Yes, I know I feel as though I’m flogging the dead horse of people thinking that it’s not allowed to write or say John Smith is a ‘he’ instead it’s necessary to write or say John Smith is a ‘they’. as if John Smith is a man is unallowably sexist, and only John Smith is a person is permissible.
Are you aware of what you’re saying? Do you know what those words mean when in that order?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 28, 2018, 12:36:49 AM

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


Just because the people who respond insisting that ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender such as CarbShark, who signs every single one of his comments with ‘I’m just a guy,’ doesn’t make them right.

If ‘they’ is an acceptable 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons, then ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ would be acceptable.

Are you arguing that?  Really?

It’s got nothing to attempting to avoid sexism in language or political correctness.

(https://i.imgur.com/UP2Tmzt.jpg)

Yes, I know I feel as though I’m flogging the dead horse of people thinking that it’s not allowed to write or say John Smith is a ‘he’ instead it’s necessary to write or say John Smith is a ‘they’. as if John Smith is a man is unallowably sexist, and only John Smith is a person is permissible.
Are you aware of what you’re saying? Do you know what those words mean when in that order?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, I do know.  Do you know what you’re saying, when you think your being referred to as ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ is OK, when there’s only one of you and you’re male?  Or are there more than one of you, and you’re not male?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on December 28, 2018, 02:10:46 AM
bachfiend, despite the numerous posts in this thread, I remain confused by what you are trying to argue.

Other posters have patiently tried to explain that languages evolve over time. The singular they is becoming widely used in English and an increasing number of style guides are endorsing its adoption. Several pieces posted in this thread have included arguments for the benefits of using the singular they.

You have repeatedly argued that the singular they is unacceptable. I certainly understand that it is unacceptable to you, and I don't think anyone is arguing that you must use it (except in a case where it is a person's preferred pronoun, which obviously just comes down to a matter of decency). It was your criticism of someone else's usage that led to this whole discussion.

I think you are failing to understand that your personal preferences on this issue are irrelevant. You can try to impose archaic rules on people, but the English language is moving on without you. You will end up seeming as silly as if you insisted on thou/thy/thee.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 28, 2018, 02:43:15 AM
bachfiend, despite the numerous posts in this thread, I remain confused by what you are trying to argue.

Other posters have patiently tried to explain that languages evolve over time. The singular they is becoming widely used in English and an increasing number of style guides are endorsing its adoption. Several pieces posted in this thread have included arguments for the benefits of using the singular they.

You have repeatedly argued that the singular they is unacceptable. I certainly understand that it is unacceptable to you, and I don't think anyone is arguing that you must use it (except in a case where it is a person's preferred pronoun, which obviously just comes down to a matter of decency). It was your criticism of someone else's usage that led to this whole discussion.

I think you are failing to understand that your personal preferences on this issue are irrelevant. You can try to impose archaic rules on people, but the English language is moving on without you. You will end up seeming as silly as if you insisted on thou/thy/thee.

It’s political correctness gone mad referring to a single specified person with an obvious gender such as ‘John Smith’ with ‘they’ when it’s obvious that it should be ‘he.’

I don’t have any objection to using ‘they’ when it’s not specified that there’s one and only one subjects present, such as with ‘someone’ which could be two or more subjects, or one only.  Using ‘he’ as the default pronoun used to be acceptable, but it’s accepted now that it should be avoided.

There are no advantages to using ‘they’ with single identified subjects.  Just disadvantages in creating confusion and obfuscation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 28, 2018, 03:45:24 AM
Yeah. Really. That example is absolutely fine.

Yup.  It's a little like splitting an infinitive... it's OK even though you might not like it.  And bachfiend might choose to never do it themself.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 28, 2018, 04:56:59 AM
Yeah. Really. That example is absolutely fine.

Yup.  It's a little like splitting an infinitive... it's OK even though you might not like it.  And bachfiend might choose to never do it themself.

It’s OK to split an infinitive.  The prohibition from splitting the infinitive came from Latin.  And English isn’t Latin.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 28, 2018, 07:08:26 AM
No one is telling you that you have to use specific pronouns.
You happen to be wrong that gender is always obvious (Take Rhea Butcher for example, a famous female presenting non binary individual) but even if it is obvious, using 'they' is an acceptable practice and nothing to do with political correctness 'gone mad'.
To impugn someone's intelligence on the basis of its usage is certainly absurd.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 28, 2018, 09:53:32 AM
It saddens me that “they” has become the de-facto neuter singular pronoun for referring to people, where “it” is regarded as unacceptable, though some gender-nonconforming people prefer it. But I recognize that this is the way English has come during my lifetime.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 28, 2018, 11:02:52 AM
  Or are there more than one of you, and you’re not male?

I'm not the only one.  CarbShark is legion.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 28, 2018, 01:43:36 PM
  Or are there more than one of you, and you’re not male?

I'm not the only one.  CarbShark is legion.

So you’re going to change your signature to something like ‘we’re not doctors, we’re just guys who have done a ton of research?’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 28, 2018, 02:02:01 PM
No one is telling you that you have to use specific pronouns.
You happen to be wrong that gender is always obvious (Take Rhea Butcher for example, a famous female presenting non binary individual) but even if it is obvious, using 'they' is an acceptable practice and nothing to do with political correctness 'gone mad'.
To impugn someone's intelligence on the basis of its usage is certainly absurd.

The German translator of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ fell for this problem.  German nouns all have gender, and there are definite male and female forms of person descriptors such as doctor, professor, student, etc.  JK Rowling introduced a minor character with a name that wasn’t obviously male or female.  The Talking Hat allocated this person to Slytherin who became a Slytherin, either ’eine Slytherin’ (female) or ‘ein Slytherin’ (male).  The translator guessed female, but JK Rowling mentioned the same minor character 5 volumes later, and it was obviously male, so the editors of the eBooks altered the original translation to make it ‘ein Slytherin.’

If you’re commenting on Rhea Butcher, then you should know her gender, particularly if she’s famous.  I’ve never heard of her, but if I’m going to comment on her, I’d at least make an effort to find out who she is (or more likely, not bother commenting).  It’s just laziness not to make the effort, but to still comment.  It was just laziness on your part not looking down at CarbShark’s signature.  Perhaps you should spend less less time deadlifting pacific walruses?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 28, 2018, 03:24:28 PM
My new year’s resolution for 2019 is going to be to not deadlift any Pacific walruses.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 28, 2018, 05:33:03 PM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhea_Butcher

Quote
Rhea Butcher (born August 12, 1982) is an American stand-up comic, actor, writer, producer, and podcast host.[1] They (Butcher uses they/them pronouns)[2] are best known for personal, observational comedy focused on their vegetarianism, feminism, love of baseball, and experiences as a butch lesbian.[3]
Im not sure why you think I dont know who they are but I can assure you I do know their gender in as much as they have chosen to share it with the public.

Also weird that you now think I was unsure of Carbsharks gender or that I never read their signature?

But certainly, i will spend
Quote
less less
time deadlifting walruses.
What is it with you and trying to attack peoples intelligence? Its really quite pathetic.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 28, 2018, 06:02:20 PM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhea_Butcher

Quote
Rhea Butcher (born August 12, 1982) is an American stand-up comic, actor, writer, producer, and podcast host.[1] They (Butcher uses they/them pronouns)[2] are best known for personal, observational comedy focused on their vegetarianism, feminism, love of baseball, and experiences as a butch lesbian.[3]
Im not sure why you think I dont know who they are but I can assure you I do know their gender in as much as they have chosen to share it with the public.

Also weird that you now think I was unsure of Carbsharks gender or that I never read their signature?

But certainly, i will spend
Quote
less less
time deadlifting walruses.
What is it with you and trying to attack peoples intelligence? Its really quite pathetic.

No, I wasn’t implying that you didn’t know Rhea Butcher’s gender.  I was noting that if you’re going to be commenting regarding a person, you should ensure that you know the person’s gender before using ‘he’ or ‘she.’  And if you can’t determine the person’s gender, reformulate your sentence to avoid using a pronoun and not take the lazy way out of using ‘they,’ which means two or more.

You easily could have determined CarbShark’s gender.

I disagree that it’s permissible to corrupt a word to take a word to take a new meaning, while still retaining its old meaning.  There are many words which have acquired new meanings, while losing their original meanings.  ‘Terrific’ is one, which originally meant something like ‘terrible.’

I still haven’t seen any historical examples of ‘they’ being applied to single identified persons.  If there’s a perceived need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised, not stealing ‘they.’

Using ‘they’ for ‘he’ and ‘she’ makes about as much sense as calling ‘white’ and ‘black’ both ‘grey.’  It’s got about the same advantages - you won’t have to worry about whether something is black or white.  And it would avoid ‘injuring’ someone concerned with racial discrimination.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 28, 2018, 08:55:14 PM
Using ‘they’ for ‘he’ and ‘she’ makes about as much sense as calling ‘white’ and ‘black’ both ‘grey.’

True. It makes no sense. I think we should have a different word. But natural languages are not based on sense. They just happen. People, collectively, are stupid. So we get things like “they” being used in a way that makes no sense. Languages are stuffed to the gills with expressions that in actual use mean the opposite of their literal meanings. They are also full of ambiguities that leave the listener/reader in doubt or completely confused over what was intended. We cannot command language. We can just try to understand what the other person is trying to communicate.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 28, 2018, 09:24:21 PM

I disagree that it’s permissible to corrupt a word to take a word to take a new meaning, while still retaining its old meaning.  There are many words which have acquired new meanings, while losing their original meanings.  ‘Terrific’ is one, which originally meant something like ‘terrible.’

I still haven’t seen any historical examples of ‘they’ being applied to single identified persons.  If there’s a perceived need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised, not stealing ‘they.’

The English word "you" was, not that long ago, plural only.  Now it's both singular and plural.  The analogy is almost perfect.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 29, 2018, 12:04:06 AM

I disagree that it’s permissible to corrupt a word to take a word to take a new meaning, while still retaining its old meaning.  There are many words which have acquired new meanings, while losing their original meanings.  ‘Terrific’ is one, which originally meant something like ‘terrible.’

I still haven’t seen any historical examples of ‘they’ being applied to single identified persons.  If there’s a perceived need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised, not stealing ‘they.’

The English word "you" was, not that long ago, plural only.  Now it's both singular and plural.  The analogy is almost perfect.

In German, ‘you’ is either du or Sie (singular, familiar or formal), ihr or Sie (plural, familiar or formal).  If English had different forms of ‘you’ depending on whether the person being addressed was male or female, then there might be grounds for complaint concerning sexism.  But it’s irrelevant that 3rd personal singular pronouns are non-gendered.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 29, 2018, 11:11:31 AM
The latest episode of the Babbage podcast from the Economist has a long discussion about their style guide, with specific mention of the singular they.

https://play.acast.com/s/theeconomistbabbage/babbage-bestof2018
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 29, 2018, 02:06:34 PM
The latest episode of the Babbage podcast from the Economist has a long discussion about their style guide, with specific mention of the singular they.

https://play.acast.com/s/theeconomistbabbage/babbage-bestof2018

So what was the conclusion?  I don’t really have the time to listen to another podcast.  My main objection is to using the singular they with single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender such as John Smith and CarbShark.  I’m open to using the singular they after subjects of which there may be more than one such as ‘someone,’ ‘anyone,’ or ‘an American.’

I’m opposed to using the singular they just for political correctness.  Some people might complain about being identified with ‘he’ or ‘she,’ but many more would  with being identified as ‘they.’  If English had gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, then there might be a case for complaint, but English doesn’t.

This argument has gone on far too long.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 29, 2018, 02:13:28 PM
The latest episode of the Babbage podcast from the Economist has a long discussion about their style guide, with specific mention of the singular they.

https://play.acast.com/s/theeconomistbabbage/babbage-bestof2018

So what was the conclusion? 

That you’re wrong about this.
Quote
I don’t really have the time to listen to another podcast. 

Maybe you will now that ....

Quote
This argument has gone on far too long.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on December 29, 2018, 02:42:58 PM
Show me a historical example of someone complaining about being called "they"?
Or dont.
If you refuse to refer to people by their preferred pronouns and consider the request to be one of 'political correctness' then you really aren't worth speaking to or listening to on this issue and are, quite frankly, transphobic.
We need fewer of your ilk.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 29, 2018, 04:29:14 PM
The linguist noted that this is a new use of they. Not a wrong use. A new one.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 29, 2018, 04:30:00 PM
Oh, and the episode is 14 minutes.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 29, 2018, 05:43:41 PM
My main objection is to using the singular they with single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender such as John Smith and CarbShark.

Yes, you've noted this at least a dozen times.

The fact is, the new usage will become more popular and acceptable despite your objection.  I suggest getting used to it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 29, 2018, 05:58:50 PM
Show me a historical example of someone complaining about being called "they"?
Or dont.
If you refuse to refer to people by their preferred pronouns and consider the request to be one of 'political correctness' then you really aren't worth speaking to or listening to on this issue and are, quite frankly, transphobic.
We need fewer of your ilk.

I wouldn’t refuse to address a person by their preferred pronoun if English had gendered 2nd person singular pronouns (which it doesn’t), but I refuse to refer to single specified persons of easily identifiable gender with ‘they’ when they prefer to be identified as the other gender.  It would mean that I would have to know more about the person than I need to know (their sexual preferences should be and is of absolute no concern to me).  And I possibly would be offending people who don’t want to be referred to with ‘they,’ instead preferring ‘he’ or ‘she.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 29, 2018, 07:22:08 PM
I wouldn’t refuse to address a person by their preferred pronoun if English had gendered 2nd person singular pronouns (which it doesn’t), but I refuse to refer to single specified persons of easily identifiable gender with ‘they’ when they prefer to be identified as the other gender.  It would mean that I would have to know more about the person than I need to know (their sexual preferences should be and is of absolute no concern to me).  And I possibly would be offending people who don’t want to be referred to with ‘they,’ instead preferring ‘he’ or ‘she.’

Then don't do that. No one is suggesting you must or should.  Simply don't impose this quaint and anachronistic preference on others and certainly don't question their intelligence for disagreeing with you, and understand that some may be may not like your choice to assign them a gender identity.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 29, 2018, 07:43:01 PM
I wouldn’t refuse to address a person by their preferred pronoun if English had gendered 2nd person singular pronouns (which it doesn’t), but I refuse to refer to single specified persons of easily identifiable gender with ‘they’ when they prefer to be identified as the other gender.  It would mean that I would have to know more about the person than I need to know (their sexual preferences should be and is of absolute no concern to me).  And I possibly would be offending people who don’t want to be referred to with ‘they,’ instead preferring ‘he’ or ‘she.’

Then don't do that. No one is suggesting you must or should.  Simply don't impose this quaint and anachronistic preference on others and certainly don't question their intelligence for disagreeing with you, and understand that some may be may not like your choice to assign them a gender identity.

It’s not ‘a quaint and anachronistic preference’ to insist that ‘they’ shouldn’t be applied to single specified persons of easily identifiable gender.  The Wikipedia page on the ‘singular they’ included a long discussion on the opposition to its use.  The singular they being applied to single specified persons of easily identifiable gender is logically, grammatically and factually incorrect, wrong, false and not true.

As an aside, I’m currently watching, off and on, the BBC documentary ‘Blue Planet II.’  The narrator David Attenborough when referring to a solitary octopus on the screen refers to it being a ‘she.’  According to you lot, he should have referred to her as ‘they,’ since we don’t know how she identifies herself gender-wise.  She might want to be identified in a non-gendered way as ‘they.’  We should respect her wishes.

Rhea Butcher on one of her tweets has, apparently, noted that she doesn’t object to her being referred as ‘she,’ although she’d prefer ‘they,’ provided the comment is respectful.  I’m not going to comment on her gender identification, because it’s of no concern nor interest to me.  Her gender identification is her business, not mine.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 29, 2018, 07:47:05 PM
This argument has gone on far too long.

Apparently not  ???
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 29, 2018, 08:06:28 PM
This argument has gone on far too long.

Apparently not  ???

Single specified persons of easily identifiable gender, such as John Smith, Donald Trump, CarbShark and possibly Tassie Dave (I assume ‘Dave’ is a shortened form of ‘David’ not ‘Daviana’) should be referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she,’ not ‘they.’  That’s so obvious, that it’s not a topic of sensible argument.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 29, 2018, 09:52:48 PM
As an aside, I’m currently watching, off and on, the BBC documentary ‘Blue Planet II.’  The narrator David Attenborough when referring to a solitary octopus on the screen refers to it being a ‘she.’  According to you lot, he should have referred to her as ‘they,’ since we don’t know how she identifies herself gender-wise.  She might want to be identified in a non-gendered way as ‘they.’  We should respect her wishes.

You’re wrong on three counts. First, no one in this lot said anything about offending animals. Second, it’s impossible that an octopus would ever know that humans were referring to her gender in the human language or care, much less be offended by that; third no one has said anyone must use ‘they,’ but merely that its acceptable. There are other acceptable ways to refer to a creature without using a gender specific pronoun.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 29, 2018, 10:52:41 PM
Bachfiend, I'm curious. Are you right in an absolute sense where no evidence or arguement can alter your position?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 12:42:34 AM
Bachfiend, I'm curious. Are you right in an absolute sense where no evidence or arguement can alter your position?

I could change my position on the singular they not being used for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender when another word is adopted for the 3rd person plural pronoun, whatever it may be - let’s say thex for argument sake.  But until then, ‘they’ means two or more.  Or at least, possibly two or more.

CarbShark,

I was parodying your position.  It’s ridiculous using the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender to avoid offending them, when in most cases they aren’t offended (and possibly would be more likely to be offended by being referred to as ‘they’).  And people, such as Rhea Butcher, who would prefer the singular they, are on record that they wouldn’t be offended by ‘he’ or ‘she,’ if done with respect.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on December 30, 2018, 02:28:24 AM
Benefits of using a singular they:
1) Avoiding offending individuals by misgendering them.
2) Avoiding bias in sentences like "In 2020, the President will rely on advice from their chief of staff when making this decision". In this case, it is important to refer to a singular individual and not specify a gender.
3) Discouraging the false idea that gender is a dichotomy.
4) Preventing the awkward and pointless work of rewording sentences to use plural instead of singular nouns.
5) Not having to decide what "readily ascertainable gender" means.

Costs of using a singular they:
1) Bachfiend says that singular they is "unacceptable".
2) The use of singular they was discouraged in the past. Language, like other aspects of culture (including fashion and etiquette), is static and unchanging, so the use of singular they can never be "correct".
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 02:53:27 AM
Benefits of using a singular they:
1) Avoiding offending individuals by misgendering them.
2) Avoiding bias in sentences like "In 2020, the President will rely on advice from their chief of staff when making this decision". In this case, it is important to refer to a singular individual and not specify a gender.
3) Discouraging the false idea that gender is a dichotomy.
4) Preventing the awkward and pointless work of rewording sentences to use plural instead of singular nouns.
5) Not having to decide what "readily ascertainable gender" means.

Costs of using a singular they:
1) Bachfiend says that singular they is "unacceptable".
2) The use of singular they was discouraged in the past. Language, like other aspects of culture (including fashion and etiquette), is static and unchanging, so the use of singular they can never be "correct".

Disadvantages of using the singular they:

1.  Offending individuals who want their gender identified.

2.  Making predictions which are impossible to make.

3.  Promoting the fiction that someone can be half male and half female.  A hermaphdite.

4.  Avoiding the appropriate use of plural nouns when it’s the best formulation.

5.  Avoiding bothering finding out something regarding the person one is commenting about.

I don’t oppose all uses of the singular they.  It does have its place.  Just not in cases with single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 30, 2018, 03:58:48 AM
3.  Promoting the fiction that someone can be half male and half female.  A hermaphrodite.

No-one is promoting anything close to that sentence. Plus, The correct term is intersex. It's the 'I' in LBGTIQ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex

We are promoting the fact that some people choose to identify as neither male or female. Non-binary gender. For various reasons. Not all to do with genitals.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 04:12:32 AM
3.  Promoting the fiction that someone can be half male and half female.  A hermaphrodite.

No-one is promoting anything close to that sentence. Plus, The correct term is intersex. It's the 'I' in LBGTIQ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex

We are promoting the fact that some people choose to identify as neither male or female. Non-binary gender. For various reasons. Not all to do with genitals.

And you’re demoting the fact that most people choose to identify as either male or female.  For various reasons.  Not all to do with genitals.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 30, 2018, 06:10:05 AM
Bachfiend, I'm curious. Are you right in an absolute sense where no evidence or arguement can alter your position?

I could change my position on the singular they not being used for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender when another word is adopted for the 3rd person plural pronoun, whatever it may be - let’s say thex for argument sake.  But until then, ‘they’ means two or more.  Or at least, possibly two or more.

The condition you have described for altering your position is neither evidence or argument. Until you can describe evidence or arguments that would alter your position, I must treat it as an unwavering belief. I'll cease to argue with you about it in the same way I won't argue about religious beliefs. Beliefs are not subject to evidence or reason, so by definition they are inarguable.

On the other hand, beliefs can be discussed and explored. My understanding of this topic is based on what I've learned from sources like the Lexicon Valley podcast, the Great Courses, listening to linguists and editors, and the science of sexual identity showing that physical sex organs, sexual orientation, and sexual identity are three distict but strongly correlated factors in a person's sense of self. (See the transcript of the Science Vs episode "The Science of Being Transgender" (https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSapzci43xmZxB16NjwNvwo6d1nhFz6vjYsGjzdg-YDtf66ceVy_2g7YgbQNwtFbO1qRiLqkkRslymH/pub) for 136 references related to this claim.)

I'm not asking you to accept any of that. I'm letting you know the basis for my position, and given this is a public conversation, letting others know where they can find out much much more.

I am curious about why you are using straw man arguments. Specifically, you have accused us of disregarding the individual pronoun preferences of any given person (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50841.msg9596219.html#msg9596219). This is explicitly the opposite of what the rest of us in this discussion claim:

If a person's pronoun preference is known to me, I should use it out of respect. If a person's pronoun preference is not known to me I may:
1. Use the neutral 'they' until I can correctly ascertain their preferred pronoun.
2. Ask.
3. Make an assumption (and apologise if my guess was wrong).

Again, I'm not asking you to agree with my position. I'm interested in why you think mischaracterizing my position justifies your belief?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 30, 2018, 09:05:58 AM
Single specified persons of easily identifiable gender, such as John Smith, Donald Trump, CarbShark and possibly Tassie Dave (I assume ‘Dave’ is a shortened form of ‘David’ not ‘Daviana’) should be referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she,’ not ‘they.’  That’s so obvious, that it’s not a topic of sensible argument.

Not everybody has a name that unambiguously identifies their gender, and some people have names almost always given to people of a different gender. A person’s name is an unreliable means for guessing their gender. Even saying “he or she” (which I have frequently done) leaves out people who identify as other than male or female.

OTOH, if I know a person’s gender and it is male or female, I will refer to them as “he” or “she.”
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 12:38:11 PM
Bachfiend, I'm curious. Are you right in an absolute sense where no evidence or arguement can alter your position?

I could change my position on the singular they not being used for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender when another word is adopted for the 3rd person plural pronoun, whatever it may be - let’s say thex for argument sake.  But until then, ‘they’ means two or more.  Or at least, possibly two or more.

The condition you have described for altering your position is neither evidence or argument. Until you can describe evidence or arguments that would alter your position, I must treat it as an unwavering belief. I'll cease to argue with you about it in the same way I won't argue about religious beliefs. Beliefs are not subject to evidence or reason, so by definition they are inarguable.

On the other hand, beliefs can be discussed and explored. My understanding of this topic is based on what I've learned from sources like the Lexicon Valley podcast, the Great Courses, listening to linguists and editors, and the science of sexual identity showing that physical sex organs, sexual orientation, and sexual identity are three distict but strongly correlated factors in a person's sense of self. (See the transcript of the Science Vs episode "The Science of Being Transgender" (https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSapzci43xmZxB16NjwNvwo6d1nhFz6vjYsGjzdg-YDtf66ceVy_2g7YgbQNwtFbO1qRiLqkkRslymH/pub) for 136 references related to this claim.)

I'm not asking you to accept any of that. I'm letting you know the basis for my position, and given this is a public conversation, letting others know where they can find out much much more.

I am curious about why you are using straw man arguments. Specifically, you have accused us of disregarding the individual pronoun preferences of any given person (https://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,50841.msg9596219.html#msg9596219). This is explicitly the opposite of what the rest of us in this discussion claim:

If a person's pronoun preference is known to me, I should use it out of respect. If a person's pronoun preference is not known to me I may:
1. Use the neutral 'they' until I can correctly ascertain their preferred pronoun.
2. Ask.
3. Make an assumption (and apologise if my guess was wrong).

Again, I'm not asking you to agree with my position. I'm interested in why you think mischaracterizing my position justifies your belief?

Talk about straw man arguments.  ‘They’ means ‘two or more.’  ‘He’ or ‘she’ means ‘one and only one.’

The cases in which the singular they are validly used implicitly include the possibility of being ‘two or more.’

It used to be acceptable to write ‘Anyone can do it, if he tries.’  But it’s well and truly accepted nowadays that the correct formulation is ‘Anyone can do it, if they try.’

But extending it to ‘John Smith can do it, if they try’ is ludicrous.  The correct formulation is ‘John Smith can do it, if he tries.’

Writing ‘John Smith can do it, if they try’ in order to express support and solidarity with the very small percentage of the population who want to be treated differently to that corresponding to the gender they were ascribed on their birth certificates is an empty gesture.  If you want to express support, then there are better ways of doing it.

Most John Smiths want to be considered to be male.  Using ‘they’ with each and every one of the John Smiths just in case there might be one John Smith who is unhappy with his/her ascribed gender, and wants a different 3rd person singular pronoun is just silly.  I take it you’re not going to be writing to the John Smith concerned to ask him/her which pronoun he/she prefers?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on December 30, 2018, 01:10:36 PM

Disadvantages of using the singular they:

1.  Offending individuals who want their gender identified.

As evidenced by the swarms of single-gender groups calling for the new words "hims" and "hers", and insisting "they" only be used for mixed groups.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 01:44:49 PM

Disadvantages of using the singular they:

1.  Offending individuals who want their gender identified.

As evidenced by the swarms of single-gender groups calling for the new words "hims" and "hers", and insisting "they" only be used for mixed groups.

Now you’re being silly.  English is relatively non-gendered, and it’s becoming more non-gendered.  Professions and occupations such as actress, authoress and manageress have virtually disappeared from the language, with actor, author and manager doing the job perfectly well.  A person’s gender shouldn’t affect the ability to do the job.

But it’s stupid thinking that ‘John Smith can do it, if they try’ is better than ‘John Smith can do it, if he tries.’  Or don’t you?

They is a perfect inclusive pronoun.
Title: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 30, 2018, 02:04:35 PM
And once again people who disagree with you are stupid.

That includes dictionaries, style guides and grammar guides. Stupid stupid and stupid.

There is no doubt using they in this way is acceptable now. It’s your own personal preference, and you’re free to not use they that way. But it’s wrong to impose your out dated preference on others and wronger to question the intelligence of those who disagree with you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 03:28:56 PM
And once again people who disagree with you are stupid.

That includes dictionaries, style guides and grammar guides. Stupid stupid and stupid.

There is no doubt using they in this way is acceptable now. It’s your own personal preference, and you’re free to not use they that way. But it’s wrong to impose your out dated preference on others and wronger to question the intelligence of those who disagree with you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Do you really think ‘John Smith can do it, if they try’ is acceptable, let alone make any sense?  Really?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 30, 2018, 03:39:50 PM
Did you read my post before responding? I did ask a question.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 03:58:13 PM
Did you read my post before responding? I did ask a question.

I did read your post, and I’m not mischaracterising your position.  You believe it’s acceptable to write ’John Smith can do it, if they try, unless you’ve written to him/her/them asking him/her/them which pronoun he/she/they prefers in case he/she/they prefers a different pronoun for himself/herself/themself.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 30, 2018, 05:05:10 PM
I'm not going to discuss that since you are literally not reasonable.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 06:08:45 PM
I'm not going to discuss that since you are literally not reasonable.

Why do you think it’s literally not reasonable?  Do you regard it reasonable to write ‘John Smith can do it, if they try?’

I wonder if I should write ‘Robert Galbraith is a very good writer, and I enjoy their Cormoron Strike novels very much,’ despite knowing that it’s a pen name of Joanne K Rowling, and that she had wanted to write ‘adult’ novels to be judged separately to her Harry Potter novels, which were also written under a pen name JK Rowling under the belief that boys wouldn’t read books by a female author?

Should I write to her and ask her whether she wants to be referred to as ‘they.’  I doubt that she’d be interested or concerned.  Nor am I.  I just hope she’s got a new novel coming out next year.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on December 30, 2018, 06:34:23 PM
Benefits of using a singular they:
1) Avoiding offending individuals by misgendering them.
2) Avoiding bias in sentences like "In 2020, the President will rely on advice from their chief of staff when making this decision". In this case, it is important to refer to a singular individual and not specify a gender.
3) Discouraging the false idea that gender is a dichotomy.
4) Preventing the awkward and pointless work of rewording sentences to use plural instead of singular nouns.
5) Not having to decide what "readily ascertainable gender" means.

Costs of using a singular they:
1) Bachfiend says that singular they is "unacceptable".
2) The use of singular they was discouraged in the past. Language, like other aspects of culture (including fashion and etiquette), is static and unchanging, so the use of singular they can never be "correct".

Disadvantages of using the singular they:

1.  Offending individuals who want their gender identified.

2.  Making predictions which are impossible to make.

3.  Promoting the fiction that someone can be half male and half female.  A hermaphdite.

4.  Avoiding the appropriate use of plural nouns when it’s the best formulation.

5.  Avoiding bothering finding out something regarding the person one is commenting about.

I don’t oppose all uses of the singular they.  It does have its place.  Just not in cases with single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwIFMCKlVK8
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 06:39:28 PM
Benefits of using a singular they:
1) Avoiding offending individuals by misgendering them.
2) Avoiding bias in sentences like "In 2020, the President will rely on advice from their chief of staff when making this decision". In this case, it is important to refer to a singular individual and not specify a gender.
3) Discouraging the false idea that gender is a dichotomy.
4) Preventing the awkward and pointless work of rewording sentences to use plural instead of singular nouns.
5) Not having to decide what "readily ascertainable gender" means.

Costs of using a singular they:
1) Bachfiend says that singular they is "unacceptable".
2) The use of singular they was discouraged in the past. Language, like other aspects of culture (including fashion and etiquette), is static and unchanging, so the use of singular they can never be "correct".

Disadvantages of using the singular they:

1.  Offending individuals who want their gender identified.

2.  Making predictions which are impossible to make.

3.  Promoting the fiction that someone can be half male and half female.  A hermaphdite.

4.  Avoiding the appropriate use of plural nouns when it’s the best formulation.

5.  Avoiding bothering finding out something regarding the person one is commenting about.

I don’t oppose all uses of the singular they.  It does have its place.  Just not in cases with single specified persons with readily ascertainable gender.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwIFMCKlVK8

And your point?

It seems that the defenders of the singular they being applied to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender are getting desperate in trying to defend the indefensible.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on December 30, 2018, 08:10:39 PM
It’s not something that can or should be defended. There’s no logic involved because languages do not function on logic. It’s just how the word is used today. It saddens me that it’s used this way. But one just accepts it and moves on. It’s a fait accompli.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 30, 2018, 08:28:54 PM
It’s not something that can or should be defended. There’s no logic involved because languages do not function on logic. It’s just how the word is used today. It saddens me that it’s used this way. But one just accepts it and moves on. It’s a fait accompli.

No, it’s not a fait accompli.  There’s still a lot of resistance to the singular they, in particular the singular they applied to single specified persons of readily identified gender.

Admittedly, English isn’t a particularly logical language - the pronounciation and spelling of words in particular (and the differences between British spelling and American spelling eg defence versus defense).  German is much more logical, despite its noun genders and the accompanying 3rd person pronouns which often bear no relationship to the gender of persons.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 30, 2018, 08:59:36 PM
I'm not going to discuss that since you are literally not reasonable.

Why do you think it’s literally not reasonable?  Do you regard it reasonable to write ‘John Smith can do it, if they try?’

I wonder if I should write ‘Robert Galbraith is a very good writer, and I enjoy their Cormoron Strike novels very much,’ despite knowing that it’s a pen name of Joanne K Rowling, and that she had wanted to write ‘adult’ novels to be judged separately to her Harry Potter novels, which were also written under a pen name JK Rowling under the belief that boys wouldn’t read books by a female author?

Should I write to her and ask her whether she wants to be referred to as ‘they.’  I doubt that she’d be interested or concerned.  Nor am I.  I just hope she’s got a new novel coming out next year.

No no. I didn't say the "they" stuff is not reasonable. There are quite a few meaningful arguments to be made about it on both sides. You're not making those arguments though.You are saying you are right, those who don't agree with you are various versions of stupid, and mischaracterizing their positions.

What I said was that you are not reasonable. Specifically, in this matter, your position is not subject to change via reason or evidence. You don't appear to be willing to talk about why you believe what you believe, so there isn't a lot to talk about.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 31, 2018, 12:31:49 AM
I'm not going to discuss that since you are literally not reasonable.

Why do you think it’s literally not reasonable?  Do you regard it reasonable to write ‘John Smith can do it, if they try?’

I wonder if I should write ‘Robert Galbraith is a very good writer, and I enjoy their Cormoron Strike novels very much,’ despite knowing that it’s a pen name of Joanne K Rowling, and that she had wanted to write ‘adult’ novels to be judged separately to her Harry Potter novels, which were also written under a pen name JK Rowling under the belief that boys wouldn’t read books by a female author?

Should I write to her and ask her whether she wants to be referred to as ‘they.’  I doubt that she’d be interested or concerned.  Nor am I.  I just hope she’s got a new novel coming out next year.

No no. I didn't say the "they" stuff is not reasonable. There are quite a few meaningful arguments to be made about it on both sides. You're not making those arguments though.You are saying you are right, those who don't agree with you are various versions of stupid, and mischaracterizing their positions.

What I said was that you are not reasonable. Specifically, in this matter, your position is not subject to change via reason or evidence. You don't appear to be willing to talk about why you believe what you believe, so there isn't a lot to talk about.

I’m stating that it’s not reasonable to use the singular they with single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender - that’s all.  It’s eminently arguable that the singular they is reasonable for other situations. 

Which do you think is correct:

Joanne K Rowling is a fine author, and she has under the pen name of Robert Galbraith written five novels aimed at adults.  Four of her novels are in the Cormoran Strike series.

Or,

Joanne K Rowling is a fine author, and they have under the pen name of Robert Galbraith written five novels aimed at adults.  Four of their novels are in the Cormoran Strike series.

A single specified person of easily ascertainable.  The first with the natural 3rd person singular pronoun.  The second with the singular they.

Which do you prefer, and why?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 31, 2018, 12:44:25 AM
Which do you prefer, and why?

You keep saying it's not a matter of your personal preference, but, obviously, for you that's all it comes down to.

You preference and mine and anyone else's in this thread is irrelevant. What's relevant is what the currently acceptable usage in the English language.

If you want to have a discussion about what should or should not be acceptable, that's different.

But there is no doubt that you are wrong about what is an acceptable use of the word they in the English language today.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 31, 2018, 01:25:46 AM
Which do you prefer, and why?

You keep saying it's not a matter of your personal preference, but, obviously, for you that's all it comes down to.

You preference and mine and anyone else's in this thread is irrelevant. What's relevant is what the currently acceptable usage in the English language.

If you want to have a discussion about what should or should not be acceptable, that's different.

But there is no doubt that you are wrong about what is an acceptable use of the word they in the English language today.

‘They’ means ‘two or more.’ 

There are acceptable uses of the singular they, but they include the possibility of ‘two or more.’  An example would be:

An American is to blame.  They should accept responsibility.

Even though it appears that only one American is involved, it includes the possibility that two or Americans could be involved, so ‘they’ is appropriate.  ‘Americans are to blame.  They should accept responsibility’ doesn’t work, since it definitely states that there are two or more involved, nor does ‘An American is to blame.  He should accept blame,’ since American is genderless.

But when there’s ‘one and only one’ with no possibility of ‘two or more’, then by definition ‘they’ cannot be used.

I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation  by definition of ‘they’ is incorrect.

That’s all I’m saying.  I’m open to other uses of the singular they, but not in this case.  Historically, the singular they has never been used in this way.

Another example of valid use of the singular they is:

Anyone can succeed, if they try hard enough..

It used to be that:

Anyone can succeed, if he tries hard enough, but no longer.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on December 31, 2018, 10:56:11 AM
Bachfiend: Just to call your attention to the problem here:
What I said was that you are not reasonable. Specifically, in this matter, your position is not subject to change via reason or evidence. You don't appear to be willing to talk about why you believe what you believe, so there isn't a lot to talk about.

Everyone: Am I right in thinking Bachfiend is making an appeal to antiquity?

(Edited for clarity)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 31, 2018, 02:40:15 PM
Bachfiend: Just to call your attention to the problem here:
What I said was that you are not reasonable. Specifically, in this matter, your position is not subject to change via reason or evidence. You don't appear to be willing to talk about why you believe what you believe, so there isn't a lot to talk about.

Everyone: Am I right in thinking Bachfiend is making an appeal to antiquity?

(Edited for clarity)

No, I’m not.  You’re the ones appealing to antiquity with the claims that the singular they has been used since around 1375 CE.

I’m objecting to the recent use of the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender in order to avoid ‘offending’ the very small percentage of people who consider themselves to be of a different gender to that recorded on their birth certificates, and would prefer the use of ‘they’ being used when people are commenting.

‘He’ or ‘she’ mean ‘one and only one.’  ‘They’ means ‘two or more, or possibly two or more.’

You lot apparently think it’s acceptable to write ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chairperson of the ABC Corporation’ despite there being one and only one person of male gender.

There are cases where the singular they are acceptable.  Such as when a single person is of unclear gender such as:

A person left the room carrying their cup of coffee.’ The person’s gender isn’t known, so ‘their’ could be used (although it might have been better to have reformulate it as ’A person left the room carrying a cup of coffee.’)

’Anyone can succeed if they try’ is the correct formulation.  Previously ’Anyone can succeed if he tries’ would have been acceptable, but no longer.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on December 31, 2018, 08:51:26 PM
That’s all I’m saying.  I’m open to other uses of the singular they, but not in this case. 

Apparently Louis CK agrees with you.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on December 31, 2018, 09:23:55 PM
That’s all I’m saying.  I’m open to other uses of the singular they, but not in this case. 

Apparently Louis CK agrees with you.

It took me a while, but I finally found what you’re referring to.

My point is that it’s ridiculous to ruin the beautiful English language by using the singular they when referring to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender when it makes statements such as:

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

possible.  There’s one and only one John Smith being referred to, he’s obviously male, and he’s also the chairman of a public company.  And there’s little possibility that he wants to be referred as ‘they,’ or that he regards himself as anything but male.

Obviously, if you’re commenting about a person who does prefer to be referred to as ‘they,’ then you might consider acceding, but you’re not obliged to use the singular they when referring to the great majority of single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender when it produces mangled sentences and loss of clarity.  Another example would be the sentence ‘Alex left the room with their laptop.’  Whose laptop?  Alex’s?  Someone else’s?  Is Alex Alexander?  Or Alexandra?  Should it be ‘his’ or ‘her?’

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 01, 2019, 01:14:10 PM
I'm not particularly good at the 'name that fallacy' game (I'm much better with cognitive biases). Here's what I'm thinking. Criticism and correction welcome, of course.

Analysing the Strawman Arguments
I’m objecting to the recent use of the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender in order to avoid ‘offending’ the very small percentage of people who consider themselves to be of a different gender to that recorded on their birth certificates, and would prefer the use of ‘they’ being used when people are commenting.

This post shows Bachfiend's straw man in two parts, I think.

Misinterpretation: "...use of the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender"
My position: If the person's gender if clear, use the relevant pronoun. Otherwise make assumptions and corrections if required, or ask.

Misinterpretation "...to avoid 'offending'"
My position: Use the person's preferred gender out of respect.1

Analysing Other Fallacies
I'm not clear on what the fallacy Bachfiend has engaged in is called - or even if it has a particular name. I guessed antiquity because it has an element of "because that's how it was" in it. I don't think citing the centuries long use of the singular they is fallacious in that sense... I was attempting to provide evidence to counter the claim that English has never used that construction. I am not clear that that is really a claim Bachfiend has made, however. I could well have misinterpreted or misunderstood his point, so that argument would be beside the point. I'd say related evidence that has been cited is probably on point and not fallacious, as it shows generally acceptable use (i.e., linguistics podcasts, lists of references, changing editorial standards in many publications).
_____
1I'm pretty sure that there are few people on this forum who think that I am motivated to avoid offending people.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 01, 2019, 02:38:57 PM
I'm not particularly good at the 'name that fallacy' game (I'm much better with cognitive biases). Here's what I'm thinking. Criticism and correction welcome, of course.

Analysing the Strawman Arguments
I’m objecting to the recent use of the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender in order to avoid ‘offending’ the very small percentage of people who consider themselves to be of a different gender to that recorded on their birth certificates, and would prefer the use of ‘they’ being used when people are commenting.

This post shows Bachfiend's straw man in two parts, I think.

Misinterpretation: "...use of the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender"
My position: If the person's gender if clear, use the relevant pronoun. Otherwise make assumptions and corrections if required, or ask.

Misinterpretation "...to avoid 'offending'"
My position: Use the person's preferred gender out of respect.1

Analysing Other Fallacies
I'm not clear on what the fallacy Bachfiend has engaged in is called - or even if it has a particular name. I guessed antiquity because it has an element of "because that's how it was" in it. I don't think citing the centuries long use of the singular they is fallacious in that sense... I was attempting to provide evidence to counter the claim that English has never used that construction. I am not clear that that is really a claim Bachfiend has made, however. I could well have misinterpreted or misunderstood his point, so that argument would be beside the point. I'd say related evidence that has been cited is probably on point and not fallacious, as it shows generally acceptable use (i.e., linguistics podcasts, lists of references, changing editorial standards in many publications).
_____
1I'm pretty sure that there are few people on this forum who think that I am motivated to avoid offending people.

I’m not certain if we are disagreeing.  You seem to be saying that if you’re referring to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender, then use ‘he’ or ‘she.’  If the person has a preferred gender different to that on the birth certificate, then use the pronoun preferred (and if a person does have a different preferred gender, then that person will almost certainly have changed his/her name to reflect the change, so that ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation’ would be ‘I saw Joan Smith this morning.  She is the chairwoman of the ABC Corporation’ if John Smith had felt the need to alter gender).

If that’s what you’re saying, then we are in agreement.

It does leave the problem regarding Robert Galbraith though.  Is it ‘he’ or ‘she?’  Robert Galbraith is a pen name of Joanne K Rowling.

Am I committing a fallacy?  ‘They’ has always meant ‘two or more, or possibly two more.’  The singular they has never been applied to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender until recently, when it was adopted as an ungendered 3rd person singular pronoun, instead of coming up with a new pronoun.

The commenters insisting on using ‘they’ for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender (such as John Smith or CarbShark) are the ones committing the fallacy in insisting that there’s a long historical precedent for something that never has existed until recently.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 01, 2019, 09:32:54 PM
I’m not certain if we are disagreeing.  You seem to be saying that if you’re referring to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender, then use ‘he’ or ‘she.’

Close, but not quite. You have specified your thought process on selecting a pronoun from the total list of "she" and "he". In all cases, my intent is to use the pronoun that the person prefers, as previously specified. My list of possible pronoun options includes "she" "he" "it" "they" or some other term if that is their preference.

Am I committing a fallacy?  ‘They’ has always meant ‘two or more, or possibly two more.’

The highlighted statement is why I asked if "appeal to antiquity" was an appropriate label for the fallacious argument. Whatever you want to call the error in reasoning, it is an error.

I'll start by looking at the generalized form of your claim, that "‘They’ has always meant ‘two or more, or possibly two more.’" We get:

Code: [Select]
[Word] has always meant [Definition].
This use of "always" makes this a claim that language does not change.[1] Absurd - or you are forced to claim that 'bad' meant the same think in 1890 as it did in 1990 (post Michael Jackson).

Admittedly, you didn't claim that all words always held the same meaning. You're making the smaller claim that
Code: [Select]
[Specific Word] has always meant [Definition]where the specific word is 'they'.

This does not hold up better than the general claim as it stands. Unless we can specify some selection criteria for the [Specific Word] we can just go through the dictionary with every word until we're back at the general case. We need to be able to say which word at least, and ideally why that word? What makes it special and unchanging where other words can undergo gay transformations.[2] I think your claim makes more sense if the structure of the statement is altered:
Code: [Select]
[Specific Word] means [Definition] because [Reason].
In this case the word is 'they' and the reason is 'always':
Code: [Select]
‘They’ means ‘two or more, or possibly two more’ because it has held that meaning for a long time.
That's a fine claim to make.[3] I'm honestly curious about what you believe and why you believe it. We can't talk about that until you recognize that your "always" claim is not based on evidence or reason.
___
[1]I'm stepping through an argument, not pulling a straw man on you.
[2]I do ask you indulge me a little sass.
[3]Perhaps it is based on a value you hold about preservation of meaning, or a desire for continuity. Personally, I prefer new words for new meanings over new meanings added to old words ('homosexual' over 'gay' for example).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 01:10:28 AM
I’m not certain if we are disagreeing.  You seem to be saying that if you’re referring to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender, then use ‘he’ or ‘she.’

Close, but not quite. You have specified your thought process on selecting a pronoun from the total list of "she" and "he". In all cases, my intent is to use the pronoun that the person prefers, as previously specified. My list of possible pronoun options includes "she" "he" "it" "they" or some other term if that is their preference.

Am I committing a fallacy?  ‘They’ has always meant ‘two or more, or possibly two more.’

The highlighted statement is why I asked if "appeal to antiquity" was an appropriate label for the fallacious argument. Whatever you want to call the error in reasoning, it is an error.

I'll start by looking at the generalized form of your claim, that "‘They’ has always meant ‘two or more, or possibly two more.’" We get:

Code: [Select]
[Word] has always meant [Definition].
This use of "always" makes this a claim that language does not change.[1] Absurd - or you are forced to claim that 'bad' meant the same think in 1890 as it did in 1990 (post Michael Jackson).

Admittedly, you didn't claim that all words always held the same meaning. You're making the smaller claim that
Code: [Select]
[Specific Word] has always meant [Definition]where the specific word is 'they'.

This does not hold up better than the general claim as it stands. Unless we can specify some selection criteria for the [Specific Word] we can just go through the dictionary with every word until we're back at the general case. We need to be able to say which word at least, and ideally why that word? What makes it special and unchanging where other words can undergo gay transformations.[2] I think your claim makes more sense if the structure of the statement is altered:
Code: [Select]
[Specific Word] means [Definition] because [Reason].
In this case the word is 'they' and the reason is 'always':
Code: [Select]
‘They’ means ‘two or more, or possibly two more’ because it has held that meaning for a long time.
That's a fine claim to make.[3] I'm honestly curious about what you believe and why you believe it. We can't talk about that until you recognize that your "always" claim is not based on evidence or reason.
___
[1]I'm stepping through an argument, not pulling a straw man on you.
[2]I do ask you indulge me a little sass.
[3]Perhaps it is based on a value you hold about preservation of meaning, or a desire for continuity. Personally, I prefer new words for new meanings over new meanings added to old words ('homosexual' over 'gay' for example).

You’ve formulated your comment in a poor way.  If you’re arguing that ‘they’ (however it was spelt) ever meant anything other than ‘two or more,’ then where is your evidence?

I’m not appealing to antiquity.  The proponents here of using ‘they’ to refer to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender are the ones who are appealing to antiquity in that ‘they’ historically has been used in other ways, but not in relation to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender.

The use of ‘they’ as the pronoun for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender is a recent development to satisfy a very small minority who want recognition for their self-identication with a gender other than the one they were recorded on their birth certificate as having. 

Using ‘they’ for all persons would be silly.  I don’t know whether everyone is obliged to follow suit.  Using ‘they’ for single persons loses clarity and information too.  Alex left the room carrying their laptop is possible using ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun.  Whose laptop?  Alex’s?  Someone else’s?  Alexander or Alexandra?  His or her?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: swan on January 02, 2019, 09:29:54 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPVtAlQot9g
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 02, 2019, 10:44:37 AM
/me sits back bemused as Bachfiend completely misses the point.

Footnotes and emphasis added by me for clarity.

You’ve formulated your comment in a poor way.  If you’re arguing that ‘they’ (however it was spelt) ever meant anything other than ‘two or more,’ then where is your evidence?[1]

I’m not appealing to antiquity.  The proponents here of using ‘they’ to refer to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender are the ones who are appealing to antiquity in that ‘they’ historically has been used in other ways, but not in relation to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender.[2]

The use of ‘they’ as the pronoun for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender is a recent development to satisfy a very small minority who want recognition for their self-identication with a gender other than the one they were recorded on their birth certificate as having.[3] 

Using ‘they’ for all persons would be silly.[4]  I don’t know whether everyone is obliged to follow suit.  Using ‘they’ for single persons loses clarity and information too.  Alex left the room carrying their laptop is possible using ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun.  Whose laptop?  Alex’s?  Someone else’s?  Alexander or Alexandra?  His or her?

TL;DR of my previous post: Your position is not supported by evidence or by logic. I did not make an argument about the meaning of 'they' in that post. The first bit describes my position. The second bit exposes the logical flaw in your position, and more generally in the position of any position that claims [word] means [definition] because [historical].

I'm honestly curious about what you believe and why you believe it. We can't talk about that until you recognize that your "always" claim is not based on evidence or reason.

To be fair, you could also demonstrate that my evidence or the reasoning based on it are flawed. You have done none of these.

___
[1]Your straw man, previously exposed. Related to [1].
[2]My beside the point error, previously acknowledged. Related to [2].
[3]Evidence that exposes the logical flaw in your position. I'm pleased you agree it is true.
[4]Your straw man, previously exposed. I have not taken this position, and agree that it would be silly (in today's English).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 02, 2019, 01:55:59 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 


ETA: (and I say that as an old man with a history of yelling at clouds)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 02, 2019, 04:06:18 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 04:23:01 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 


ETA: (and I say that as an old man with a history of yelling at clouds)

My position is that with single specified persons, ‘he’ or ‘she’ should be used as the 3rd person plural pronoun if the gender of the person is known.  ‘It’ and ‘they’ should be avoided.  ‘It’ because it dehumanises the person.  ‘They’ because it lacks clarity, because in almost all cases it refers to two or more persons, often many people.

If the gender of the person isn’t known, then avoid the 3rd person singular pronoun.  Just repeat the name of the person whenever necessary.

If a single unspecified person is being referred to, then ‘they’ is acceptable.  Or reformulate it in the plural.

I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation.

This argument started because CarbShark originally quoted from a poem.  And then another commenter wrote that CarbShark’s quote was true.

Anyone can succeed if they try.

An American can do anything if they try.  Americans can do everything if they try.


Using the singular they for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender lacks clarity, as in Alex left the room with their laptop.

Using the singular they to avoid offending the very small minority of people who prefer to be referred to with ‘it’ or ‘they’ is just silly and political correctness gone mad.  If there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns (eg ‘youm’ for males and ‘youf’ for females), then they’d have cause for complaint.  But there aren’t any.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 04:25:03 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.

Swagomatic has said he’s an old man, so it should be ‘that’s what he said.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 02, 2019, 05:00:25 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.

Swagomatic has said he’s an old man, so it should be ‘that’s what he said.

I would be okay with either pronoun.  I'm easy like that.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 02, 2019, 05:31:06 PM
  I'm easy like that.

That's what they said
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 06:43:42 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.

Swagomatic has said he’s an old man, so it should be ‘that’s what he said.

I would be okay with either pronoun.  I'm easy like that.

The purpose of language is to communicate ideas clearly and without ambiguity.  CarbShark’s context free comment lacks clarity and non-ambiguity.

That’s what they said. Who are they?  Swagomatic?  Someone else? 

The correct formulation:  That’s what he said’ is clear and non-ambiguous.  Or perhaps if there wasn’t this stupid insistence on the singular they for political correctness That’s what they said would be clear and non-ambiguous because there wouldn’t be any possibility of it referring to a single person.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 02, 2019, 07:10:37 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.

Swagomatic has said he’s an old man, so it should be ‘that’s what he said.

I would be okay with either pronoun.  I'm easy like that.

The purpose of language is to communicate ideas clearly and without ambiguity.  CarbShark’s context free comment lacks clarity and non-ambiguity.

That’s what they said. Who are they?  Swagomatic?  Someone else? 

The correct formulation:  That’s what he said’ is clear and non-ambiguous.  Or perhaps if there wasn’t this stupid insistence on the singular they for political correctness That’s what they said would be clear and non-ambiguous because there wouldn’t be any possibility of it referring to a single person.

It's going to sound funny & "wrong" for a while, but don't worry, you will get used to it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 02, 2019, 07:23:27 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.

Swagomatic has said he’s an old man, so it should be ‘that’s what he said.

I would be okay with either pronoun.  I'm easy like that.

The purpose of language is to communicate ideas clearly and without ambiguity.  CarbShark’s context free comment lacks clarity and non-ambiguity.

That’s what they said. Who are they?  Swagomatic?  Someone else? 

The correct formulation:  That’s what he said’ is clear and non-ambiguous.  Or perhaps if there wasn’t this stupid insistence on the singular they for political correctness That’s what they said would be clear and non-ambiguous because there wouldn’t be any possibility of it referring to a single person.

It's going to sound funny & "wrong" for a while, but don't worry, you will get used to it.

They will, indeed
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 02, 2019, 07:45:37 PM
The purpose of language is to communicate ideas clearly and without ambiguity.

That is one way language is used. It is not the sole purpose of language. For example,

Quote
On the other hand, with indirect language, if you issue a veiled bribe, then the dishonest officer could interpret it as a bribe, in which case you get the payoff of going free. The honest officer can't hold you to it as being a bribe, and therefore, you get the nuisance of the traffic ticket. So you get the best of both worlds. And a similar analysis, I think, can apply to the potential awkwardness of a sexual solicitation, and other cases where plausible deniability is an asset. I think this affirms something that's long been known by diplomats -- namely, that the vagueness of language, far from being a bug or an imperfection, actually might be a feature of language, one that we use to our advantage in social interactions.
- Steven Pinker, TEDGlobal 2005: What our language habits reveal (16:10)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 07:56:03 PM
This is turning into an "Old Man Yells at Cloud" scenario. 

That's what they said.

Swagomatic has said he’s an old man, so it should be ‘that’s what he said.

I would be okay with either pronoun.  I'm easy like that.

The purpose of language is to communicate ideas clearly and without ambiguity.  CarbShark’s context free comment lacks clarity and non-ambiguity.

That’s what they said. Who are they?  Swagomatic?  Someone else? 

The correct formulation:  That’s what he said’ is clear and non-ambiguous.  Or perhaps if there wasn’t this stupid insistence on the singular they for political correctness That’s what they said would be clear and non-ambiguous because there wouldn’t be any possibility of it referring to a single person.

It's going to sound funny & "wrong" for a while, but don't worry, you will get used to it.

They will, indeed

So, you’ve changed your signature from ‘guy’ to ‘someone?’  Your talent for obfuscation and ambiguity is remarkable.

No, I won’t get used to substandard English, as many others won’t either.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 08:08:21 PM
The purpose of language is to communicate ideas clearly and without ambiguity.

That is one way language is used. It is not the sole purpose of language. For example,

Quote
On the other hand, with indirect language, if you issue a veiled bribe, then the dishonest officer could interpret it as a bribe, in which case you get the payoff of going free. The honest officer can't hold you to it as being a bribe, and therefore, you get the nuisance of the traffic ticket. So you get the best of both worlds. And a similar analysis, I think, can apply to the potential awkwardness of a sexual solicitation, and other cases where plausible deniability is an asset. I think this affirms something that's long been known by diplomats -- namely, that the vagueness of language, far from being a bug or an imperfection, actually might be a feature of language, one that we use to our advantage in social interactions.
- Steven Pinker, TEDGlobal 2005: What our language habits reveal (16:10)

No, an honest police officer would recognise it as a bribe, and you’d get both the traffic ticket and a charge of attempting to bribe a police officer, a more serious offence.  You either lose, or lose more.

Your best option is to pretend to be a foreigner with no English language competency.  Just feign ignorance.  If you’re lucky, the police officer would just give up.

But if you’re trying to convince someone of the truth of your argument, then clarity and non-ambiguity is a great asset. If your reader or listener has to spend time trying to work out what you were trying to say, then your argument is more likely to be rejected.  Using the singular they for reasons of political correctness or laziness isn’t an asset.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 02, 2019, 08:09:25 PM
...are you missing the point on purpose?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 02, 2019, 08:13:04 PM

So, you’ve changed your signature from ‘guy’ to ‘someone?’  Your talent for obfuscation and ambiguity is remarkable.

Yes, many many pages ago.

I changed it because none of your business. I can change it to whatever I like whenever I like.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 09:13:01 PM
...are you missing the point on purpose?

No, I’m not missing the point because you’re not making a point.  If you want to communicate, you express yourself clearly and non-ambiguously.  If you want to obfuscate, you express yourself non-clearly and ambiguously.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 02, 2019, 09:14:56 PM

So, you’ve changed your signature from ‘guy’ to ‘someone?’  Your talent for obfuscation and ambiguity is remarkable.

Yes, many many pages ago.

I changed it because none of your business. I can change it to whatever I like whenever I like.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, you can.  But you’ve abandoned your attempt to convince by rational argument too.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 02, 2019, 10:06:54 PM

So, you’ve changed your signature from ‘guy’ to ‘someone?’  Your talent for obfuscation and ambiguity is remarkable.

Yes, many many pages ago.

I changed it because none of your business. I can change it to whatever I like whenever I like.


Yes, you can.  But you’ve abandoned your attempt to convince by rational argument too.

At this point, yes. Rational arguments (mine and others) seem to have no effect.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 02:22:11 AM

So, you’ve changed your signature from ‘guy’ to ‘someone?’  Your talent for obfuscation and ambiguity is remarkable.

Yes, many many pages ago.

I changed it because none of your business. I can change it to whatever I like whenever I like.


Yes, you can.  But you’ve abandoned your attempt to convince by rational argument too.

At this point, yes. Rational arguments (mine and others) seem to have no effect.

Your only argument is that many people are using substandard English to be politically correct, but only at the cost of clarity and obfuscation.

Having company in your error is hardly recommendation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 03, 2019, 03:16:27 AM
Dr reading comprehension, I have never made either of those claims.

My claim is that the dictionaries and language and style guides used in most English speaking publications all agree that use is now acceptable.

Expect to see more of it in the future.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 03:36:00 AM
Dr reading comprehension, I have never made either of those claims.

My claim is that the dictionaries and language and style guides used in most English speaking publications all agree that use is now acceptable.

Expect to see more of it in the future.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No, the ‘singular they’ applied to single specified persons is still heavily disputed.  It’s only included in dictionaries and style guides because it’s used by many, but not anywhere near all, English speakers.  Abominations such as ‘ain’t’ also get included, because they’re used by many.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 03, 2019, 07:31:49 AM
This is my last attempt to have a meaningful skeptical discussion about your beliefs and values, I think. Let's see if you can break through your religious fervor to a meta level where you can examine what you believe and why you believe it - like a skeptic might - instead of wallowing in "I'm right, because!" and "You're wrong, because!" for all your answers.

Why, against mountains of evidence, do you claim that
a) Language is fixed and immutable (at least in some parts, such as the meaning of 'they')?
b) Language is designed for clarity and precision?

I am not asking what you believe about the word 'they' or for another angry screed citing your logically incoherent "evidence". You have exhaustively and stridently proclaimed your position. Honestly, I don't care about your lawn or the kids on it at this point.

I am asking about the values you hold that drive that kind of belief. What is it about you that makes the meaning of "they" the hill you'll die on, but "gay" and "bad" get a pass? How do you feel about "literally"? Why do you have that feeling? Is this like the "don't fuck bums" rule in the Bible that you have to adhere to, but the whole section on vengeful stoning gets a pass, along with slavery, shellfish, and the hair on your temples?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 02:05:22 PM
This is my last attempt to have a meaningful skeptical discussion about your beliefs and values, I think. Let's see if you can break through your religious fervor to a meta level where you can examine what you believe and why you believe it - like a skeptic might - instead of wallowing in "I'm right, because!" and "You're wrong, because!" for all your answers.

Why, against mountains of evidence, do you claim that
a) Language is fixed and immutable (at least in some parts, such as the meaning of 'they')?
b) Language is designed for clarity and precision?

I am not asking what you believe about the word 'they' or for another angry screed citing your logically incoherent "evidence". You have exhaustively and stridently proclaimed your position. Honestly, I don't care about your lawn or the kids on it at this point.

I am asking about the values you hold that drive that kind of belief. What is it about you that makes the meaning of "they" the hill you'll die on, but "gay" and "bad" get a pass? How do you feel about "literally"? Why do you have that feeling? Is this like the "don't fuck bums" rule in the Bible that you have to adhere to, but the whole section on vengeful stoning gets a pass, along with slavery, shellfish, and the hair on your temples?

Good.

Language isn’t immutable, but there are fundamental elements of language that are immutable.  ‘One’ doesn’t change its meaning to ‘two’ or ‘three.’  Or ‘many’.  ‘He’ or ‘she’ are immutable.  They mean ‘one and only one person of a single gender.’  ‘They’ means ‘two or more of either gender.’

Changing ‘they’ to mean ‘one person of either gender, or of an unspecified gender which the person isn’t willing to acknowledge’ to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender is like changing the immutable meaning of ‘many’ to ‘one.’

It’s just political correctness gone mad to use ‘they’ for one and only one persons to express support for transgender people.  There are better ways of expressing support besides degrading the English language.

Language is designed for clarity and precision.  Perversion of language is designed to obfuscate meaning.  Changing ‘two or more, or many’ to mean ‘one and only one’ is Orwellian obfuscation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 03, 2019, 02:13:18 PM
It sounds like you need to switch languages - to something less free-wheeling, maybe - like Latin, for instance.  I hear that language hasn't changed for a few thousand years.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 03:37:26 PM
It sounds like you need to switch languages - to something less free-wheeling, maybe - like Latin, for instance.  I hear that language hasn't changed for a few thousand years.

There are no languages that haven’t changed.  But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or many’ to ‘one and only one,’ as the modern perversion of applying ‘they’ to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender.

There are changes that are sensible.  The dropping of ‘actress,’ ‘authoress,’ and ‘manageress’ fall into this category.  But there are changes that are not sensible, such as the one changing the meaning of ‘they’ to ‘one and only one.’

If an ungendered 3rd person singular pronoun and possessive adjective are desired (or even needed) then the ‘change’ of creating them should be done instead of coopting and perverting the meaning of ‘they.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 03, 2019, 04:20:04 PM
...But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more...


Do you have a cite for this?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 04:38:49 PM
...But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more...


Do you have a cite for this?

Do you have any references for any language that has changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or even many’ to ‘one and only one?’

You can’t prove a negative, but it should be easy for you to disprove my assertion with a single example.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 03, 2019, 04:49:29 PM
...But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more...


Do you have a cite for this?

Do you have any references for any language that has changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or even many’ to ‘one and only one?’

You can’t prove a negative, but it should be easy for you to disprove my assertion with a single example.

Language that people use changes meaning and pronunciation over time, period.  That's it.   This is a change we are watching as it happens.


https://public.oed.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-singular-they/
   
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 03, 2019, 06:10:34 PM
But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or many’ to ‘one and only one,’ ...

English has done that. For years.

The plural "they" becomes the singular "they," in some situations. You know that.  You've referenced it numerous times.

No, it's not about plural becoming singular never being allowed, but rather under what conditions it is allowable.

At one time it was allowed only when the gender identity of the subject (or object) was not determined. But now it's allowed even when the gender is or can be determined.

(How do you feel about the "royal we"?)

How do you feel about these statements

"If your baby is going to sleep through the night they must first learn to soothe themselves to sleep"

or

"If a student is going to succeed in math they must do their homework on time and never fall behind"



Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 03, 2019, 06:37:50 PM

Language that people use changes meaning and pronunciation over time, period.  That's it.   This is a change we are watching as it happens.

https://public.oed.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-singular-they/

The final paragraph is amusingly scathing. Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 06:48:06 PM
But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or many’ to ‘one and only one,’ ...

English has done that. For years.

The plural "they" becomes the singular "they," in some situations. You know that.  You've referenced it numerous times.

No, it's not about plural becoming singular never being allowed, but rather under what conditions it is allowable.

At one time it was allowed only when the gender identity of the subject (or object) was not determined. But now it's allowed even when the gender is or can be determined.

(How do you feel about the "royal we"?)

How do you feel about these statements

"If your baby is going to sleep through the night they must first learn to soothe themselves to sleep"

or

"If a student is going to succeed in math they must do their homework on time and never fall behind"

‘Your baby’ and ‘a student’ arent ‘a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender.’  If you were specifying the baby or student, perhaps with the name John Smith, then the statements would read:

If your baby, John Smith, is going to sleep through the night he must first learn to soothe himself to sleep.

If the student, John Smith, is going to succeed in math he must do his homework on time and never fall behind.


‘Your baby’ and ‘a student’ implicitly include ‘all babies’ and ‘all students,’ which is definitely ‘two or more, or many,’ and not ‘one and only one.’

If the student, John Smith, is going to succeed in math they must do their homework on time and never fall behind’ sounds ridiculous, and is also ambiguous.  Perhaps there are some other people who must do their homework and never fall behind, and John Smith doesn’t need to do anything?

The ‘royal we’ probably comes from the time that ruling monarchs considered themselves to be representing all of their people.  Perhaps they still do.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 07:02:49 PM
...But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more...


Do you have a cite for this?

Do you have any references for any language that has changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or even many’ to ‘one and only one?’

You can’t prove a negative, but it should be easy for you to disprove my assertion with a single example.

Language that people use changes meaning and pronunciation over time, period.  That's it.   This is a change we are watching as it happens.


https://public.oed.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-singular-they/
 

I disagree, and many other people disagree.  There are many cases in which the ‘singular they’ is appropriate and perfectly acceptable.  But using it with ‘single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender’ isn’t one of them.

Redefining ‘they’ to mean ‘he’ or ‘she’ is like redefining ‘grey’ to mean ‘white’ or ‘black,’  and then insisting that white and black cars have to be all called grey on the grounds that some people might feel discriminated against on the basis of race (although there are, biologically, no human races.  Genetically, Swedes and New Guinean highlanders - separated by 20,000 km and perhaps 45,000 years - are more similar genetically than common chimpanzees separated by a few hundred kilometres).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 03, 2019, 07:08:40 PM
But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or many’ to ‘one and only one,’ ...

English has done that. For years.

The plural "they" becomes the singular "they," in some situations. You know that.  You've referenced it numerous times.

No, it's not about plural becoming singular never being allowed, but rather under what conditions it is allowable.

At one time it was allowed only when the gender identity of the subject (or object) was not determined. But now it's allowed even when the gender is or can be determined.

(How do you feel about the "royal we"?)

How do you feel about these statements

"If your baby is going to sleep through the night they must first learn to soothe themselves to sleep"

or

"If a student is going to succeed in math they must do their homework on time and never fall behind"

‘Your baby’ and ‘a student’ arent ‘a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender.’  If you were specifying the baby or student, perhaps with the name John Smith, then the statements would read:

If your baby, John Smith, is going to sleep through the night he must first learn to soothe himself to sleep.

If the student, John Smith, is going to succeed in math he must do his homework on time and never fall behind.


‘Your baby’ and ‘a student’ implicitly include ‘all babies’ and ‘all student,’ which is definitely ‘two or more, or many,’ and not ‘one and only one.’

I have one baby. The reference is directly to my baby, not all babies. And baby is singular, not plural.

If "a student" includes "all students" then the singular "a" becomes a plural.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 03, 2019, 07:21:54 PM
But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or many’ to ‘one and only one,’ ...

English has done that. For years.

The plural "they" becomes the singular "they," in some situations. You know that.  You've referenced it numerous times.

No, it's not about plural becoming singular never being allowed, but rather under what conditions it is allowable.

At one time it was allowed only when the gender identity of the subject (or object) was not determined. But now it's allowed even when the gender is or can be determined.

(How do you feel about the "royal we"?)

How do you feel about these statements

"If your baby is going to sleep through the night they must first learn to soothe themselves to sleep"

or

"If a student is going to succeed in math they must do their homework on time and never fall behind"

‘Your baby’ and ‘a student’ arent ‘a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender.’  If you were specifying the baby or student, perhaps with the name John Smith, then the statements would read:

If your baby, John Smith, is going to sleep through the night he must first learn to soothe himself to sleep.

If the student, John Smith, is going to succeed in math he must do his homework on time and never fall behind.


‘Your baby’ and ‘a student’ implicitly include ‘all babies’ and ‘all student,’ which is definitely ‘two or more, or many,’ and not ‘one and only one.’

I have one baby. The reference is directly to my baby, not all babies. And baby is singular, not plural.

If "a student" includes "all students" then the singular "a" becomes a plural.

If the baby concerned is CarbShark’s baby, then it’s a single specified person, presumably of known gender, so the statement is: ’If your baby is going to sleep through the night he (if a boy) or she (if a girl) must first learn to soothe himself or herself to sleep.’ if the statement is addressed generally to all parents with babies, then the ‘singular they’ is appropriate and perfectly acceptable, since it doesn’t include just single specified persons.

And since ‘a student’ means ‘all students,’ the statement can be formulated as ’If students are going to succeed in math they must do their homework on time and never fall behind.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on January 04, 2019, 01:42:42 AM
...But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more...


Do you have a cite for this?

Do you have any references for any language that has changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or even many’ to ‘one and only one?’

You can’t prove a negative, but it should be easy for you to disprove my assertion with a single example.

?Que tal vos?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 04, 2019, 02:34:13 AM
...But there are no languages that have changed the meaning of ‘two or more...


Do you have a cite for this?

Really?

Do you have any references for any language that has changed the meaning of ‘two or more, or even many’ to ‘one and only one?’

You can’t prove a negative, but it should be easy for you to disprove my assertion with a single example.

?Que tal vos?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 04, 2019, 04:01:32 AM
Consider the following two examples of situations where a singular they is helpful:

a) The Senate Majority leader is elected by their party's caucus.
b) Dr. Smith presented their work at the science conference.
c) Jace Smith turned in their badge and gun.

Yes, sometimes it is possible to reword sentences and change singular nouns to plural ones, but this is awkward and unnecessary.

Finally, I have no idea what "single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender" means. What qualifies as "readily ascertainable"? What about individuals that do not fall into an outdated gender dichotomy?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 04, 2019, 05:38:32 AM
Consider the following two examples of situations where a singular they is helpful:

a) The Senate Majority leader is elected by their party's caucus.
b) Dr. Smith presented their work at the science conference.
c) Jace Smith turned in their badge and gun.

Yes, sometimes it is possible to reword sentences and change singular nouns to plural ones, but this is awkward and unnecessary.

Finally, I have no idea what "single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender" means. What qualifies as "readily ascertainable"? What about individuals that do not fall into an outdated gender dichotomy?

a). The Senator Majority leader isn’t a single specified person.  And expressing it in the plural is more elegant.  ‘Senator majority leaders are elected by their party’s caucus (or better still just ‘by the party caucus).

b).  Is ambiguous.  Is she (or he) presenting the work done by herself alone, or is she presenting work that was done by her and one or more other people?

c).  Is also ambiguous.   Did Jace Smith turn in his badge and gun, or someone else’s? (I realise that it probably refers to a police officer resigning).

The great majority of people can be referred to as single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender, in which case ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the appropriate pronoun.  Using ‘they’ as the default pronoun just to cover the very small minority of people who decline to identify as male or female is silly overkill.

By the way.  ‘Consider the following two examples of where a singular they is useful?’ With a), b) and c)?   Cardinal Ximenez:  NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!  Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency... Our ‘three’ weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...Our ‘four’...no...Amongst our weapony...’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Billzbub on January 04, 2019, 01:53:14 PM
Didn't this discussion start because someone didn't know CarbShark's gender?  So, isn't the use of "they" appropriate because they didn't know his gender?

I just used "they" for a singular, specific person because I can't remember who it was.  So even though that person actually does have a gender, I don't know it and can therefor use "they".

It is tempting to accuse people in this thread of trolling one way or the other, but I realize now that this is actually just fun for everyone involved.  Some of you like to tell bachfiend he is wrong, and bachfiend likes defending his statement.  Everyone wins!

Just to get in on the action, I refuse to take grammar advice from someone who doesn't capitalize their name.  PThpththptht.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 04, 2019, 02:55:34 PM
Didn't this discussion start because someone didn't know CarbShark's gender?  So, isn't the use of "they" appropriate because they didn't know his gender?

I just used "they" for a singular, specific person because I can't remember who it was.  So even though that person actually does have a gender, I don't know it and can therefor use "they".

It is tempting to accuse people in this thread of trolling one way or the other, but I realize now that this is actually just fun for everyone involved.  Some of you like to tell bachfiend he is wrong, and bachfiend likes defending his statement.  Everyone wins!

Just to get in on the action, I refuse to take grammar advice from someone who doesn't capitalize their name.  PThpththptht.

Well, at the time CarbShark had as his signature ‘... I’m just a guy who has done a ton of research...’ (he subsequently changed it to ‘someone’ to obfuscate, as is his wont), so his gender was readily ascertainable.  The original person who used ‘they’ for CarbShark has a photo of himself on all his comments, so he’s male too (unfortunately, it’s a pretty safe bet that most people commenting here and on similar sites will be male too), but that’s not the reason he used ‘they.’  He said he did it for political correctness and inclusiveness (not his words though).

If you don’t know the person’s gender, then you should either find out, or find a workout around it to avoid using a personal pronoun.  And all I’m saying that for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender, the correct 3rd person singular pronouns to use are either ‘he’ or ‘she.’ There are other cases where the ‘singular they’ is entirely appropriate and acceptable.

‘bachfiend’ isn’t my name.  I don’t capitalise it out of my reverence for Johann Sebastian Bach.  Last year I did a pilgrimage to his old church in Leipzig the Thomaskirche and sat through a church service on the 6th Sunday after Easter.  And I was rapt.

By the way, if I ever refer to you in the 3rd person (unlikely), I will refer to you as ‘he,’ because I know you’re male and live in New York State.  And you’re happy to provide this readily ascertainable information.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 04, 2019, 03:27:05 PM
Didn't this discussion start because someone didn't know CarbShark's gender?  So, isn't the use of "they" appropriate because they didn't know his gender?

I just used "they" for a singular, specific person because I can't remember who it was.  So even though that person actually does have a gender, I don't know it and can therefor use "they".


No, it got started because someone responded one of bachfiend's silly comments to show that by their own logic all of the music of YS Bach is meaningless. Bachfiend then lashed out at the poster on a tangent, calling them stupid for using what's actually a currently acceptable use of language.

There was never any question about anyone's sex. That's simply bachfiend's straw man they have repeated endlessly (as they do) throughout the conversation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 04, 2019, 03:55:10 PM
Didn't this discussion start because someone didn't know CarbShark's gender?  So, isn't the use of "they" appropriate because they didn't know his gender?

I just used "they" for a singular, specific person because I can't remember who it was.  So even though that person actually does have a gender, I don't know it and can therefor use "they".


No, it got started because someone responded one of bachfiend's silly comments to show that by their own logic all of the music of YS Bach is meaningless. Bachfiend then lashed out at the poster on a tangent, calling them stupid for using what's actually a currently acceptable use of language.

There was never any question about anyone's sex. That's simply bachfiend's straw man they have repeated endlessly (as they do) throughout the conversation.

It’s JS Bach, not YS Bach.  And no, it didn’t start because I was lashing out at a comment on JS Bach.  It was because the commenter referred to you as ‘they’ when you’re a ‘he.’  And I’m a ‘he’ too.  I object to being referred to as ‘they.’  I don’t have a multipersonality disorder.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on January 04, 2019, 03:56:01 PM
Getting back to feeding people...

"Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth by 40 percent"

https://phys.org/news/2019-01-scientists-shortcut-photosynthetic-glitch-boost.html
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 04, 2019, 03:57:47 PM
Didn't this discussion start because someone didn't know CarbShark's gender?  So, isn't the use of "they" appropriate because they didn't know his gender?

I just used "they" for a singular, specific person because I can't remember who it was.  So even though that person actually does have a gender, I don't know it and can therefor use "they".


No, it got started because someone responded one of bachfiend's silly comments to show that by their own logic all of the music of YS Bach is meaningless. Bachfiend then lashed out at the poster on a tangent, calling them stupid for using what's actually a currently acceptable use of language.

There was never any question about anyone's sex. That's simply bachfiend's straw man they have repeated endlessly (as they do) throughout the conversation.

It’s JS Bach, not YS Bach.
Oops.
Quote

 And no, it didn’t start because I was lashing out at a comment on JS Bach.  It was because the commenter referred to you as ‘they’ when you’re a ‘he.’  And I’m a ‘he’ too.  I object to being referred to as ‘they.’  I don’t have a multipersonality disorder.

How could we possibly know that?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 04, 2019, 04:04:54 PM
Consider the following two examples of situations where a singular they is helpful:

a) The Senate Majority leader is elected by their party's caucus.
b) Dr. Smith presented their work at the science conference.
c) Jace Smith turned in their badge and gun.

Yes, sometimes it is possible to reword sentences and change singular nouns to plural ones, but this is awkward and unnecessary.

Finally, I have no idea what "single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender" means. What qualifies as "readily ascertainable"? What about individuals that do not fall into an outdated gender dichotomy?

a). The Senator Majority leader isn’t a single specified person.  And expressing it in the plural is more elegant.  ‘Senator majority leaders are elected by their party’s caucus (or better still just ‘by the party caucus).

b).  Is ambiguous.  Is she (or he) presenting the work done by herself alone, or is she presenting work that was done by her and one or more other people?

c).  Is also ambiguous.   Did Jace Smith turn in his badge and gun, or someone else’s? (I realise that it probably refers to a police officer resigning).

The great majority of people can be referred to as single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender, in which case ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the appropriate pronoun.  Using ‘they’ as the default pronoun just to cover the very small minority of people who decline to identify as male or female is silly overkill.

By the way.  ‘Consider the following two examples of where a singular they is useful?’ With a), b) and c)?   Cardinal Ximenez:  NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!  Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency... Our ‘three’ weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...Our ‘four’...no...Amongst our weapony...’
My, bad! I should have deleted "two" when I added a third example. I hope we can forgive each other's typos (weapony)  :)
For a, there is only one Senate Majority leader at a time, so it is worth sticking with the singular.
For b and c, I agree there is ambiguity, but what other options are there?
I still don't understand what "readily ascertainable gender" means.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 04, 2019, 06:11:30 PM
Consider the following two examples of situations where a singular they is helpful:

a) The Senate Majority leader is elected by their party's caucus.
b) Dr. Smith presented their work at the science conference.
c) Jace Smith turned in their badge and gun.

Yes, sometimes it is possible to reword sentences and change singular nouns to plural ones, but this is awkward and unnecessary.

Finally, I have no idea what "single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender" means. What qualifies as "readily ascertainable"? What about individuals that do not fall into an outdated gender dichotomy?

a). The Senator Majority leader isn’t a single specified person.  And expressing it in the plural is more elegant.  ‘Senator majority leaders are elected by their party’s caucus (or better still just ‘by the party caucus).

b).  Is ambiguous.  Is she (or he) presenting the work done by herself alone, or is she presenting work that was done by her and one or more other people?

c).  Is also ambiguous.   Did Jace Smith turn in his badge and gun, or someone else’s? (I realise that it probably refers to a police officer resigning).

The great majority of people can be referred to as single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender, in which case ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the appropriate pronoun.  Using ‘they’ as the default pronoun just to cover the very small minority of people who decline to identify as male or female is silly overkill.

By the way.  ‘Consider the following two examples of where a singular they is useful?’ With a), b) and c)?   Cardinal Ximenez:  NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!  Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency... Our ‘three’ weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...Our ‘four’...no...Amongst our weapony...’
My, bad! I should have deleted "two" when I added a third example. I hope we can forgive each other's typos (weapony)  :)
For a, there is only one Senate Majority leader at a time, so it is worth sticking with the singular.
For b and c, I agree there is ambiguity, but what other options are there?
I still don't understand what "readily ascertainable gender" means.

It gave me an opportunity to refer to Monty Python, so I regarded your counting error a plus.

There are many Senate Majority leaders over time, so the plural is also correct.

b).  ‘Dr Smith presented his (or her) work at the science conference’ (it’s hardly likely that this would have been the first mention of Dr Smith, and that the full name hadn’t already been mentioned giving the gender), if Dr Smith was the sole producer of the work.  Or ‘Dr Smith presented their work at the science conference, if there were other coworker(s).  Or ‘Dr Smith presented her colleagues’ work at the science conference’ (there’s also the possibility that Dr Smith didn’t do any of the work, but the investigators weren’t able to attend).

An extra point is that the person writing ‘Dr Smith presented...’ would have been at the science conference and would have known whether Dr Smith was a ‘he’ or a ‘she.’

c).  ‘Jace Smith turned in his badge and gun,’ the most likely case.  Or ‘Jace Smith turned in their badge and gun,’ if the badge and gun belonged to two or more other people, not likely, but possible.  It all depends on context and what went before.

‘Readily ascertainable gender’ means that you can determine what the person’s gender is with little effort.  The person has a male or a female name (excluding the remote possibility of ‘a boy called  Sue’).  Or the person’s gender has been previously disclosed.  It doesn’t include cases where the person’s gender is impossible to determine.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 06, 2019, 03:16:28 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/9g3s08h.jpg)
This seemed relevant.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on January 06, 2019, 05:30:40 PM
I self-identify as a message board poster.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 06, 2019, 05:45:49 PM
I just laugh and laugh at 'what's in your pants' in part because I keep reading it as "What's in your PANTS!" and "Doom." is a perfectly kromulent answer. :)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 06, 2019, 06:24:52 PM
I just laugh and laugh at 'what's in your pants' in part because I keep reading it as "What's in your PANTS!" and "Doom." is a perfectly kromulent answer. :)

Well, until you get a real non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, you’re still obliged to use ‘he’ or ‘she,’ unless you want to create ambiguity and misleading by using ‘they’ as a default singular pronoun for single specified persons.  Which is perhaps what you’re trying to do.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 06, 2019, 10:28:10 PM
(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/67213511.jpg)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 06, 2019, 10:40:37 PM
(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/67213511.jpg)

‘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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 06, 2019, 10:44:53 PM
(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/67213511.jpg)

‘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.
Except in the cases where you have decided that it is allowable.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). None of them caught on. Singular "they" did, and is being actively used by many people. Resistance to it now is perverse and transphobic.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). 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.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 07, 2019, 08:53:18 AM
Many people being wrong regarding the meaning of ‘they’ doesn’t make it correct.

(https://i.imgur.com/DjxGGxS.jpg)

The meme format is based on this commercial, btw.
https://youtu.be/Aq_1l316ow8
I'm not sure whether the commercial started the 'not how any of this works' or just made use of it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic 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
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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? 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 07, 2019, 02:40:15 PM
Why?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic 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.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black 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'.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on January 07, 2019, 05:40:07 PM
Oh.
How silly of me >:D
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend 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).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 07, 2019, 08:29:16 PM
It’s ‘bachfiend,’ not ‘Bachfiend.’  You should ‘respect’ my preference.

My sincere apologies. I will ensure that I get your name correct in the future. To clarify, do you mind if I capitalise your name at the beginning of a sentence, or would you prefer to remain uncapitalised there as well?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 07, 2019, 08:37:10 PM
I don’t want ‘he’ and ‘she’ to go the same way, with ‘they’ replacing both.

First, no-one's suggesting that it should. No-one wants to force people to use a nonbinary pronoun if they don't want to. But some people do want to have the option. Second? Why not? Do "he" and "she" have some special value to you over that of other obsolete words such as "britches" or "icebox"?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 07, 2019, 08:39:20 PM
It’s ‘bachfiend,’ not ‘Bachfiend.’  You should ‘respect’ my preference.

My sincere apologies. I will ensure that I get your name correct in the future. To clarify, do you mind if I capitalise your name at the beginning of a sentence, or would you prefer to remain uncapitalised there as well?

Do whatever you want.  My comment was tongue in cheek.  It’s none of my business whether you capitalise ‘bachfiend’ or not, in the same way that it’s no business of anyone if someone else uses ‘he’ or ‘she’ to refer to them (and ‘them’ is appropriate because ‘anyone’ isn’t a single specified person) instead of ‘they.’  Provided the comment shows at least the minimum of respect appropriate.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 07, 2019, 08:53:55 PM
I don’t want ‘he’ and ‘she’ to go the same way, with ‘they’ replacing both.

First, no-one's suggesting that it should. No-one wants to force people to use a nonbinary pronoun if they don't want to. But some people do want to have the option. Second? Why not? Do "he" and "she" have some special value to you over that of other obsolete words such as "britches" or "icebox"?

Well, you already have the option of using ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she,’ in the same way that you have the option of using ‘grey’ instead of ‘white’ or ‘black.’

You’ll just be wrong.

People had the option of pronouncing ‘kilometre’ correctly 50 years ago, but that battle appears to have been lost, in the same way that ‘it’s me’ has won over the correct ‘it is i’ (it’s getting so that it’s almost a shock to read ‘it is i’ in novels).

‘He’ and ‘she’ aren’t obsolete words.  But by your comment, you seem to be trying to make them so.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 07, 2019, 10:13:20 PM
Do whatever you want.  My comment was tongue in cheek.  It’s none of my business whether you capitalise ‘bachfiend’ or not, in the same way that it’s no business of anyone if someone else uses ‘he’ or ‘she’ to refer to them (and ‘them’ is appropriate because ‘anyone’ isn’t a single specified person) instead of ‘they.’  Provided the comment shows at least the minimum of respect appropriate.

No. No no no. Refusing to use a person's preferred pronoun does not show the minimum of respect. It denies, dehumanises and causes real harm. Sure, in a majority of cases, you'll be able to safely assume someone's gender. But it's a bad habit. Me trying to break that habit is what kicked off this whole argument in the first place.

‘He’ and ‘she’ aren’t obsolete words.  But by your comment, you seem to be trying to make them so.

Excuse me. You are the one who said

I don’t want ‘he’ and ‘she’ to go the same way, with ‘they’ replacing both.

No-one's suggesting that gendered pronouns should be completely replaced. Actually I guess there probably are some people out there somewhere who is suggesting exactly that, but it's not me. I'm arguing for acceptance of a nonbinary pronoun that a large number of people prefer.

Tell me this, bachfiend. If I directly asked you to refer to me using the pronouns they/them, would you do so? Or would you continue to refer to me as "he" against my wishes?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 07, 2019, 10:47:59 PM
Do whatever you want.  My comment was tongue in cheek.  It’s none of my business whether you capitalise ‘bachfiend’ or not, in the same way that it’s no business of anyone if someone else uses ‘he’ or ‘she’ to refer to them (and ‘them’ is appropriate because ‘anyone’ isn’t a single specified person) instead of ‘they.’  Provided the comment shows at least the minimum of respect appropriate.

No. No no no. Refusing to use a person's preferred pronoun does not show the minimum of respect. It denies, dehumanises and causes real harm. Sure, in a majority of cases, you'll be able to safely assume someone's gender. But it's a bad habit. Me trying to break that habit is what kicked off this whole argument in the first place.

‘He’ and ‘she’ aren’t obsolete words.  But by your comment, you seem to be trying to make them so.

Excuse me. You are the one who said

I don’t want ‘he’ and ‘she’ to go the same way, with ‘they’ replacing both.

No-one's suggesting that gendered pronouns should be completely replaced. Actually I guess there probably are some people out there somewhere who is suggesting exactly that, but it's not me. I'm arguing for acceptance of a nonbinary pronoun that a large number of people prefer.

Tell me this, bachfiend. If I directly asked you to refer to me using the pronouns they/them, would you do so? Or would you continue to refer to me as "he" against my wishes?

You’re the one who wrote “Do ‘he’ and ‘she’ have some special value to you over that of other obsolete words such as ‘britches’ or ‘icebox’?”

And no, if you asked me to use ‘they/them’ for you, I wouldn’t.  1.  You’re just staging.  2.  ‘They’ doesn’t mean ‘he’ or ‘she.’

How does using ‘he’ or ‘she’ referring to a person dehumanise?  Unless I get the person’s gender deliberately wrong.  And why doesn’t referring to a person with ‘they’ or ‘it’ (the other suggested alternative) not dehumanise the person?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 07, 2019, 11:00:02 PM
And no, if you asked me to use ‘they/them’ for you, I wouldn’t.

I am very disappointed. From our interactions on other subjects, I took you to be a reasonable person. But by this sentence you reveal your true self.

If you will not acknowledge preferred pronouns, then you are not a good person. You have revealed yourself to be nothing but a bigoted asshole and our interaction now ends. I turn my back on you. I spit in your path. And I walk away.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 08, 2019, 02:34:56 AM
And no, if you asked me to use ‘they/them’ for you, I wouldn’t.

I am very disappointed. From our interactions on other subjects, I took you to be a reasonable person. But by this sentence you reveal your true self.

If you will not acknowledge preferred pronouns, then you are not a good person. You have revealed yourself to be nothing but a bigoted asshole and our interaction now ends. I turn my back on you. I spit in your path. And I walk away.

You can’t insult an anonymous person by not using a preferred 3rd person singular pronoun.  You’re just staging.  As you’ve noted, this debate has been going on for weeks.  If I’ve previously referred as ‘he’, and you’d objected to it, then you would have already complained.  But you haven’t.

Actually, this is really a pointless argument.  Most interactions on the Internet are anonymous.  The genders of the participants usually isn’t revealed unless the participant chooses to reveal it, as you did with your photo and CarbShark with his previous signature in part saying that he’s ‘a guy.’

I’ll use the appropriate pronoun if the person chooses to reveal it.   Otherwise I’ll be more more circumspect, not using any pronoun,   Let alone the default ‘he.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 08, 2019, 04:05:36 AM
bachfiend, I think the problem fundamental disagreement on this forum comes down to the following:

The singular they is being widely adopted as a pronoun, both by the general public and by official style guides. This transition is primarily motivated by two considerations.
a) A recognition that gender is a much more complex phenomenon than the traditional male/female dichotomy. Making assumptions about a person's gender can inflict a lot of harm.
b) A recognition that grammar can reinforce existing biases (for example, referring to a hypothetical President as "he").

Adopting the singular they presents some challenges.
a) During the transition period, there will be some grammatical ambiguity, as you've repeatedly indicated. These ambiguities will fade as usage patterns change.
b) People will need to accept that the grammatical rules they learned as young children have changed.

It seems obvious to me that the social concerns about not inflicting harm and avoiding bias far outweigh any possible temporary grammatical awkwardness. Taking the opposite position displays a fundamental lack of knowledge about the importance of social issues regarding gender. I highly encourage you to try to learn more about these issues.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 08, 2019, 02:34:50 PM
bachfiend, I think the problem fundamental disagreement on this forum comes down to the following:

The singular they is being widely adopted as a pronoun, both by the general public and by official style guides. This transition is primarily motivated by two considerations.
a) A recognition that gender is a much more complex phenomenon than the traditional male/female dichotomy. Making assumptions about a person's gender can inflict a lot of harm.
b) A recognition that grammar can reinforce existing biases (for example, referring to a hypothetical President as "he").

Adopting the singular they presents some challenges.
a) During the transition period, there will be some grammatical ambiguity, as you've repeatedly indicated. These ambiguities will fade as usage patterns change.
b) People will need to accept that the grammatical rules they learned as young children have changed.

It seems obvious to me that the social concerns about not inflicting harm and avoiding bias far outweigh any possible temporary grammatical awkwardness. Taking the opposite position displays a fundamental lack of knowledge about the importance of social issues regarding gender. I highly encourage you to try to learn more about these issues.

My position all along has been that for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender the appropriate 3rd person pronouns to use are either ‘he’ or ‘she.’

If a person disagrees with the gender recorded on that person’s birth certificate, and wants to change it, then it should be made easier.  Labelling that person as ‘they’ when talking about that person achieves absolutely nothing.  There would be grounds for complaint if there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, and the person involved was addressed with the wrong gender pronoun, but they don’t exist.

Future hypothetical presidents aren’t single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender, so the ‘rule’ doesn’t apply.  And most statements involving future hypothetical presidents can be put into the plural.

The overwhelming majority of single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender are perfectly happy to be referred to as either ‘he’ or ‘she,’ and many of them (including me) would be unhappy with ‘they.’ 

The disadvantages of ‘they’ outweigh its virtually nonexistent advantages.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 08, 2019, 02:42:02 PM
If a person disagrees with the gender recorded on that person’s birth certificate, and wants to change it, then it should be made easier.  Labelling that person as ‘they’ when talking about that person achieves absolutely nothing.  There would be grounds for complaint if there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, and the person involved was addressed with the wrong gender pronoun, but they don’t exist.

So what pronouns are you going to use for someone who identifies as non-binary gender/genderqueer and specifies that 'they' and 'their' are pronouns they wish everyone to use for them?

Do you respect their wish? or do you insult them because it doesn't fit your strict grammar rules?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 08, 2019, 03:22:17 PM
If a person disagrees with the gender recorded on that person’s birth certificate, and wants to change it, then it should be made easier.  Labelling that person as ‘they’ when talking about that person achieves absolutely nothing.  There would be grounds for complaint if there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, and the person involved was addressed with the wrong gender pronoun, but they don’t exist.

So what pronouns are you going to use for someone who identifies as non-binary gender/genderqueer and specifies that 'they' and 'their' are pronouns they wish everyone to use for them?

Do you respect their wish? or do you insult them because it doesn't fit your strict grammar rules?

Should I respect a person’s wish that he or she wants to be referred to as ‘Master of the Universe,’ even if it’s blatantly false?  If a person wishes to be referred as ‘they,’ then I won’t go along with it.  I’d just use the person’s name whenever necessary, and not use the pronoun.

If for example, CarbShark, for some reason decides ‘he’ wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ then I’d write: ‘CarbShark proselytises for low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diets, because, like most ideologues, CarbShark cherrypicks studies in order to claim that ketogenic diets are healthiest and best.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 08, 2019, 03:47:10 PM
If a person disagrees with the gender recorded on that person’s birth certificate, and wants to change it, then it should be made easier.  Labelling that person as ‘they’ when talking about that person achieves absolutely nothing.  There would be grounds for complaint if there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, and the person involved was addressed with the wrong gender pronoun, but they don’t exist.

So what pronouns are you going to use for someone who identifies as non-binary gender/genderqueer and specifies that 'they' and 'their' are pronouns they wish everyone to use for them?

Do you respect their wish? or do you insult them because it doesn't fit your strict grammar rules?

Should I respect a person’s wish that he or she wants to be referred to as ‘Master of the Universe,’ even if it’s blatantly false?  If a person wishes to be referred as ‘they,’ then I won’t go along with it.  I’d just use the person’s name whenever necessary, and not use the pronoun.

If for example, CarbShark, for some reason decides ‘he’ wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ then I’d write: ‘CarbShark proselytises for low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diets, because, like most ideologues, CarbShark cherrypicks studies in order to claim that ketogenic diets are healthiest and best.’

And if you were to right that you'd be full of shit again.

Plus, there's the entire concept of writing to be read. If you have to continually repeat someone's name or continually use "he, if a male" or repeatedly use "he or she" your writing will be even less readable than it is now.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 08, 2019, 04:03:12 PM
Should I respect a person’s wish that he or she wants to be referred to as ‘Master of the Universe,’ even if it’s blatantly false?  If a person wishes to be referred as ‘they,’ then I won’t go along with it.  I’d just use the person’s name whenever necessary, and not use the pronoun.

That's a false equivalency. Non-binary gender is a real thing that is recognised by society.

So you would rather be grammatically clumsy (and rude), than break one of your antiquated grammar rules (and be respectful)

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 08, 2019, 04:09:53 PM
If a person disagrees with the gender recorded on that person’s birth certificate, and wants to change it, then it should be made easier.  Labelling that person as ‘they’ when talking about that person achieves absolutely nothing.  There would be grounds for complaint if there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, and the person involved was addressed with the wrong gender pronoun, but they don’t exist.

So what pronouns are you going to use for someone who identifies as non-binary gender/genderqueer and specifies that 'they' and 'their' are pronouns they wish everyone to use for them?

Do you respect their wish? or do you insult them because it doesn't fit your strict grammar rules?

Should I respect a person’s wish that he or she wants to be referred to as ‘Master of the Universe,’ even if it’s blatantly false?  If a person wishes to be referred as ‘they,’ then I won’t go along with it.  I’d just use the person’s name whenever necessary, and not use the pronoun.

If for example, CarbShark, for some reason decides ‘he’ wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ then I’d write: ‘CarbShark proselytises for low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diets, because, like most ideologues, CarbShark cherrypicks studies in order to claim that ketogenic diets are healthiest and best.’

And if you were to right that you'd be full of shit again.

Plus, there's the entire concept of writing to be read. If you have to continually repeat someone's name or continually use "he, if a male" or repeatedly use "he or she" your writing will be even less readable than it is now.

You don’t necessarily need to repeat a person’s name or use pronouns.  You can write very long passages of text discussing what a particular person has said or written without having to repeat the person’s name or preferred pronoun.  And anyway, is ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation’ more readable than ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation?’

If for some reason, John Smith decides to change his gender, or to insist that he wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ then I could reformulate  the statement as ‘This morning, I saw John Smith, the chair of the ABC Corporation.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 08, 2019, 05:14:22 PM
If a person disagrees with the gender recorded on that person’s birth certificate, and wants to change it, then it should be made easier.  Labelling that person as ‘they’ when talking about that person achieves absolutely nothing.  There would be grounds for complaint if there were gendered 2nd person singular pronouns, and the person involved was addressed with the wrong gender pronoun, but they don’t exist.

So what pronouns are you going to use for someone who identifies as non-binary gender/genderqueer and specifies that 'they' and 'their' are pronouns they wish everyone to use for them?

Do you respect their wish? or do you insult them because it doesn't fit your strict grammar rules?

Should I respect a person’s wish that he or she wants to be referred to as ‘Master of the Universe,’ even if it’s blatantly false?  If a person wishes to be referred as ‘they,’ then I won’t go along with it.  I’d just use the person’s name whenever necessary, and not use the pronoun.

If for example, CarbShark, for some reason decides ‘he’ wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ then I’d write: ‘CarbShark proselytises for low carbohydrate/high fat ketogenic diets, because, like most ideologues, CarbShark cherrypicks studies in order to claim that ketogenic diets are healthiest and best.’

And if you were to right that you'd be full of shit again.

Plus, there's the entire concept of writing to be read. If you have to continually repeat someone's name or continually use "he, if a male" or repeatedly use "he or she" your writing will be even less readable than it is now.

You don’t necessarily need to repeat a person’s name or use pronouns.  You can write very long passages of text discussing what a particular person has said or written without having to repeat the person’s name or preferred pronoun.  And anyway, is ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation’ more readable than ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation?’

If for some reason, John Smith decides to change his gender, or to insist that he wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ then I could reformulate  the statement as ‘This morning, I saw John Smith, the chair of the ABC Corporation.’
And if that’s all you have to say about John Smith that works. But if you then describe what they said, what’s they were wearing, how the audience responded to them, etc. you’ll want to use pronouns.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 08, 2019, 06:21:18 PM
Should I respect a person’s wish that he or she wants to be referred to as ‘Master of the Universe,’ even if it’s blatantly false?  If a person wishes to be referred as ‘they,’ then I won’t go along with it.  I’d just use the person’s name whenever necessary, and not use the pronoun.

That's a false equivalency. Non-binary gender is a real thing that is recognised by society.

So you would rather be grammatically clumsy (and rude), than break one of your antiquated grammar rules (and be respectful)

‘Non-binary gender’ is a figurative Augean stables of what’s included and what’s not, and the preferred pronouns to be used.  When there’s agreement, then I’ll go along with it.  It’s premature coopting ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun for the non-binary gender.  I’d prefer a new pronoun (admittedly the suggested ones are pretty ugly, but it should be possible to come up with a good one).

I am pleased to note that the politician who represents me in the state parliament is a female, whom I supported financially in the election.  I was invited to go along to parliament when she gave her maiden speech (now that’s a term that needs to be changed), and she noted that her electorate has always been represented by females, and she’s right.  The previous member, who was very good, was also a female,  fell victim to a landslide caused by her very poorly performing male leader.  The current member is likely to lose her seat in the next election (the electorate is pretty well to-do), but hopefully we’ll get another good female member.

My representative in the national parliament is also a female - the first female Muslim to have been elected to the national parliament.  I supported her financially in the election and will do so again in the election this year.  Actually, I don’t live in her electorate - at the last redistribution I was put in a neighbouring electorate, which is represented by a male idiot.  But he’s got a very safe electorate, so there’s little chance of getting rid of him, despite him being a laughingstock.

Would the previous two paragraphs be improved by replacing ‘he’ or ‘she’ with ‘they?’

Society makes many assumptions, which are unjustified, but they’re changing.  People ought to be able to achieve as much as they want or are able to do in life regardless of gender.  I never married and live in a single person household.  Lifelong I’ve been voluntarily celibate.  Even today, many people assume that I’m (or have been) married, and have children (the real estate agent who manages one of my rental properties sent me an email before Christmas in which she wished me and my family a happy Christmas).  Does it worry me, or cause me concern?  Not a bit.

It shouldn’t cause any concern or distress to a person of non-binary gender if another person doesn’t use the preferred pronoun when referring to that person specifically, provided it’s done with respect.  I seem to remember that Rhea Butcher (who prefers ‘they’) made that point in one of her Tweets.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 08, 2019, 08:43:03 PM
My position all along has been that for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender the appropriate 3rd person pronouns to use are either ‘he’ or ‘she.’

And what about those many, many people who are not of readily ascertainable gender? What about those many intersex or gender ambiguous people? You've already said that you will refuse to use they/them even if they ask you directly to do so. You're denying their existence by insisting on your archaic and outdated gender binary.

Change your ways, bachfiend. Change your ways. Your stated attitude is known to cause harm, up to and including death.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 08, 2019, 11:07:58 PM
My position all along has been that for single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender the appropriate 3rd person pronouns to use are either ‘he’ or ‘she.’

And what about those many, many people who are not of readily ascertainable gender? What about those many intersex or gender ambiguous people? You've already said that you will refuse to use they/them even if they ask you directly to do so. You're denying their existence by insisting on your archaic and outdated gender binary.

Change your ways, bachfiend. Change your ways. Your stated attitude is known to cause harm, up to and including death.

If my refusing to use ‘they’ to refer to ‘many intersex or gender ambiguous’ people causes ‘harm, up to and including death,’ then they must be extremely fragile people, and anything would cause them harm, even just everyday living.

And I don’t think that anything should be put in the way to prevent intersex or gender ambiguous people achieving the most they’re capable of.  I don’t think that they should be discriminated against.

But using ‘they’ as the 3rd person singular pronoun of choice is a token gesture of minimal value.  It’s no more than a fig leaf for your sensibilities.  I’ve never been asked to use ‘they’ to refer to an ‘intersex or gender ambiguous person’ before because this is the first time I’ve ever commented on this topic.

It’s never come up before.  I don’t know, personally, any intersex or gender ambiguous people.  A person’s gender, to me, is irrelevant.  Male, female, whatever intersex or gender ambiguous people I may have met without realising it - they’re all the same to me.  I evaluate and assess them equally.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 08, 2019, 11:30:59 PM
If my refusing to use ‘they’ to refer to ‘many intersex or gender ambiguous’ people causes ‘harm, up to and including death,’ then they must be extremely fragile people, and anything would cause them harm, even just everyday living.

You are profoundly ignorant about mental health and transgender issues. Educate yourself (https://www.healthline.com/health/transgender/misgendering).

I don’t know, personally, any intersex or gender ambiguous people.

There's your problem.

A person’s gender, to me, is irrelevant.  Male, female, whatever intersex or gender ambiguous people I may have met without realising it - they’re all the same to me.  I evaluate and assess them equally.

There, also is another of your problems. Gender isn't irrelevant. Gender is extremely relevant. Critically so. Educate yourself on the harm that misgendering someone can cause (https://www.childtrends.org/research-shows-the-risk-of-misgendering-transgender-youth) and change your ways before someone is hurt because of your actions.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 12:34:34 AM
If my refusing to use ‘they’ to refer to ‘many intersex or gender ambiguous’ people causes ‘harm, up to and including death,’ then they must be extremely fragile people, and anything would cause them harm, even just everyday living.

You are profoundly ignorant about mental health and transgender issues. Educate yourself (https://www.healthline.com/health/transgender/misgendering).

I don’t know, personally, any intersex or gender ambiguous people.

There's your problem.

A person’s gender, to me, is irrelevant.  Male, female, whatever intersex or gender ambiguous people I may have met without realising it - they’re all the same to me.  I evaluate and assess them equally.

There, also is another of your problems. Gender isn't irrelevant. Gender is extremely relevant. Critically so. Educate yourself on the harm that misgendering someone can cause (https://www.childtrends.org/research-shows-the-risk-of-misgendering-transgender-youth) and change your ways before someone is hurt because of your actions.

I use ‘he’ or ‘she’ in accordance with the wishes and gender of the person - the gender is the one the person wants to be recognised as having.  I won’t use ‘he’ or ‘she’ to conflict with the person’s accepted gender.  I don’t go on the gender on the person’s birth certificate, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome or the person’s appearance (which I find irrelevant).

I won’t use ‘they’ to refer to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender (and readily ascertainable gender includes the gender the person wants to be identified as having).  And I won’t use ‘they’ as a default pronoun for a single person whom I can’t determine the gender or preferred pronoun.

That’s going too far, and distorting the meaning of ‘they’ beyond recognition.

Gender is important.  But it should be irrelevant in assessing a person.


Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 09, 2019, 12:57:48 AM
I use ‘he’ or ‘she’ in accordance with the wishes and gender of the person - the gender is the one the person wants to be recognised as having.  I won’t use ‘he’ or ‘she’ to conflict with the person’s accepted gender.  I don’t go on the gender on the person’s birth certificate, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome or the person’s appearance (which I find irrelevant).

And what if the person wishes to be recognised as having neither gender? What will you do then?

I won’t use ‘they’ to refer to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender (and readily ascertainable gender includes the gender the person wants to be identified as having).  And I won’t use ‘they’ as a default pronoun for a single person whom I can’t determine the gender or preferred pronoun.

Even if they specifically ask you to? That's way beyond rude. That's hurtful and can lead to direct harm, as I have demonstrated. Did you even read the links I've been feeding you?

That’s going too far, and distorting the meaning of ‘they’ beyond recognition.

Rubbish. Utter rubbish. I assure you, nobody is going to be confused if you use the singular "they" to refer to a person. Nobody. Well, except those like you who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge common usage of English words and cling to their archaically rigid definitions.

Gender is important.  But it should be irrelevant in assessing a person.

No-one is asking you to "assess" a person. They are asking you to comply with a person's wishes and use the pronouns that they ask you to use. I have posted several scholarly articles outlining the harms that come from misgendering a person. Why do you persist in your stubborn and dangerous attitude?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 09, 2019, 01:15:08 AM
Gender is complicated. It's ok not to get it straight away. I'll admit, while accepting all of the differences, it took me a while to get my head around non-binary gender and gender fluidity.

The most important thing is to realise gender isn't restricted to what's in our pants (Which can be male, female, both, neither or indeterminate). It's our identity, expression etc. Which can be Male, Female, neither, or switches at times.

Treating all people with dignity is more important than worrying about sticking to outdated grammar.

(https://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Genderbread-Person-v4-Poster.png)

https://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2018/10/the-genderbread-person-v4/

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 09, 2019, 01:24:09 AM
The genderbread person is a good start, but it is not without its flaws (http://queereka.com/2012/02/07/the-genderbread-person-a-critique/).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 01:24:31 AM
I use ‘he’ or ‘she’ in accordance with the wishes and gender of the person - the gender is the one the person wants to be recognised as having.  I won’t use ‘he’ or ‘she’ to conflict with the person’s accepted gender.  I don’t go on the gender on the person’s birth certificate, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome or the person’s appearance (which I find irrelevant).

And what if the person wishes to be recognised as having neither gender? What will you do then?

I won’t use ‘they’ to refer to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender (and readily ascertainable gender includes the gender the person wants to be identified as having).  And I won’t use ‘they’ as a default pronoun for a single person whom I can’t determine the gender or preferred pronoun.

Even if they specifically ask you to? That's way beyond rude. That's hurtful and can lead to direct harm, as I have demonstrated. Did you even read the links I've been feeding you?

That’s going too far, and distorting the meaning of ‘they’ beyond recognition.

Rubbish. Utter rubbish. I assure you, nobody is going to be confused if you use the singular "they" to refer to a person. Nobody. Well, except those like you who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge common usage of English words and cling to their archaically rigid definitions.

Gender is important.  But it should be irrelevant in assessing a person.

No-one is asking you to "assess" a person. They are asking you to comply with a person's wishes and use the pronouns that they ask you to use. I have posted several scholarly articles outlining the harms that come from misgendering a person. Why do you persist in your stubborn and dangerous attitude?

Are you stupid or are you just pretending to be stupid?  I use (and I will continue to use) the appropriate ‘he’ or ‘she’ to correspond to the gender the person wants to be acknowledged as having.  I won’t use ‘they’ or ‘it’ (which is one of the suggested alternatives - actually in German ‘it’ - ‘es’ - is used for persons if the noun is neuter and requires it grammatically) for single persons.

This is the first occasion in which I’ve ever commented on non-binary gender issues.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-issue. 

Gender is important.  People have to make a choice between ‘male’ and ‘female’ (unisex conveniences are few and far between).  I’ll use either ‘he’ or ‘she’ (if it ever comes up) in accordance with the wishes of the person concerned.  But I won’t use ‘they’ as the default pronoun.  Nor will I follow the wishes of the person concerned regarding ‘they,’ ‘it,’ and the many other suggested alternatives.  I put that in the same category as refusing to call someone ‘Master of the Universe,’ if that’s the person’s desire.

My definition of ‘they’ isn’t archaic.  It’s still a heavily disputed topic.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 09, 2019, 01:31:34 AM
The genderbread person is a good start, but it is not without its flaws (http://queereka.com/2012/02/07/the-genderbread-person-a-critique/).

I agree it's not perfect, but that critique is of an earlier version. (2012)

The one I linked to is Genderbread Person v4 (2017/18). The creator has refined it several times over the years. It shows how complicated a subject it is.

It is a good primer for anyone struggling with the concepts.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 09, 2019, 01:34:17 AM
bachfiend, I hope that you listen to arthwollipot's advice to educate yourself about transgender issues. Many of your posts indicate some serious deficiencies in your awareness. I assume that you will approach these issues with more empathy and compassion after you learn more.

I don't mean to be overly harsh about this. I was much slower than many of my friends in learning about these issues and becoming sensitive to them. I'm glad I listened to the people around me, though, and that I changed my views.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 09, 2019, 01:44:44 AM
I use ‘he’ or ‘she’ in accordance with the wishes and gender of the person - the gender is the one the person wants to be recognised as having.  I won’t use ‘he’ or ‘she’ to conflict with the person’s accepted gender.  I don’t go on the gender on the person’s birth certificate, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome or the person’s appearance (which I find irrelevant).

And what if the person wishes to be recognised as having neither gender? What will you do then?

I won’t use ‘they’ to refer to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender (and readily ascertainable gender includes the gender the person wants to be identified as having).  And I won’t use ‘they’ as a default pronoun for a single person whom I can’t determine the gender or preferred pronoun.

Even if they specifically ask you to? That's way beyond rude. That's hurtful and can lead to direct harm, as I have demonstrated. Did you even read the links I've been feeding you?

That’s going too far, and distorting the meaning of ‘they’ beyond recognition.

Rubbish. Utter rubbish. I assure you, nobody is going to be confused if you use the singular "they" to refer to a person. Nobody. Well, except those like you who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge common usage of English words and cling to their archaically rigid definitions.

Gender is important.  But it should be irrelevant in assessing a person.

No-one is asking you to "assess" a person. They are asking you to comply with a person's wishes and use the pronouns that they ask you to use. I have posted several scholarly articles outlining the harms that come from misgendering a person. Why do you persist in your stubborn and dangerous attitude?

Are you stupid or are you just pretending to be stupid?  I use (and I will continue to use) the appropriate ‘he’ or ‘she’ to correspond to the gender the person wants to be acknowledged as having.  I won’t use ‘they’ or ‘it’ (which is one of the suggested alternatives - actually in German ‘it’ - ‘es’ - is used for persons if the noun is neuter and requires it grammatically) for single persons.

AND AGAIN I ASK: What will you do when the person wants to be acknowledged as having NO GENDER? I assure you, there are plenty of them out there. You will by your own admission refuse to use their preferred pronoun, thereby misgendering them, denying their identity, causing unpredictable distress and possible harm up to and including suicide.

This is the first occasion in which I’ve ever commented on non-binary gender issues.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-issue.

IT IS A VERY VERY BIG ISSUE!!! I cannot stress this enough. Peoples' lives are literally at stake here!

Gender is important.  People have to make a choice between ‘male’ and ‘female’ (unisex conveniences are few and far between).

Once more you display your naive and archaic bigotry. The sexual binary is a myth (https://qz.com/1007198/the-myth-that-gender-is-binary-is-perpetuated-by-a-flawed-education-system/). Unless and until you start to acknowledge that, you will be perpetuating a discredited and harmful ideology. Please educate yourself.

I’ll use either ‘he’ or ‘she’ (if it ever comes up) in accordance with the wishes of the person concerned.  But I won’t use ‘they’ as the default pronoun.

And if the person concerned wishes you to use the pronoun they/them, well, just fuck him, right?

Nor will I follow the wishes of the person concerned regarding ‘they,’ ‘it,’ and the many other suggested alternatives.  I put that in the same category as refusing to call someone ‘Master of the Universe,’ if that’s the person’s desire.

It is not in the same category. Not even remotely. Get over it and join us in the 21st century sometime.

My definition of ‘they’ isn’t archaic.  It’s still a heavily disputed topic.

Oh FFS. It really isn't a "heavily disputed" topic. Psychologists everywhere acknowledge that forcing people into binary gender roles that don't suit them can lead to depression, alienation and anxiety. Misgendered children and adolescents are subject to bullying and harassment. The suicide rate amongst transgender kids is staggeringly high. But you know what has been identified as the best way to reduce that? Acceptance - which includes using preferred names and pronouns. When a transgender (or intersex or gender-ambiguous) child is accepted for who they are, the suicide rate drops to background levels.

Perhaps this argument ought to be taken up by someone who doesn't get as worked up about this as I do. I'm starting to get heated, and that's never good.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 04:53:06 AM
I use ‘he’ or ‘she’ in accordance with the wishes and gender of the person - the gender is the one the person wants to be recognised as having.  I won’t use ‘he’ or ‘she’ to conflict with the person’s accepted gender.  I don’t go on the gender on the person’s birth certificate, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome or the person’s appearance (which I find irrelevant).

And what if the person wishes to be recognised as having neither gender? What will you do then?

I won’t use ‘they’ to refer to a single specified person of readily ascertainable gender (and readily ascertainable gender includes the gender the person wants to be identified as having).  And I won’t use ‘they’ as a default pronoun for a single person whom I can’t determine the gender or preferred pronoun.

Even if they specifically ask you to? That's way beyond rude. That's hurtful and can lead to direct harm, as I have demonstrated. Did you even read the links I've been feeding you?

That’s going too far, and distorting the meaning of ‘they’ beyond recognition.

Rubbish. Utter rubbish. I assure you, nobody is going to be confused if you use the singular "they" to refer to a person. Nobody. Well, except those like you who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge common usage of English words and cling to their archaically rigid definitions.

Gender is important.  But it should be irrelevant in assessing a person.

No-one is asking you to "assess" a person. They are asking you to comply with a person's wishes and use the pronouns that they ask you to use. I have posted several scholarly articles outlining the harms that come from misgendering a person. Why do you persist in your stubborn and dangerous attitude?

Are you stupid or are you just pretending to be stupid?  I use (and I will continue to use) the appropriate ‘he’ or ‘she’ to correspond to the gender the person wants to be acknowledged as having.  I won’t use ‘they’ or ‘it’ (which is one of the suggested alternatives - actually in German ‘it’ - ‘es’ - is used for persons if the noun is neuter and requires it grammatically) for single persons.

AND AGAIN I ASK: What will you do when the person wants to be acknowledged as having NO GENDER? I assure you, there are plenty of them out there. You will by your own admission refuse to use their preferred pronoun, thereby misgendering them, denying their identity, causing unpredictable distress and possible harm up to and including suicide.

This is the first occasion in which I’ve ever commented on non-binary gender issues.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-issue.

IT IS A VERY VERY BIG ISSUE!!! I cannot stress this enough. Peoples' lives are literally at stake here!

Gender is important.  People have to make a choice between ‘male’ and ‘female’ (unisex conveniences are few and far between).

Once more you display your naive and archaic bigotry. The sexual binary is a myth (https://qz.com/1007198/the-myth-that-gender-is-binary-is-perpetuated-by-a-flawed-education-system/). Unless and until you start to acknowledge that, you will be perpetuating a discredited and harmful ideology. Please educate yourself.

I’ll use either ‘he’ or ‘she’ (if it ever comes up) in accordance with the wishes of the person concerned.  But I won’t use ‘they’ as the default pronoun.

And if the person concerned wishes you to use the pronoun they/them, well, just fuck him, right?

Nor will I follow the wishes of the person concerned regarding ‘they,’ ‘it,’ and the many other suggested alternatives.  I put that in the same category as refusing to call someone ‘Master of the Universe,’ if that’s the person’s desire.

It is not in the same category. Not even remotely. Get over it and join us in the 21st century sometime.

My definition of ‘they’ isn’t archaic.  It’s still a heavily disputed topic.

Oh FFS. It really isn't a "heavily disputed" topic. Psychologists everywhere acknowledge that forcing people into binary gender roles that don't suit them can lead to depression, alienation and anxiety. Misgendered children and adolescents are subject to bullying and harassment. The suicide rate amongst transgender kids is staggeringly high. But you know what has been identified as the best way to reduce that? Acceptance - which includes using preferred names and pronouns. When a transgender (or intersex or gender-ambiguous) child is accepted for who they are, the suicide rate drops to background levels.

Perhaps this argument ought to be taken up by someone who doesn't get as worked up about this as I do. I'm starting to get heated, and that's never good.

No need to thank me.

I wonder why you’re getting so upset?

As far as I am concerned non-binary gender is a non-issue.  There are more important things to get worried about, such as global warming, environmental degradation, and species extinction (including whaling).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on January 09, 2019, 08:20:00 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/Q8XvcI0.jpg)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 01:18:56 PM
I think that it’s ridiculous in the extreme to think that my referring to CarbShark as ‘he’ instead of ‘they’ is going to cause him distress, even cause him to commit suicide.

I look forward to the next time I offend a non-duality gender person by using the ‘wrong’ personal pronoun, which will be the first time.

As far as I’m concerned, non-duality gender politics is a non-issue.  I don’t take any interest in it.  It will be sorted out without my participation.

I suppose sometime or another, on a forum dealing with global warming, environmental degradation, species extinction or whaling, a non-duality gender person with a fragile psyche might take part, and might take offence and commit suicide if I happen to use the ‘wrong’ personal pronoun.  But I don’t see it happening.

For most people, the overwhelming majority of people, ‘he’ or ‘she’ are the correct 3rd person singular pronouns.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 09, 2019, 02:14:31 PM
Are you purposely not understanding what is being written by others?  ???

It's almost like you are filtering out half of what's said.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 09, 2019, 03:13:21 PM
Yes, that is just intentional obtuseness.  He knows exactly what we all mean.  This discussion has become pointless.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 04:04:00 PM
Yes, that is just intentional obtuseness.  He knows exactly what we all mean.  This discussion has become pointless.

Yes, I do understand what you mean.  You want ‘they’ to apply to all persons in the singular to avoid ‘damaging’ the fragile psyche of the very small minority of non-binary gender persons, who can’t agree amongst themselves which pronoun they want other people to use if they ever actually refer to them (and not just addressing them directly).

It’s just political correctness gone mad.

I’m going to continue to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ when appropriate.  ‘They’ doesn’t apply to single persons.  If non-binary gender want a gender neutral pronoun, then they should devise one, not coopt ‘they.’

My second language is German.  I wondered what they’re doing about gender neutral language, since it’s riddled with gender, with all nouns having gender.  ‘sie’ means both ‘she’ and ‘they,’ so it’s not a ‘solution.’  I came across a suggestion; ‘Mein Freund ist nonbinary.  Dey möchte sich in deyren ganzheitlichen menschlichen Vielfalt abseits von Geschlechterrollen entfalten.’  Mein Freund is a masculine noun (there’s a feminine equivalent, die Freundin) and should take ‘er’ (he) instead of ‘dey,’ and ‘seiner’ (his) instead of ‘deyren,’ So the Germans ‘seem’ to be going down the path of devising a new gender neutral 3rd person singular pronoun.  ‘Der Freund’ is still masculine though (like der Tisch - the table), and whether it would catch on is debatable. 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 09, 2019, 04:13:21 PM
You are certainly free to construe it as an attack on your freedom.  I choose to see it as giving a modicum of respect to an otherwise marginalized minority.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 09, 2019, 05:12:08 PM
Yes, I do understand what you mean.  You want ‘they’ to apply to all persons in the singular to avoid ‘damaging’ the fragile psyche of the very small minority of non-binary gender persons, who can’t agree amongst themselves which pronoun they want other people to use if they ever actually refer to them (and not just addressing them directly).

Oh for fuck's sake NO!!!!!!! You have utterly failed to understand anything I have been saying. At this point I have to conclude that you are doing it deliberately, with the express intent to harm. There's just no other explanation.

Gender is ABSOLUTELY NOT a non-issue. It is EVERYBODY's problem. If you are not actively contributing to the solution then you are part of the problem. I know it's a bit of a cliche to say that, but it is true.

Please, please please, bachfiend. Even if you ignore everything else I say and have been saying, please please please take 40 minutes out of your day and listen to this podcast episode (https://www.gimletmedia.com/science-vs/the-science-of-being-transgender#episode-player). It summarises nicely what I have been trying in vain to get across to you, including having actual credentialed endocrinologists and psychologists and with a long list of 136 citations on the transcript page. If you have any respect for science at all, you will listen, hear, read, understand, and change. Please. I beg you.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 09, 2019, 05:15:32 PM
I wonder why you’re getting so upset?

I'm getting upset because I have trans and nonbinary friends, who have been actively harmed by attitudes such as yours. If you witnessed someone abusing someone, would you try to get them to stop? According to many (including me), forcing nonbinary people into binary gender roles by refusing to use their preferred names and pronouns is abuse. You have openly stated your intent to abuse. That's why I'm upset. I'm more upset by this than just about any other forum argument I have had recently.

I'm going to try to take a break from this thread now. Please don't say anything else so vacuously stupid.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 09, 2019, 05:23:47 PM
Huh. We all have our blind spots. Skeptics usually try to educate ourselves when we are exposed to our blind spots. In this domain at least, bachfiend is not a skeptic. Too bad.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 05:57:59 PM
You are certainly free to construe it as an attack on your freedom.  I choose to see it as giving a modicum of respect to an otherwise marginalized minority.

‘An otherwise marginalised minority’ that’s insisting that their choice of 3rd person singular pronoun (about which they can’t even agree) should be used by everyone when they’re talking or writing about but not to them.  And somehow or other, I’m supposed to intuit whether I’m writing or speaking about someone of non-binary gender, and use whatever pronoun that person wants.

No.  I’m going to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ as appropriate.  And if I do turn out to be writing about a non-binary gender person, and I get ‘complaints,’ then I’ll just drop using pronouns and repeat the person’s name when necessary.

This is just political correctness gone mad.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 09, 2019, 06:04:30 PM
You are certainly free to construe it as an attack on your freedom.  I choose to see it as giving a modicum of respect to an otherwise marginalized minority.

‘An otherwise marginalised minority’ that’s insisting that their choice of 3rd person singular pronoun (about which they can’t even agree) should be used by everyone when they’re talking or writing about but not to them.  And somehow or other, I’m supposed to intuit whether I’m writing or speaking about someone of non-binary gender, and use whatever pronoun that person wants.

No.  I’m going to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ as appropriate.  And if I do turn out to be writing about a non-binary gender person, and I get ‘complaints,’ then I’ll just drop using pronouns and repeat the person’s name when necessary.

This is just political correctness gone mad.

That'll show 'em!!
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 09, 2019, 06:12:49 PM
Huh. We all have our blind spots. Skeptics usually try to educate ourselves when we are exposed to our blind spots. In this domain at least, bachfiend is not a skeptic. Too bad.

Nailed it.

bachfiend, I wish you would educate yourself on transgender issues. You seem unwilling to do so. I hope that this is due to ignorance, not animus.

In a couple years I bet you'll look back and be terribly ashamed.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 06:37:35 PM
Huh. We all have our blind spots. Skeptics usually try to educate ourselves when we are exposed to our blind spots. In this domain at least, bachfiend is not a skeptic. Too bad.

Nailed it.

bachfiend, I wish you would educate yourself on transgender issues. You seem unwilling to do so. I hope that this is due to ignorance, not animus.

In a couple years I bet you'll look back and be terribly ashamed.

No, in a couple of years, I won’t be looking back and be terribly ashamed.  I don’t have any animus to non-binary gender people.  If a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered necessary, then one should be devised, not coopting ‘they,’ and perverting its meaning.  I’m sort of warming to the suggestion in the German language for dey/deyren (which also have the advantage of appearing not needing to be declined).  English should do something similar, and when it’s settled, I’ll go along with it.  But I won’t accept the misuse of ‘they,’ which just creates ambiguity with very little benefit.

Non-binary gender people do have considerable problems, which need to be addressed, but the choice of the personal pronoun in the 3rd person isn’t anywhere near the top of the list of problems and obstacles they face. 

arthwollipot precipitated this argument when he referred to CarbShark’ as ‘they,’ even though CarbShark’s male, and there’s no indication that he’s of non-binary gender. 

The argument arthwollipot used was that he is trying to avoid gender specific language by using ‘they’ generally, not just because he’s ignorant of the person’s gender.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 09, 2019, 06:47:10 PM
Huh. We all have our blind spots. Skeptics usually try to educate ourselves when we are exposed to our blind spots. In this domain at least, bachfiend is not a skeptic. Too bad.

Nailed it.

bachfiend, I wish you would educate yourself on transgender issues. You seem unwilling to do so. I hope that this is due to ignorance, not animus.

In a couple years I bet you'll look back and be terribly ashamed.

No, in a couple of years, I won’t be looking back and be terribly ashamed.  I don’t have any animus to non-binary gender people.  If a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered necessary, then one should be devised, not coopting ‘they,’ and perverting its meaning.  I’m sort of warming to the suggestion in the German language for dey/deyren (which also have the advantage of appearing not needing to be declined).  English should do something similar, and when it’s settled, I’ll go along with it.  But I won’t accept the misuse of ‘they,’ which just creates ambiguity with very little benefit.

Non-binary gender people do have considerable problems, which need to be addressed, but the choice of the personal pronoun in the 3rd person isn’t anywhere near the top of the list of problems and obstacles they face. 

arthwollipot precipitated this argument when he referred to CarbShark’ as ‘they,’ even though CarbShark’s male, and there’s no indication that he’s of non-binary gender. 

The argument arthwollipot used was that he is trying to avoid gender specific language by using ‘they’ generally, not just because he’s ignorant of the person’s gender.

Arthwollipot used a perfectly acceptable use of the word "they."  Acceptability does not depend on ignorance or the ease of ascertainment or political correctness or anything else.

You have been shown multiple sources that show use of the word in that way is now acceptable. You have not provided any evidence whatsoever (modern or outdated) that it's not.

It's just your own personal preference.

And then you insult anyone who disagrees with you.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 07:12:09 PM
Huh. We all have our blind spots. Skeptics usually try to educate ourselves when we are exposed to our blind spots. In this domain at least, bachfiend is not a skeptic. Too bad.

Nailed it.

bachfiend, I wish you would educate yourself on transgender issues. You seem unwilling to do so. I hope that this is due to ignorance, not animus.

In a couple years I bet you'll look back and be terribly ashamed.

No, in a couple of years, I won’t be looking back and be terribly ashamed.  I don’t have any animus to non-binary gender people.  If a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered necessary, then one should be devised, not coopting ‘they,’ and perverting its meaning.  I’m sort of warming to the suggestion in the German language for dey/deyren (which also have the advantage of appearing not needing to be declined).  English should do something similar, and when it’s settled, I’ll go along with it.  But I won’t accept the misuse of ‘they,’ which just creates ambiguity with very little benefit.

Non-binary gender people do have considerable problems, which need to be addressed, but the choice of the personal pronoun in the 3rd person isn’t anywhere near the top of the list of problems and obstacles they face. 

arthwollipot precipitated this argument when he referred to CarbShark’ as ‘they,’ even though CarbShark’s male, and there’s no indication that he’s of non-binary gender. 

The argument arthwollipot used was that he is trying to avoid gender specific language by using ‘they’ generally, not just because he’s ignorant of the person’s gender.

Arthwollipot used a perfectly acceptable use of the word "they."  Acceptability does not depend on ignorance or the ease of ascertainment or political correctness or anything else.

You have been shown multiple sources that show use of the word in that way is now acceptable. You have not provided any evidence whatsoever (modern or outdated) that it's not.

It's just your own personal preference.

And then you insult anyone who disagrees with you.

The use of ‘they’ referring to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender is not generally acceptable to many people.  It being used by some, perhaps many people doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable.  Usage isn’t the same as acceptance.

There are valid uses of the ‘singular they.’  Including ‘anyone can succeed if they try’ instead of ‘anyone can succeed if he tries.’  But historically, the ‘singular they’ has never been used for single specified persons.  It’s ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation,’ not ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation.’

The misuse of the ‘singular they’ is a modern abuse due to political correctness gone mad.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 09, 2019, 07:19:22 PM
The use of ‘they’ referring to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender is not generally acceptable to many people.  It being used by some, perhaps many people doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable.  Usage isn’t the same as acceptance.

There are valid uses of the ‘singular they.’  Including ‘anyone can succeed if they try’ instead of ‘anyone can succeed if he tries.’  But historically, the ‘singular they’ has never been used for single specified persons.  It’s ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation,’ not ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation.’

The misuse of the ‘singular they’ is a modern abuse due to political correctness gone mad.

Not a single thing you've just posted in this is correct or supported or relevant.

The most authoritative sources for what's acceptable in the English language are dictionaries and style guides.

At this point you are simply trolling. (Which is probably what you've been doing all along on this and other topics).

 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 08:23:19 PM
The use of ‘they’ referring to single specified persons of readily ascertainable gender is not generally acceptable to many people.  It being used by some, perhaps many people doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable.  Usage isn’t the same as acceptance.

There are valid uses of the ‘singular they.’  Including ‘anyone can succeed if they try’ instead of ‘anyone can succeed if he tries.’  But historically, the ‘singular they’ has never been used for single specified persons.  It’s ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  He is the chairman of the ABC Corporation,’ not ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  They are the chair of the ABC Corporation.’

The misuse of the ‘singular they’ is a modern abuse due to political correctness gone mad.

Not a single thing you've just posted in this is correct or supported or relevant.

The most authoritative sources for what's acceptable in the English language are dictionaries and style guides.

At this point you are simply trolling. (Which is probably what you've been doing all along on this and other topics).

Examples of historical use of the ‘singular they being used for single specified persons?’

Dictionaries record usage, not correctness.  Dictionaries include ‘ain’t,’ not because it’s correct, but because it’s used.  Style guides are just opinions.  ‘Kilometre’ is usually pronounced like ‘speedometer’ and ‘thermometer,’ but that pronunciation is incorrect - it should be pronounced in the same way as ‘kilogram.’

The ‘singular they’ for single persons is still heavily disputed.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 09, 2019, 08:33:29 PM
What I enjoy is his inability to comprehend that he is using 'correct' incorrectly.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 09:08:53 PM
What I enjoy is his inability to comprehend that he is using 'correct' incorrectly.

So how am I using ‘correct’ incorrectly?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 09, 2019, 09:48:57 PM

Examples of historical use of the ‘singular they being used for single specified persons?

Again, Dr reading comprehension no one is claiming this was historically acceptable. It’s a fairly recent development in the English language.

Quote
Dictionaries record usage, not correctness. 


They do both.
Quote
Dictionaries include ‘ain’t,’ not because it’s correct, but because it’s used. 

And they describe it as slang.



Quote
Style guides are just opinions. 
Authoritative opinions.

Quote
‘Kilometre’ is usually pronounced like ‘speedometer’ and ‘thermometer,’ but that pronunciation is incorrect - it should be pronounced in the same way as ‘kilogram.’

And red herrings aren’t always red.

Quote
The ‘singular they’ for single persons is still heavily disputed.

By you.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 09, 2019, 10:26:27 PM

Examples of historical use of the ‘singular they being used for single specified persons?

Again, Dr reading comprehension no one is claiming this was historically acceptable. It’s a fairly recent development in the English language.

Quote
Dictionaries record usage, not correctness. 


They do both.
Quote
Dictionaries include ‘ain’t,’ not because it’s correct, but because it’s used. 

And they describe it as slang.



Quote
Style guides are just opinions. 
Authoritative opinions.

Quote
‘Kilometre’ is usually pronounced like ‘speedometer’ and ‘thermometer,’ but that pronunciation is incorrect - it should be pronounced in the same way as ‘kilogram.’

And red herrings aren’t always red.

Quote
The ‘singular they’ for single persons is still heavily disputed.

By you.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

One of the arguments made for the ‘singular they’ (perhaps not by you) on this forum was that it’s been used since around 1375 CE.  But not historically for single identified persons.

And the use of the ‘singular you’ for single identified persons is still heavily disputed.  I agree the other uses are acceptable.

Style guides are just opinions.  You can write the same thing in different ways according to preference, including not using pronouns (there’s a style aversion to repeating words in sentences, but that’s not an absolute - German doesn’t share this aversion; my signature includes 3 consecutive ihr.s, the 1st ‘you familiar plural,’ the 2nd ‘her pronoun,’ and the 3rd ‘possessive article).  Errors of grammar (such as not using ‘they’ for a single person) are absolutes.  Infringements are substandard English.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 09, 2019, 11:27:49 PM
Errors of grammar (such as not using ‘they’ for a single person) are absolutes.  Infringements are substandard English.

But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

You yourself have repeated there are some cases where they is acceptable as a reference to one person.

That means it's not an absolute. You're wasting all this bandwidth arguing about a minor extension of the acceptability of doing that.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 10, 2019, 02:53:27 AM
Errors of grammar (such as not using ‘they’ for a single person) are absolutes.  Infringements are substandard English.

But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

You yourself have repeated there are some cases where they is acceptable as a reference to one person.

That means it's not an absolute. You're wasting all this bandwidth arguing about a minor extension of the acceptability of doing that.

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.

But anyway, I’ve been thinking.  I think the suggestion in the German language of devising new 3rd person singular pronouns is a good one.  The suggested German ones of ‘dey’/ ‘deyren’ can easily be carried over to the English.

Let’s see:  ‘I saw John Smith this morning.  Dey is the chair of the ABC Corporation.  When I saw deyn, dey was driving deyren new car.’

‘Dey’ to be pronounced to rhyme with ‘they.’  ‘Deyren’ pronounced as two syllables.  ‘Deyn’ so as to decline as do ‘he and she.’  Seems better than the suggested alternatives.

I might starte using it myself and start a trend.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 10, 2019, 08:08:55 AM
What I enjoy is his inability to comprehend that he is using 'correct' incorrectly.

So how am I using ‘correct’ incorrectly?

Example error in the use of the concept of correctness with respect to language:

Errors of grammar (such as not using ‘they’ for a single person) are absolutes.  Infringements are substandard English.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on January 10, 2019, 11:37:51 AM
If the world had more people like Bachfiend, literally wouldn't literally mean figuratively.

I hope I don't live long enough to see, "infer," and, "imply," end up the same way.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 10, 2019, 02:04:42 PM
What I enjoy is his inability to comprehend that he is using 'correct' incorrectly.

So how am I using ‘correct’ incorrectly?

Example error in the use of the concept of correctness with respect to language:

Errors of grammar (such as not using ‘they’ for a single person) are absolutes.  Infringements are substandard English.

If you make an absolute error in grammar, then you are writing substandard English.  Still English, but substandard.  Such as when you write ‘literally,’ when it’s only ‘figuratively,’ or when you write that a person is ‘inferring’ something, when dey’s only ‘implying’ it (and you’re doing the inferring).  The same when you use ‘they’ for a single identified person when it should be ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘dey.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 10, 2019, 03:26:38 PM
But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.


So, no, you do not know what absolute means in grammar. Got it.

Absolute phrases, and absolute errors, in grammar are a thing and they have nothing to do with this conversation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 10, 2019, 06:16:36 PM
But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.


So, no, you do not know what absolute means in grammar. Got it.

Absolute phrases, and absolute errors, in grammar are a thing and they have nothing to do with this conversation.

“Absolute ‘1.  Not qualified or diminished in any way.  Total.’”

Using ‘they’ to refer to single identified persons is an absolute grammatical error.  Just because it’s used in this way doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.  It just makes it substandard usage.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 10, 2019, 07:07:52 PM
It's kinda neat to watch someone wallow in ignorance.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 10, 2019, 07:44:07 PM
It's kinda neat to watch someone wallow in ignorance.

Yes, I do enjoy watching someone like you wallowing in ignorance.  Just because a word is used in the incorrect way, such as ‘neat’, doesn’t make that usage correct.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on January 10, 2019, 08:18:51 PM
But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.


So, no, you do not know what absolute means in grammar. Got it.

Absolute phrases, and absolute errors, in grammar are a thing and they have nothing to do with this conversation.

“Absolute ‘1.  Not qualified or diminished in any way.  Total.’”

Using ‘they’ to refer to single identified persons is an absolute grammatical error.  Just because it’s used in this way doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.  It just makes it substandard usage.
I’m out


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 10, 2019, 10:22:14 PM
But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.


So, no, you do not know what absolute means in grammar. Got it.

Absolute phrases, and absolute errors, in grammar are a thing and they have nothing to do with this conversation.

“Absolute ‘1.  Not qualified or diminished in any way.  Total.’”

Using ‘they’ to refer to single identified persons is an absolute grammatical error.  Just because it’s used in this way doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.  It just makes it substandard usage.
I’m out


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 10, 2019, 10:24:34 PM
But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.


So, no, you do not know what absolute means in grammar. Got it.

Absolute phrases, and absolute errors, in grammar are a thing and they have nothing to do with this conversation.

“Absolute ‘1.  Not qualified or diminished in any way.  Total.’”

Using ‘they’ to refer to single identified persons is an absolute grammatical error.  Just because it’s used in this way doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.  It just makes it substandard usage.
I’m out


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good.

Please don't take that as a concession of victory in the argument. We're just tired of beating our heads against your brick wall. Did you listen to the podcast episode that I linked to?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 10, 2019, 10:44:47 PM
But that's not an absolute. Do you even know what absolute means?

‘Absolute’means that it’s wrong.  Breaking it means that the English is substandard.


So, no, you do not know what absolute means in grammar. Got it.

Absolute phrases, and absolute errors, in grammar are a thing and they have nothing to do with this conversation.

“Absolute ‘1.  Not qualified or diminished in any way.  Total.’”

Using ‘they’ to refer to single identified persons is an absolute grammatical error.  Just because it’s used in this way doesn’t mean it’s not wrong.  It just makes it substandard usage.
I’m out


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good.


Please don't take that as a concession of victory in the argument. We're just tired of beating our heads against your brick wall. Did you listen to the podcast episode that I linked to?

I read the transcript.  It’s a load of crap.

I’m not opposed to having a gender neutral 3rd person singular pronoun.  Just not ‘they.’  I quite like the idea of using the suggested German one of ‘dey,’ pronounced to rhyme with ‘they.’  It’s short, easily remembered, starts with an earlier letter in the alphabet, so it ‘means’ fewer.  The possessive adjective could be ‘deys,’ similar to ‘his,’ and just as shortish as ‘her.’  And the accusative and dative case of ‘dey’ could be ‘deyn,’ to go along with ‘him’ and ‘her.’

There’d be no ambiguity.

‘Alex left the room carrying deys laptop’ instead of ‘Alex left the room carrying their laptop.’  Whose laptop?  Deys laptop, no someone else’s laptop.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 11, 2019, 12:16:49 AM
I read the transcript.  It’s a load of crap.

What about the 130 citations? Are they all a load of crap too?

Nice that you feel like you can dismiss science when it suits your agenda. Please do not consider my declining to engage with you any further on the subject as anything other than an expression of utter contempt.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 11, 2019, 12:21:33 AM
I feel so much better now that I have added bf to my very short blocklist.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 11, 2019, 12:42:15 AM
I feel so much better now that I have added bf to my very short blocklist.

I'm usually very reluctant to add people to Ignore, but... yeah. I'm done trying to help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 11, 2019, 12:56:38 AM
My list has 5 now.

bachfiend
Furyan5
Pdb
phooey
Unlimited
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 02:23:22 AM
I feel so much better now that I have added bf to my very short blocklist.

I'm usually very reluctant to add people to Ignore, but... yeah. I'm done trying to help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

Good.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Swagomatic on January 11, 2019, 11:04:44 AM
I feel so much better now that I have added bf to my very short blocklist.

I'm usually very reluctant to add people to Ignore, but... yeah. I'm done trying to help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

Good.

A couple of quick questions, and then I am bowing out of this discussion as well: What is your idea of how language changes over time?  How are changes in usage and meaning accepted into "standard" language?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 02:34:02 PM
I feel so much better now that I have added bf to my very short blocklist.

I'm usually very reluctant to add people to Ignore, but... yeah. I'm done trying to help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

Good.

A couple of quick questions, and then I am bowing out of this discussion as well: What is your idea of how language changes over time?  How are changes in usage and meaning accepted into "standard" language?

Language changes by becoming more precise.  By becoming clearer.  By coopting words to adopt new meanings while the older ones becoming obsolete.  ‘They’ becoming to mean ‘one and only one,’ as well as ‘two or more, as well as possibly many’ isn’t a case of language becoming clearer and more precise.  It’s a case of an Orwellanism that would have fitted in ‘1984.’

I don’t oppose the adoption of a nongendered 3rd person singular pronoun.   But not ‘they.’  I like the idea from the German of ‘dey/deyn/deys.’

Good that you’re dropping out too.  I’ve wasted too much time on this nonsense.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on January 11, 2019, 03:21:33 PM
"Dey" is pretty close to how a lot of people pronounce "they," not sure it would help anything. A lot of people already know what "they" means in context. I still cringe when I hear someone say that instead of who, as in the phrase "Anyone that needs help, see me after." Every fiber of my being wants to scream "Anyone WHO needs help!" Both usages are correct, however, so that's my problem not theirs. See, I said theirs and I guarantee you all know what I meant.

Also, Science VS really needs to be listened to, not read. Arthwollipot has the right idea here...
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 03:43:09 PM
"Dey" is pretty close to how a lot of people pronounce "they," not sure it would help anything. A lot of people already know what "they" means in context. I still cringe when I hear someone say that instead of who, as in the phrase "Anyone that needs help, see me after." Every fiber of my being wants to scream "Anyone WHO needs help!" Both usages are correct, however, so that's my problem not theirs. See, I said theirs and I guarantee you all know what I meant.

Also, Science VS really needs to be listened to, not read. Arthwollipot has the right idea here...

‘Both usages are correct, however, so that’s my problem not theirs.’  That’s completely acceptable - it’s similar to ‘anyone can succeed if they try’ instead of ‘anyone can succeed if he tries.’  ‘Anyone’ isn’t a single identified person, and can represent two or more persons.  Even many and possibly everyone.

If anyone worries that their ‘dey’ (see - I agree that some cases of the ‘singular they’ are acceptable) might be misinterpreted as ‘they’ then pronounce it as ‘doy.’  In German ‘zwei’ (the number 2) is often pronounced as ‘zwo’ to avoid confusion with ‘drei’ (the number 3) if it’s important.  Otherwise context will determine the meaning.

I prefer reading to listening.  I often notice things reading books that I miss listening to the same book as an audiobook (although I do both).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on January 11, 2019, 04:08:50 PM
I prefer reading to listening.  I often notice things reading books that I miss listening to the same book as an audiobook (although I do both).

That's fine, I'm just letting you know that Science VS is a very well produced show, and actually hearing the interviewees share their experiences with their own voices carries more weight than just words on a screen. That's how it is for me, anyway. Also, transcripts can be incorrect. I've sent Skeptoid transcripts to people since the older episodes are no longer free, and I've certainly found differences between the audio and the text. I prefer to take in material the way the author/host/producer/artist etc... intended. The Gimlet crew could have easily written a blog but they chose to present their work as a podcast. If a transcript is all there is, fine. Along that line, I will prefer an audio version of a book but only if the author narrates, as they'll know exactly how it's supposed to sound.

You say you both read and listen to audiobooks, would you be willing to read the transcript and listen to the episode in case you missed something, like a point here or there?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 04:22:13 PM
I prefer reading to listening.  I often notice things reading books that I miss listening to the same book as an audiobook (although I do both).

That's fine, I'm just letting you know that Science VS is a very well produced show, and actually hearing the interviewees share their experiences with their own voices carries more weight than just words on a screen. That's how it is for me, anyway. Also, transcripts can be incorrect. I've sent Skeptoid transcripts to people since the older episodes are no longer free, and I've certainly found differences between the audio and the text. I prefer to take in material the way the author/host/producer/artist etc... intended. The Gimlet crew could have easily written a blog but they chose to present their work as a podcast. If a transcript is all there is, fine. Along that line, I will prefer an audio version of a book but only if the author narrates, as they'll know exactly how it's supposed to sound.

You say you both read and listen to audiobooks, would you be willing to read the transcript and listen to the episode in case you missed something, like a point here or there?

No.  I don’t have the time, even if I don’t waste it watching the rubbish on television.

I don’t know whether the author is the best reader for the author’s books.  I recently listened to Gunther Grass reading his ‘Im Krebsgang,’ and it was slightly irritating (but one of my treasured possessions is his live reading - with audience laughter at the rare comical episodes - of ‘die Blechtrommel’).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on January 11, 2019, 04:50:29 PM
No.  I don’t have the time, even if I don’t waste it watching the rubbish on television.

Fair enough. Just to reiterate my previous point, you're not going to absorb the info presented in a transcript the same way you will from hearing the episode. One glance at that (horrifically formatted) transcript and I forgot what I was doing. The audio, however, is great. You may be hesitant to call the info presented "a load of crap" if it's actually digestible (reading a play-by-play vs hearing a game, for example). If you've already decided against it, oh well. It wouldn't be very fair to judge a movie if you've only read a script you found in a trash bin.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 06:16:11 PM
No.  I don’t have the time, even if I don’t waste it watching the rubbish on television.

Fair enough. Just to reiterate my previous point, you're not going to absorb the info presented in a transcript the same way you will from hearing the episode. One glance at that (horrifically formatted) transcript and I forgot what I was doing. The audio, however, is great. You may be hesitant to call the info presented "a load of crap" if it's actually digestible (reading a play-by-play vs hearing a game, for example). If you've already decided against it, oh well. It wouldn't be very fair to judge a movie if you've only read a script you found in a trash bin.

I find the written word more digestible than the spoken word.  For one thing, there’s a lesser possibility of misinterpretation.  When I listen to something, I often think ‘that’s a good point, I must look into it further,’ but almost invariably I forget it and never do.  When I’m reading something, and the same thing happens, I can go immediately to Safari on my iPad and check it out.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on January 11, 2019, 06:33:51 PM
Did that include the 130 citations in the transcript Art mentioned? Or are they all part of the load of crap and not worth following? Not being snarky, I just didnt see you respond to that particular question he asked.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 06:57:14 PM
Did that include the 130 citations in the transcript Art mentioned? Or are they all part of the load of crap and not worth following? Not being snarky, I just didnt see you respond to that particular question he asked.

I didn’t find it interesting, so I didn’t bother looking into it further. 

Shouldn’t you be asking ‘I didn’t see you respond to that particular question they asked.’?

I hate the use of ‘they’ referring to single identified persons.  I agree that the English language should be degendered.  I’m very sympathetic to feminism, and I agree that often the best man for the job, is a woman (and I’m very pleased that the people who represent me in the state and national parliaments are both women).

I regard non-binary gender to be a non-issue.  It should be irrelevant whether a person regards ‘deyself’ as male, female or neither, ‘dey’ should be treated equally without prejudice.  Using ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ does very little good.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on January 11, 2019, 08:01:41 PM
I didn’t find it interesting, so I didn’t bother looking into it further. 

Shouldn’t you be asking ‘I didn’t see you respond to that particular question they asked.’?

I hate the use of ‘they’ referring to single identified persons.  I agree that the English language should be degendered.  I’m very sympathetic to feminism, and I agree that often the best man for the job, is a woman (and I’m very pleased that the people who represent me in the state and national parliaments are both women).

I regard non-binary gender to be a non-issue.  It should be irrelevant whether a person regards ‘deyself’ as male, female or neither, ‘dey’ should be treated equally without prejudice.  Using ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ does very little good.

The only time I recall Arthwollipot asking to be called they was during a hypothetical posed to you, so until it's explicit I'll continue to use he. if I've missed something, I apologize.

Supporting feminism is great, but that's not the topic here. The bottom line for me on the pronoun discussion is respect. So what if the exact right word isn't agreed upon by cisgender folks? The change in language is to benefit non cis-gendered people, therefore they should get first dibs on their own wheelhouse. Language changes. The benefit to society outweighs any annoyance one may feel about the nomenclature. Ignoring their wishes is a form of disrespect which hinders our progress as a whole. It is not a non-issue.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 08:46:43 PM
I didn’t find it interesting, so I didn’t bother looking into it further. 

Shouldn’t you be asking ‘I didn’t see you respond to that particular question they asked.’?

I hate the use of ‘they’ referring to single identified persons.  I agree that the English language should be degendered.  I’m very sympathetic to feminism, and I agree that often the best man for the job, is a woman (and I’m very pleased that the people who represent me in the state and national parliaments are both women).

I regard non-binary gender to be a non-issue.  It should be irrelevant whether a person regards ‘deyself’ as male, female or neither, ‘dey’ should be treated equally without prejudice.  Using ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ does very little good.

The only time I recall Arthwollipot asking to be called they was during a hypothetical posed to you, so until it's explicit I'll continue to use he. if I've missed something, I apologize.

Supporting feminism is great, but that's not the topic here. The bottom line for me on the pronoun discussion is respect. So what if the exact right word isn't agreed upon by cisgender folks? The change in language is is to benefit non cis-gendered people, therefore they should get first dibs on their own wheelhouse. Language changes. The benefit to society outweighs any annoyance one may feel about the nomenclature. Ignoring their wishes is a form of disrespect which hinders our progress as a whole. It is not a non-issue.

Well, the non-cis-gendered (god, I hate this terminology) can’t agree amongst themselves which nongendered 3rd person singular pronoun they want, so it’s difficult to know which pronoun to use, in the unlikely event that i ever feel the need to comment on a non-cis-gendered person.  Am I supposed to ask in advance which pronoun I should be using?

I try to avoid ‘he’ when I’m referring to an unspecified single person, who could be of either gender, sometimes using ‘she’ instead (as is commonly done).

My comment regarding your use of ‘he’ with Arthwollipot was very much tongue in cheek.  They had started this storm in a teacup by referring to CarbShark as ‘they’ despite the fact that they are definitely male, and in the absence of any indication that they want to be referred to as ‘they.’. The last sentence was also tongue in cheek.  I think CarbShark (probably tongue in cheek) has written that they want ‘they’, probably around the time he (?they) changed his (?their) signature from ‘guy’ to ‘someone.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 11, 2019, 09:03:46 PM
Well, the non-cis-gendered (god, I hate this terminology) can’t agree amongst themselves which nongendered 3rd person singular pronoun they want, so it’s difficult to know which pronoun to use, in the unlikely event that i ever feel the need to comment on a non-cis-gendered person.  Am I supposed to ask in advance which pronoun I should be using?

Where's the 'slaps forehead' emoji or the 'bangs head against a brick wall' emoji

We've gone over this 'numerous' times, If you know they are non-binary gendered, then default to 'they'. They won't be offended if it is the wrong non-gendered pronoun and may state a preference for another pronoun, which, if you respect their rights, you will use in future.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 11, 2019, 09:47:35 PM
Well, the non-cis-gendered (god, I hate this terminology) can’t agree amongst themselves which nongendered 3rd person singular pronoun they want, so it’s difficult to know which pronoun to use, in the unlikely event that i ever feel the need to comment on a non-cis-gendered person.  Am I supposed to ask in advance which pronoun I should be using?

Where's the 'slaps forehead' emoji or the 'bangs head against a brick wall' emoji

We've gone over this 'numerous' times, If you know they are non-binary gendered, then default to 'they'. They won't be offended if it is the wrong non-gendered pronoun and may state a preference for another pronoun, which, if you respect their rights, you will use in future.

I never know whether a person is non-binary gendered.  I’m not interested in non-binary gender politics.  I never look at non-binary gender websites.  I’m. Just.  Not.  Interested.  It’s a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.  It shouldn’t matter if a person is male, female or neither.  All people should be treated equally.  The only time I’m going to refer to a non-binary gender person is if a person commenting on a global warming, environmental degradation, species extinction, or whatever else I’m interested in, website just happens to be non-binary gendered.  I’m not going to refer to that person as ‘they,’ just in case (as Arthwollipot did automatically with CarbShark).

I hope you’ll be dropping out too?  This discussion has been going on too long.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on January 11, 2019, 10:44:57 PM
We get it. You voted for a woman. Good job.
You are still a transphobic bigot based on what you have said in this thread.
But I suppose respecting peoples wishes on how to be referred to is just "political correctness gone mad".

Absolutely pathetic and utterly self unaware.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 11, 2019, 11:25:34 PM
I hope you’ll be dropping out too?  This discussion has been going on too long.

Just when I thought I was out 'They", literally, pull me back in  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-IkWpm7TS0
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 12, 2019, 12:33:37 AM
Despite the frustrations of arguing with bachfiend on this thread, I think it has been very illuminating.

At first, I thought bf just didn't understand how languages change over time. Gradually it became apparent that the real problem was bf's ignorance about gender. It seems that the problem may be even deeper, and be based on a lack of empathy for marginalized groups.

This has been a useful lesson that seemingly quotidian arguments about grammar are often surrogates for much larger social issues.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 12, 2019, 02:03:06 AM
We get it. You voted for a woman. Good job.
You are still a transphobic bigot based on what you have said in this thread.
But I suppose respecting peoples wishes on how to be referred to is just "political correctness gone mad".

Absolutely pathetic and utterly self unaware.

OK, I’m a ‘transphobic bigot,’ because I think that non-binary gender rights are to me a non-issue.  They should have the rights as a matter of course, automatically, without having to fight for them.  I accept your label ‘with pride.’

I’ve never had to ‘respect people’s wishes on how to be referred to’ because I don’t look at non-binary gender websites.  I might refer to non-binary gender people if they comment on issues I care about (eg global warming, environmental degradation, species extinction) on other websites, but I wouldn’t know.  I’m not going to refer to everyone, regardless of gender or preference, with ‘they.’

I don’t like the use of ‘they’ for single identified persons.  If a non-gendered 3rd person pronoun is considered desirable, then one should be devised.  I think dey/deyn/deys/deyself would be reasonable.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: stands2reason on January 12, 2019, 02:40:15 PM
If the world had more people like Bachfiend, literally wouldn't literally mean figuratively.

I hope I don't live long enough to see, "infer," and, "imply," end up the same way.

Are you inferring [sic] that this is not a constructive discussion?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 12, 2019, 06:02:47 PM
If the world had more people like Bachfiend, literally wouldn't literally mean figuratively.

I hope I don't live long enough to see, "infer," and, "imply," end up the same way.

Are you inferring [sic] that this is not a constructive discussion?

‘Dey’ (I have no idea whether Soldier of FORTAN is male or female, or even of ‘non-binary gender’ since the information isn’t on deys profile, so I’m using my suggested 3rd person singular pronoun) is implying that this isn’t a constructive discussion.  And you’re inferring that that is what ‘dey’ is saying.

And if I’m inferring correctly what ‘dey’ is implying, then ‘dey’s’ correct.  It isn’t a constructive discussion.

All I was saying was that if a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun was considered desirable, then devise a new one instead of coopting ‘they,’ which just creates ambiguity and confusion.

I admit I must be a ‘transphobic bigot’ because I never look at non-binary gender websites so as to use the correct preferred pronoun in the same way that I’m a ‘Wotan bigot’ because I never look at Nordic religion websites.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 12, 2019, 06:25:47 PM
I admit I must be a ‘transphobic bigot’ because I never look at non-binary gender websites so as to use the correct preferred pronoun

 ::) Which is why we keep telling you to use 'they' as a default, until you know the preferred pronoun.

What makes someone a bigot, racist, sexist, xenophobe, homophobic, transphobic, ageist etc is intent or knowledge.

You don't intend to be any of those. But knowing that it is wrong to mislabel or use the wrong pronoun, you have stated you won't because it is against your grammatical code. Society has decided it fits into our language.
Transgender and non-binary gender persons are becoming more mainstream and open about their identity, so you will, even if you don't know it, be seeing them everywhere you are online and IRL.

I think everyone is over this conversation.  ;)



Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 12, 2019, 06:48:08 PM
I admit I must be a ‘transphobic bigot’ because I never look at non-binary gender websites so as to use the correct preferred pronoun

 ::) Which is why we keep telling you to use 'they' as a default, until you know the preferred pronoun.

What makes someone a bigot, racist, sexist, xenophobe, homophobic, transphobic, ageist etc is intent or knowledge.

You don't intend to be any of those. But knowing that it is wrong to mislabel or use the wrong pronoun, you have stated you won't because it is against your grammatical code. Society has decided it fits into our language.
Transgender and non-binary gender persons are becoming more mainstream and open about their identity, so you will, even if you don't know it, be seeing them everywhere you are online and IRL.

I think everyone is over this conversation.  ;)

So I ‘have’ to use ‘they’ for everyone if I’m referring to a single identified person just in case that person happens to be transgender or non-binary gender?  If I’m going to be seeing transgender or non-binary gender people everywhere online and in real life, without knowing it?  So you’re telling me I have to stop using ‘he’ and ‘she,’ and only use ‘they’ as the 2nd person pronoun, both singular and plural?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on January 12, 2019, 07:19:34 PM
You have to have the last word.  ;)

You can use 'he' or 'she' if you know the gender. Everyone here has said that. Repeatedly
If someone uses 'they' for a male or a female it's not wrong in today's world. Again said repeatedly.
'They' is a good default if the gender is unknown. Again .......
'They' is a good default if it is known the person is non-binary gender and you don't know their preferred pronouns. Again .......
'They' is the only acceptable singular pronoun if they state that it is their preferred pronoun. Again .......

Now for my final word.

Discombobulation  ;D



Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 12, 2019, 08:11:13 PM
You have to have the last word.  ;)

You can use 'he' or 'she' if you know the gender. Everyone here has said that. Repeatedly
If someone uses 'they' for a male or a female it's not wrong in today's world. Again said repeatedly.
'They' is a good default if the gender is unknown. Again .......
'They' is a good default if it is known the person is non-binary gender and you don't know their preferred pronouns. Again .......
'They' is the only acceptable singular pronoun if they state that it is their preferred pronoun. Again .......

Now for my final word.

Discombobulation  ;D

But you’ve also said that I’m going to be meeting transgender and non-binary people everywhere online and in real life, without knowing it.  So if I don’t know that they’re not transgender or non-binary gender, then I’m obliged to use ‘they’ until they tell me that ‘he’ or ‘she’ is appropriate for the specified single person.  Which probably won’t happen, so ‘he’ and ‘she’ would disappear.

All this argument started because Arthwollipot used ‘they’ referring to CarbShark, a single person, and male, partly because he’s trying to use non-gendered pronouns as a rule.

I can sort of see how this could develop.  ‘Thou’ and ‘ye’ have disappeared from the English language, leaving just ‘you.’  German still has ‘du/Sie’ (singular) and ‘ihr/Sie’ (plural) for ‘you.’  If one addresses one or more people with ‘you’ it’s usually obvious whether the person is addressing one person or more than one person from the context.

‘They’ could become the 3rd person pronoun, both singular and plural, in the same way that ‘you’ is the 2nd person pronoun, singular and plural, with ‘thou’ (singular) and ‘ye’ (plural) disappearing.

And then if ‘they’ is ambiguous, then you’d need to devise some way of removing ambiguity.  ‘Alex left the room carrying their own laptop’ (it’s her laptop) versus ‘Alex left the room carrying their laptop’ (it’s someone else’s laptop).

I’m just extending the argument.  There are infrequent occasions when we don’t know the gender of single specified persons, so we can’t use ‘he’ or ‘she’ without being wrong half the time (it’s a different situation to not using ‘he’ as the default pronoun for a single generic person - feminism has rightly won this battle).  There are occasions when we don’t know the gender identification of single specified persons or the preferred pronoun, and you’ve stated I’m going to be meeting these people everywhere without knowing it.

So using ‘they’ would become the default pronoun regardless.  It’s doable.  People in future centuries reading texts from pre-21st centuries would have to be taught that ‘he’ and ‘she’ were archaic forms of ‘they’ in the same way that we had to learn that ‘thou’ and ‘ye’ are archaic forms of ‘you.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on January 13, 2019, 12:54:23 AM

I admit I must be a ‘transphobic bigot’ because I never look at non-binary gender websites so as to use the correct preferred pronoun in the same way that I’m a ‘Wotan bigot’ because I never look at Nordic religion websites.

It doesn't matter what websites you visit. It doesn't matter what you find interesting. It doesn't matter what grammatical constructions you prefer. What matters is recognizing the plight of marginalized groups, demonstrating empathy and kindness, and working to increase your awareness. Your repeated use of false analogies shows your lack of understanding of these issues.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 13, 2019, 02:53:27 AM

I admit I must be a ‘transphobic bigot’ because I never look at non-binary gender websites so as to use the correct preferred pronoun in the same way that I’m a ‘Wotan bigot’ because I never look at Nordic religion websites.

It doesn't matter what websites you visit. It doesn't matter what you find interesting. It doesn't matter what grammatical constructions you prefer. What matters is recognizing the plight of marginalized groups, demonstrating empathy and kindness, and working to increase your awareness. Your repeated use of false analogies shows your lack of understanding of these issues.

I don’t visit non-binary genderwebsites, so I have no reason to think that the person I’m referring to, if I’m referring to another person commenting on the website I’m visiting, is transgender or of non-binary gender, so I wouldn’t be able to know whether to use ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘they.’

If I don’t know the gender of the person I’m referring to, I’m circumspect about the choice of pronoun I use, avoiding the previous default pronoun of ‘he.’

If by some chance, I happen to know that the person I’m referring to is transgender or of non-binary gender, and prefers ‘their,’ I’m not obliged to use it.  Suppose CarbShark announced that he’s transgender, I don’t have to write ‘CarbShark proselytises for ketogenic diets.  They claim they are healthier.’  I could write ‘CarbShark proselytises for ketogenic diets, claiming that they’re healthier.’  All I have to do is avoid using pronouns, and I’m happy (I didn’t have to use ‘they’), and possibly CarbShark is happy.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 13, 2019, 09:21:56 PM
I think everyone is over this conversation.  ;)

And how sad it is that bachfiend appears to have learned absolutely nothing from it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 13, 2019, 09:40:35 PM
I think everyone is over this conversation.  ;)

And how sad it is that bachfiend appears to have learned absolutely nothing from it.

What haven’t I learned?  I know that you shouldn’t use default gender pronouns.  I’d realised that ever since I accepted the feminist position that ‘he’ isn’t the default pronoun for a single generic (non-identified) person.  ‘Anyone can succeed if they try’ is correct.  ‘Anyone can succeed if he tries’ is incorrect.

I’ve also learned that some people will to go extreme lengths to justify using ‘they’ for single identified persons if they don’t know the person’s gender or gender identification.  Without knowing whether the person is transgender or of non-binary gender.  And practically, almost always on the Internet.  If you’re relating to a person in the real world, the natural pronoun is ‘you,’ which is non-gendered, and everyone in the real world, with no exceptions, deserves to be treated with equal respect and politeness.

To go back to the start of this increasingly pointless storm in a tea cup argument, if a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is thought desirable, then one should be devised, not coopt ‘they.’  I think my idea from the German dey/deyn/deyself/deys is a good one.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 13, 2019, 10:34:22 PM
Temporarily lifting my self-imposed exile here to once again point out that there have been many proposals for gender-neutral third person pronouns over decades. There is a summary of them on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). None of them caught on, and none of them are in regular use today. The singular they has, and is.

And now you may return to yelling into the void.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 13, 2019, 10:56:11 PM
Temporarily lifting my self-imposed exile here to once again point out that there have been many proposals for gender-neutral third person pronouns over decades. There is a summary of them on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). None of them caught on, and none of them are in regular use today. The singular they has, and is.

And now you may return to yelling into the void.

Don't drop the community as a whole. Selective hearing is a time honoured traditional skill honed in relationships since time immemorial. "Block" is just a current manifestation of that ancient practice. ;)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 13, 2019, 10:57:36 PM
Temporarily lifting my self-imposed exile here to once again point out that there have been many proposals for gender-neutral third person pronouns over decades. There is a summary of them on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). None of them caught on, and none of them are in regular use today. The singular they has, and is.
Mo
And now you may return to yelling into the void.

The suggested alternatives are all pretty ugly.  The German ‘dey’ (pronounced to rhyme with ‘they’) isn’t, and it’s similar enough to ‘they’ to not grate.  And it’s not ambiguous.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on January 13, 2019, 10:58:13 PM
Temporarily lifting my self-imposed exile here to once again point out that there have been many proposals for gender-neutral third person pronouns over decades. There is a summary of them on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). None of them caught on, and none of them are in regular use today. The singular they has, and is.

And now you may return to yelling into the void.

Don't drop the community as a whole. Selective hearing is a time honoured traditional skill honed in relationships since time immemorial. "Block" is just a current manifestation of that ancient practice. ;)

I meant exile from this thread. :D
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on January 13, 2019, 11:00:46 PM
Temporarily lifting my self-imposed exile here to once again point out that there have been many proposals for gender-neutral third person pronouns over decades. There is a summary of them on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary). None of them caught on, and none of them are in regular use today. The singular they has, and is.

And now you may return to yelling into the void.

Don't drop the community as a whole. Selective hearing is a time honoured traditional skill honed in relationships since time immemorial. "Block" is just a current manifestation of that ancient practice. ;)

I meant exile from this thread. :D

Tellin'ya, block is really helpful in my not getting sucked back in. YMMV of course. (Miss you on Mafia)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 14, 2019, 01:57:20 PM
I accept that transgender and non-binary gender adolescents have it tough with lack of support and acceptance in their families, schools and amongst their peers.  And with bullying.  Adolescents can be very cruel and vicious to others they regard as different, particularly now with social media which allow comments to be published and propagated widely, almost instantly, at the click of a button.

In Australia, there’s a Safe School aimed at reducing bullying and addressing LGBTIQ issues.  I don’t have any particular personal opinion about it (I don’t have any children or grandchildren in the schools), but since the conservatives and religious think it’s bad, I tend to think it’s good.

I’m sceptical that refusing to use ‘they’ referring to a single identified person who is not known to be of transgender or of non-binary gender on a random website such as this is going to cause a vulnerable adolescent being bullied to attempt to commit suicide.  Or to claim thinking of suicide.  I haven’t seen or found any evidence that using the ‘right’ 3rd person singular pronoun will reverse the pernicious effects of bullying and lack of support and acceptance.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on January 14, 2019, 06:09:49 PM
Just ran this by my non binary friend over pints this evening.
They were highly animated and offended.

You dont need to frequent particular "websites", these people are in the world and likely avoiding confrontation by not making a big deal when you misgender them.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on January 14, 2019, 06:45:20 PM
Just ran this by my non binary friend over pints this evening.
They were highly animated and offended.

You dont need to frequent particular "websites", these people are in the world and likely avoiding confrontation by not making a big deal when you misgender them.

I don’t ‘misgender’ people when I know that they’re transgender or of non-binary gender.  If they’re transgender, then it’s because they want to be identified with the other gender to the one on their birth certificates, so I’ll use the pronoun appropriate, either ‘he’ or ‘she.’  And if they’re of non-binary gender, then I just won’t use any pronoun.

But I won’t use ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single identified persons, when I don’t know even if they’re transgender or of non-binary gender, which is usually on the Internet.  In the real world, the natural pronoun is ‘you,’ which is non-gendered (there are other languages which do have gendered versions of ‘you’ apparently, so English in comparison isn’t bad - German for example is worse).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: CarbShark on February 07, 2019, 01:44:31 PM
Resurrecting another dead thread:

This is an interesting interview with a copy editor. At the end of the interview they discuss the use of "they" as a non-gendered pronoun.



Fresh Air by NPR on Apple Podcasts (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/random-house-copy-chief-inside-the-1954-star-is-born/id214089682?i=1000429263751&mt=2)

Quote
Random House Copy Chief / Inside The 1954 'Star Is Born'
ReleasedFeb 05, 2019

Dreyer is the copy chief for Random House. He talks with Terry Gross about collaborating with authors, passive voice, and gender neutral pronouns. His new book is 'Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style.' But, he says, "the last thing that I want to do is pass myself off as some sort of ferocious gatekeeper."  ...

Here's a direct link:



Random House Copy Chief: Stand Tall, Wordsmiths! (But Choose Your Battles) : NPR (https://www.npr.org/2019/02/05/691556181/random-house-copy-chief-stand-tall-wordsmiths-but-choose-your-battles)

Quote
The last thing that I want to do is to pass myself off as some sort of ferocious gatekeeper who — in some sort of argument about the purity and the wonder of the English language, and how it must be preserved — is simply being unkind and cruel to other human beings.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 07, 2019, 03:37:07 PM
Resurrecting another dead thread:

This is an interesting interview with a copy editor. At the end of the interview they discuss the use of "they" as a non-gendered pronoun.



Fresh Air by NPR on Apple Podcasts (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/random-house-copy-chief-inside-the-1954-star-is-born/id214089682?i=1000429263751&mt=2)

Quote
Random House Copy Chief / Inside The 1954 'Star Is Born'
ReleasedFeb 05, 2019

Dreyer is the copy chief for Random House. He talks with Terry Gross about collaborating with authors, passive voice, and gender neutral pronouns. His new book is 'Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style.' But, he says, "the last thing that I want to do is pass myself off as some sort of ferocious gatekeeper."  ...

Here's a direct link:



Random House Copy Chief: Stand Tall, Wordsmiths! (But Choose Your Battles) : NPR (https://www.npr.org/2019/02/05/691556181/random-house-copy-chief-stand-tall-wordsmiths-but-choose-your-battles)

Quote
The last thing that I want to do is to pass myself off as some sort of ferocious gatekeeper who — in some sort of argument about the purity and the wonder of the English language, and how it must be preserved — is simply being unkind and cruel to other human beings.

Talk about resurrecting a dead thread.  But as noted, it’s not necessary to use the ‘singular they’ if you object to it.  You don’t have to use any pronoun.  Using the person’s name or a singular descriptor such as ‘colleague’ is clearer in indicating that you’re referring to a single identified person, not two or more people.  Whenever I come across ‘they’ in a text, I often feel the need to go back in the text to see if I’ve missed mention of another person being referred to.

And it’s very much overreach using ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun just in case the person is transgender or of non-binary gender, and might possibly object to ‘he’ or ‘she.’  There are many more people who’d object to being referred to as ‘they.’

Transgender and non-binary gender people might have reason for complaint if English had gendered 2nd person singular pronouns (which it doesn’t), and were referred to directly face-to-face with the wrong gendered ‘you.’  Being referred to with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun shouldn’t be of concern, provided the comment is respectful.  Rhea Butcher prefers ‘they,’ but she’s on record as stating that she doesn’t mind ‘she’ provided the comment is respectful, which my comment referring to her is.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 10, 2019, 06:16:52 PM
Administrator Comment Intentionally misgendering trans and non binary people is not respectful. It is a breach of the forum rules on hate speech and will not be tolerated.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 10, 2019, 07:35:02 PM
Administrator Comment Intentionally misgendering trans and non binary people is not respectful. It is a breach of the forum rules on hate speech and will not be tolerated.

I have never knowingly misgendered a transgender or non-binary gender person.  I don’t know of any, I don’t visit transgender or non-binary gender websites, and I feel justified in assuming that if a person’s name is John Smith then he wants to be referred to as ‘he’ instead of ‘they.’  If John Smith is transgender, then he’s probably changed his name to ‘Joan Smith,’ in which case I’ll use ‘she.’ 

I flatly refuse to use the ‘singular they’ to refer to single identified persons of readily identifiable gender as the default pronoun.  If the single identified person is of uncertain gender, then I avoid a pronoun (neither ‘he’ nor ‘they’ as the default), instead just repeating the person’s name, or a title, or whatever.

Clear?

I’ve reread my previous comment and I now realise the objection was to my using ‘she’ to refer to Rhea Butcher who prefers ‘they.’  But anyway, here’s the link to where Rhea Butcher states no objection to ‘she’ being used in comments provided the comment is respectful.  A respectful comment with ‘she’ being more acceptable than a disrespectful comment with ‘they.’  Notice I’ve avoided using ‘she’ or ‘they.’

https://mobile.twitter.com/RheaButcher/status/979792359096553477

And why would Rhea Butcher take any offence anyway to a reference on a single webpage on an obscure and really insignificant website of very little importance? 
 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 10, 2019, 10:40:53 PM
Jordan Peterson?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 10, 2019, 11:01:56 PM
Jordan Peterson?

No, I’m not.  I had to Google to find out who he is.  He has many views I disagree with.  I’m a small-l liberal (not ‘progressive’).  I think governments should not interfere unnecessarily with people’s lives.  I don’t regard gender to be an important factor in assessing other people.  I agree that sexism is pernicious, and should be avoided.  I think it’s wrong that in Australia, women are still being paid less than men for doing the same job.  I agree that often the best man for a job is a woman.  I’m pleased that the politicians representing me in my electorate, state and national, are both women.  And in the state parliament, my electorate has always had women MLAs (members of the legislative assembly).  Never a man.  The one time the conservative Liberals put up a man to replace his wife, who was retiring from parliament, he lost (I’d actually supported a strong independent female candidate at that election).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 11, 2019, 12:31:32 AM
Every person who prefers they/them is disrespected and misgendered when anyone refuses to use those pronouns for any reason. What's wrong with referring to them the way they prefer to be referred? Nothing.

http://www.robot-hugs.com/pronoun-etiquette/
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 12:44:58 AM
Every person who prefers they/them is disrespected and misgendered when anyone refuses to use those pronouns for any reason. What's wrong with referring to them the way they prefer to be referred? Nothing.

http://www.robot-hugs.com/pronoun-etiquette/

But most people prefer being referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she’ instead of ‘they.’  Using ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun just in case the person being referred to is transgender or of non-binary gender and prefers ‘they’ (or some other alternative such as ‘dem’ or my ‘dey’) is just overreach.

If I know the person prefers ‘they’ I usually won’t use it.  I’ll use repeats of the person’s same or a job description to avoid using the pronoun.  I used ‘she’ to refer to Rhea Butcher to be provocative.  And knowing that Rhea Butcher is extremely unlikely to look at this very obscure and insignificant website having better things to do.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 11, 2019, 01:06:00 AM
Okay, let's do this again.

But most people prefer being referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she’ instead of ‘they.’

Irrelevant. If a particular person wants you to use a particular pronoun, you should use that pronoun.

Using ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun just in case the person being referred to is transgender or of non-binary gender and prefers ‘they’ (or some other alternative such as ‘dem’ or my ‘dey’) is just overreach.

No, it's prudence and politeness.

If I know the person prefers ‘they’ I usually won’t use it.

And by doing so you disrespect and misgender them. It's a horrible thing to do.

I’ll use repeats of the person’s same or a job description to avoid using the pronoun.

Really? You will genuinely repeat Rhea Butcher's name to avoid using Rhea Butcher's preferred pronoun? Even when Rhea Butcher has specifically and directly requested that you refer to Rhea Butcher using a particular pronoun? That is not only very disrespectful to Rhea Butcher, it can cause Rhea Butcher (and all trans and nonbinary people) direct harm.

Quote
Misgendering can have negative consequences for a transgender person’s self-confidence and overall mental health.

A 2014 study in the journal Self and Identity, asked transgender people about their experiences with being misgendered.

Researchers found that:

32.8 percent of participants reported feeling very stigmatized when misgendered.
Genderqueer folks, and people who had taken fewer steps in the transition process, were most likely to be misgendered.
Those who were misgendered more frequently felt that their identity was very important, but experienced lower self-esteem around their appearance.
They also had a reduced sense of strength and continuity in their identity.
“Where I'm at school now there are way less trans and nonbinary folks, no visible trans community, and while our equity training included a video on pronouns, none of my professors or colleagues have ever asked what my pronouns are,” N., 27, said. “When someone misgenders me at school I just get this shock of painful tension throughout my body.”

When you misgender someone, you also run the risk of outing them to other people. It’s never anyone’s right or responsibility to out a person who is transgender without their express consent. It’s a trans person’s right and their right alone to tell others that they’re transgender, depending on whether they wish to be out or not.

Outing a trans person is not only disrespectful of their boundaries, but can also result in that person experiencing harassment and discrimination.

And, discrimination is a major issue for the trans community. The 2015 U.S. Trans Survey found these startling statistics:

33 percent of trans people surveyed had at least one experience of discrimination when seeking medical treatment.
27 percent of respondents reported some form of employment discrimination, whether it was being fired, mistreated at work, or not hired because of their identity.
77 percent of people who were out in K-12, and 24 percent of those who were out in college or vocational school, experienced mistreatment in those settings.

I've posted this lengthy excerpt because I'm pretty sure you don't bother to click on the links I provide. Here it is anyway (https://www.healthline.com/health/transgender/misgendering#impact).

I used ‘she’ to refer to Rhea Butcher to be provocative.  And knowing that Rhea Butcher is extremely unlikely to look at this very obscure and insignificant website having better things to do.

That is a really shitty thing to do. It doesn't matter whether they look at this site or not. You're misgendering them. That is bad.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 01:26:10 AM
Look at the link I’ve provided from Rhea Butcher.  Rhea Butcher states there’s no objection to using the name instead.

And I’m extremely unlikely to refer to Rhea Butcher ever again.

Gendered 3rd person singular pronouns to refer to persons not present is a non-problem compared to trying to work out whether to address a person as ‘Mr,’ ‘Mrs,’ ‘Miss,’ ‘Ms’ or ‘Mz’ (or some variant).  I usually don’t use any.  It’s usually obvious whom I’m talking with in a social setting.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 11, 2019, 01:32:37 AM
Look at the link I’ve provided from Rhea Butcher.  Rhea Butcher states there’s no objection to using the name instead.

And I’m extremely unlikely to refer to Rhea Butcher ever again.

Again, irrelevant. It's about your habits and opinions and what you will do in the future, not one specific example.

Gendered 3rd person singular pronouns to refer to persons not present is a non-problem compared to trying to work out whether to address a person as ‘Mr,’ ‘Mrs,’ ‘Miss,’ ‘Ms’ or ‘Mz’ (or some variant).  I usually don’t use any.  It’s usually obvious whom I’m talking with in a social setting.

Okay, fess up now. Did you click and read the link I provided in my previous post? Do so. Misgendering of trans and nonbinary people is a BIG problem. Your stated intention to ignore a person's preferred pronoun is a BIG problem.

And now I'm done with this argument again for the good of my blood pressure. Read some shit, bachfiend. Read some shit and become a better person.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 06:05:17 AM
Look at the link I’ve provided from Rhea Butcher.  Rhea Butcher states there’s no objection to using the name instead.

And I’m extremely unlikely to refer to Rhea Butcher ever again.

Again, irrelevant. It's about your habits and opinions and what you will do in the future, not one specific example.

Gendered 3rd person singular pronouns to refer to persons not present is a non-problem compared to trying to work out whether to address a person as ‘Mr,’ ‘Mrs,’ ‘Miss,’ ‘Ms’ or ‘Mz’ (or some variant).  I usually don’t use any.  It’s usually obvious whom I’m talking with in a social setting.

Okay, fess up now. Did you click and read the link I provided in my previous post? Do so. Misgendering of trans and nonbinary people is a BIG problem. Your stated intention to ignore a person's preferred pronoun is a BIG problem.

And now I'm done with this argument again for the good of my blood pressure. Read some shit, bachfiend. Read some shit and become a better person.

I’m a senile old fart.  I have minimal if any contact with the adolescents and young people who have emotional turmoil regarding doubts about their gender identity.  I agree that bullying of vulnerable individuals in schools and on social media is a major problem.  I agree that the Safe Schools programme is a good idea.  I never use social media, not even Facebook (does it still exist?).

Anyway.  How do you address people?  ‘Mr, Mrs or Miss?’  Or ‘Ms?’  Or ‘Mz?’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 11, 2019, 09:42:59 AM
Look at the link I’ve provided from Rhea Butcher.  Rhea Butcher states there’s no objection to using the name instead.

And I’m extremely unlikely to refer to Rhea Butcher ever again.

Gendered 3rd person singular pronouns to refer to persons not present is a non-problem compared to trying to work out whether to address a person as ‘Mr,’ ‘Mrs,’ ‘Miss,’ ‘Ms’ or ‘Mz’ (or some variant).  I usually don’t use any.  It’s usually obvious whom I’m talking with in a social setting.

No, you're misinterpreting that thread.  Read farther down it.  Rhea says very clearly that they don't hold anything against people who use 'she' or 'he' in an honest way, the continued use of such terms after being ASKED to use different pronouns isn't ok.

That seems very clear to me, and I'm just as old as you.

Look, I have a hard time remembering to properly use the pronouns people ask me to use. I mess it up all the time but I'm trying to get better and be accommodating.

Continuing to use the pronouns that someone asks you not to use is purely and simply a dick move and it makes you an asshole.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 11, 2019, 09:43:44 AM
Later in the thread:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RheaButcher/status/979801632719429633

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 11, 2019, 10:39:13 AM
Look at the link I’ve provided from Rhea Butcher.  Rhea Butcher states there’s no objection to using the name instead.

And I’m extremely unlikely to refer to Rhea Butcher ever again.

Gendered 3rd person singular pronouns to refer to persons not present is a non-problem compared to trying to work out whether to address a person as ‘Mr,’ ‘Mrs,’ ‘Miss,’ ‘Ms’ or ‘Mz’ (or some variant).  I usually don’t use any.  It’s usually obvious whom I’m talking with in a social setting.

No, you're misinterpreting that thread.  Read farther down it.  Rhea says very clearly that they don't hold anything against people who use 'she' or 'he' in an honest way, the continued use of such terms after being ASKED to use different pronouns isn't ok.

That seems very clear to me, and I'm just as old as you.

Look, I have a hard time remembering to properly use the pronouns people ask me to use. I mess it up all the time but I'm trying to get better and be accommodating.

Continuing to use the pronouns that someone asks you not to use is purely and simply a dick move and it makes you an asshole.
I screw it up all the time, but my friends smile and say that what matters is that I am trying.
They are very gracious and patient, but if I were just refusing to use their pronouns I suspect we would not be friends.

Edit- I have also known trans people in their 50s and I know there are trans people of all ages. Being old is not an excuse and the odds that one has never met a trans or non binary person are very slim.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 11:12:09 AM
I don’t know whether I’ve ever met a transgender or non-binary gender person, because I regard a person’s gender identity to be of no concern to me.  I treat everyone equally.  I can’t think of any social situation in which I’d be referring to a person in the 3rd person singular when that person is physically present to be able to take offence at my using the ‘wrong’ pronoun.  I might use the ‘wrong’ pronoun commenting on obscure websites such as this, but not on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, because I don’t use them.  Never have.  I’ve consistently argued that when you’re referring to single identified persons of readily determined gender, ‘they’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun.  I stress the ‘readily determined gender.’  Most people do have a readily determined gender, with an appropriate 3rd person singular pronoun.  I agree that if there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be invented.  I think the suggested German one of ‘dey’ is a good one, and should be employed. 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 11, 2019, 12:53:09 PM
I don’t know whether I’ve ever met a transgender or non-binary gender person, because I regard a person’s gender identity to be of no concern to me.  I treat everyone equally.  I can’t think of any social situation in which I’d be referring to a person in the 3rd person singular when that person is physically present to be able to take offence at my using the ‘wrong’ pronoun.  I might use the ‘wrong’ pronoun commenting on obscure websites such as this, but not on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, because I don’t use them.  Never have.  I’ve consistently argued that when you’re referring to single identified persons of readily determined gender, ‘they’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun.  I stress the ‘readily determined gender.’  Most people do have a readily determined gender, with an appropriate 3rd person singular pronoun.  I agree that if there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be invented.  I think the suggested German one of ‘dey’ is a good one, and should be employed.

No one claimed you didn't treat anyone equally, well, except that you're treating people differently.  Lets say you find out that someone you've never met before but know on the internet been referring to as 'he/him' turns out to actually be a woman.  Would you continue to insist on referring to that person as 'he/him' or would you change?

You seem to be arguing that if the victim of your disrespect doesn't see the disrespect, it's completely fine to continue to disrespect them.  That seems very wrong to me.

You're using the precise argument that Jordan B Peterson uses.  It really boils down to 'if I want to be a jerk, I'm going to be a jerk'

Seriously, I don't get it.  If someone asks you to refer to them in a certain way, then why is it so damn difficult to do so?  I really don't get the insistence and intransigence on this.

If I found out your name was really 'Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel'   I might chuckle a bit, but I'd certainly use it and any appropriate pronouns you asked me to, EVEN IF I didn't know you and EVEN IF there was precisely ZERO chance I'd ever interact with you in person.  I owe you that much respect.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 11, 2019, 01:19:44 PM
I will use “they” when referring to a person who I know or believe prefers that pronoun. I will not quit using he or she across the board in favor of using they exclusively merely because some people prefer they. To do so would be to disrespect people who prefer he or she.

When referring to someone specific, always use the pronoun that person prefers. When referring to unspecified persons, I think it’s acceptable to use whatever grammatical conventions you prefer.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 11, 2019, 01:36:47 PM
I think the suggested German one of ‘dey’ is a good one, and should be employed.

Stop trying to make fetch happen  :P
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 11, 2019, 01:53:32 PM
I don’t know whether I’ve ever met a transgender or non-binary gender person, because I regard a person’s gender identity to be of no concern to me.

You live in a city of near 2 million people. You may not recognise them, but I'm sure you have been around transgender and/or non-binary gender people.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 02:36:27 PM
I don’t know whether I’ve ever met a transgender or non-binary gender person, because I regard a person’s gender identity to be of no concern to me.  I treat everyone equally.  I can’t think of any social situation in which I’d be referring to a person in the 3rd person singular when that person is physically present to be able to take offence at my using the ‘wrong’ pronoun.  I might use the ‘wrong’ pronoun commenting on obscure websites such as this, but not on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, because I don’t use them.  Never have.  I’ve consistently argued that when you’re referring to single identified persons of readily determined gender, ‘they’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun.  I stress the ‘readily determined gender.’  Most people do have a readily determined gender, with an appropriate 3rd person singular pronoun.  I agree that if there’s a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be invented.  I think the suggested German one of ‘dey’ is a good one, and should be employed.

No one claimed you didn't treat anyone equally, well, except that you're treating people differently.  Lets say you find out that someone you've never met before but know on the internet been referring to as 'he/him' turns out to actually be a woman.  Would you continue to insist on referring to that person as 'he/him' or would you change?

You seem to be arguing that if the victim of your disrespect doesn't see the disrespect, it's completely fine to continue to disrespect them.  That seems very wrong to me.

You're using the precise argument that Jordan B Peterson uses.  It really boils down to 'if I want to be a jerk, I'm going to be a jerk'

Seriously, I don't get it.  If someone asks you to refer to them in a certain way, then why is it so damn difficult to do so?  I really don't get the insistence and intransigence on this.

If I found out your name was really 'Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel'   I might chuckle a bit, but I'd certainly use it and any appropriate pronouns you asked me to, EVEN IF I didn't know you and EVEN IF there was precisely ZERO chance I'd ever interact with you in person.  I owe you that much respect.

My practice is that if I don’t know the gender of a person on the Internet, I don’t assume that the person is male and use ‘he’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun.  There’s a tendency by some authors to use ‘she’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun, particularly when referring to a generic person, which I generally think is a good idea.

I’m a little more circumspect, either not using pronouns, or ‘he or she,’ or (s)he.

Tassie Dave,

Undoubtedly I have been in the vicinity of transgender or non-binary gender persons.  But I have never needed to refer to them in the 3rd person singular to have to decide whether to use ‘he’ or ‘she.’  And I don’t need to use the 3rd person singular pronoun if I happen to talk to them.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 11, 2019, 07:04:09 PM
Let me be very clear.
No one cares about your suggestion of 'dey' (though it is how people in my town pronounce "they").

Intentionally using pronouns other than those specified by individuals, whether they are here or not, is offensive to trans and non binary people and is a common form that bigotry against them takes.
No one cares about your odds of meeting a trans or non binary person, it is simply against the rules to not give them this very basic level of respect. If you dont like the rules of this forum, you are free to use the metaphorical door.

Also-
Moderator Comment Productive discussion in this thread has long since ceased, it is being watched very closely with a view to being locked.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 11, 2019, 07:03:23 PM
Oops! Double post! What a use of my 15000th post! ;D
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 11, 2019, 07:56:05 PM
I don’t know whether I’ve ever met a transgender or non-binary gender person, because I regard a person’s gender identity to be of no concern to me.  I treat everyone equally. ...

Treating everyone the same can be disrespectful. When a person chooses to keep their gender identity private, then it is no business of anyone else’s. But when a person chooses to make their gender identity public, or to reveal it to you, that is when it becomes disrespectful to treat them as if you didn’t know, or to treat them the same as you would treat anyone else.

This applies to people you meet in real life, and to public figures you may happen to discuss on a chat board. Though honestly not knowing who the person is, or which pronouns they prefer, is an excuse.

Transgender people especially have to deal with bigoted assholes insisting that their gender is the one associated with the genitals they were born with. This is one reason why insisting on using other pronouns can be so hurtful. If here were no bigotry, no violence against non conforming people, no national campaigns to take away their rights, then it’s likely that nobody would care that much about a few people insisting on using anachronistic grammatical conventions.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 08:53:22 PM
I don’t know whether I’ve ever met a transgender or non-binary gender person, because I regard a person’s gender identity to be of no concern to me.  I treat everyone equally. ...

Treating everyone the same can be disrespectful. When a person chooses to keep their gender identity private, then it is no business of anyone else’s. But when a person chooses to make their gender identity public, or to reveal it to you, that is when it becomes disrespectful to treat them as if you didn’t know, or to treat them the same as you would treat anyone else.

This applies to people you meet in real life, and to public figures you may happen to discuss on a chat board. Though honestly not knowing who the person is, or which pronouns they prefer, is an excuse.

Transgender people especially have to deal with bigoted assholes insisting that their gender is the one associated with the genitals they were born with. This is one reason why insisting on using other pronouns can be so hurtful. If here were no bigotry, no violence against non conforming people, no national campaigns to take away their rights, then it’s likely that nobody would care that much about a few people insisting on using anachronistic grammatical conventions.

But what if I think that the best man for a job is often a woman?  Or a transgender person?  Or a person of non-binary gender?  Or if I don’t assume that because a person is male that he’s dominating and aggressive?  Or if I don’t assume that because a person is female that she’s caring and nurturing?  That’s what I mean by treating everyone equally.  I don’t ascribe gender identifiers onto people.

And what if I’m quite happy to use the preferred pronoun provided it’s ‘he’ or ‘she,’ if the person is transgender?  And what if I refuse to use any pronoun if the preferred pronoun is ‘they?’  There are ways of getting around having to use pronouns. 

I only referred to the comedian Rhea Butcher because someone else noted that ‘Rhea’ is ambiguous as to gender, and asked which pronoun I’d use, with gender not being readily identifiable.  I had to look at the Wikipedia page to inform myself.  Rhea’s brand of comedy is not to my taste (I prefer Billy Connelly until, alas, his heath deteriorated).  Just to be provocative to my critics (but not to Rhea Butcher), I deliberately used the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.  Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have referred to Rhea.  Or only did a superficial reading, and used ‘she’ as a result of ignorance.  I wish I hadn’t done what I did.

There are greater problems than the choice of 3rd person singular pronouns.  Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz (or variations thereof if the person is of non-binary gender)?  And how do you decide?  Do you need to ask the person beforehand?  I suppose if the person has a definite preference, then I’d be told - and I’d use that one.  I don’t have any objection to using Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz as requested by the person.  But nowadays, the situation doesn’t arise for me.  Perhaps decades ago when I was in clinical medicine i might have offended someone with the wrong one.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 11, 2019, 09:13:42 PM
Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz

Personally I stopped using patriarchal honorifics in the 80s. Australia is a first-name culture. We're talking specifically about pronouns. Honorifics are irrelevant.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 11, 2019, 09:38:07 PM
Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz

Personally I stopped using patriarchal honorifics in the 80s. Australia is a first-name culture. We're talking specifically about pronouns. Honorifics are irrelevant.

I still get addressed as Mr.  Often I also get addressed as Dr, but I have to point out that I’ve been struck off the medical registry - twice (just to show how important I am), and I’m not entitled to that honorific.  The Australian Taxation Office still writes to me as Dr, but you can’t tell the ATO anything.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 12, 2019, 11:14:48 AM

I don’t ascribe gender identifiers onto people.


Ahhh, the ever popular 'I don't see color' defense.

Come on bachfiend you're just making it worse and worse. 

ETA:  Wait, weren't you just arguing that you would use he/she pronouns until someone requested a different one.  And then, if they said 'use they please' you would immediately switch to using their name instead of their preferred pronoun?  What is happening here?

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Billzbub on February 12, 2019, 02:57:17 PM
The sexual harassment training I just took at work today specifically says that not respecting a transgendered person's desire to be referred to as "they" can be considered harassment if it creates a hostile work environment.  It even illustrated the concept with two actors playing out a scene where one person was mocking the concept to the other by saying "What are we supposed to say?  They is invited to the meeting?"
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 03:31:00 PM

I don’t ascribe gender identifiers onto people.


Ahhh, the ever popular 'I don't see color' defense.

Come on bachfiend you're just making it worse and worse. 

ETA:  Wait, weren't you just arguing that you would use he/she pronouns until someone requested a different one.  And then, if they said 'use they please' you would immediately switch to using their name instead of their preferred pronoun?  What is happening here?

I’m a retired medical practitioner with very limited social contacts.  And I was an anatomical pathologist before I retired, so I was a lab rat, not a clinician dealing with the general public daily.  All the statements that I’d refer to persons as ‘he’ or ‘she’ until I’m told to use ‘they’ when I would just revert to using the person’s name are entirely hypothetical.

My social contacts nowadays are direct - with ‘you’ being the natural pronoun.  And ‘you’ is non-gendered.

I’m out of this argument.  I’m wasting too much time on it.  My argument all along is that ‘they’ should not be the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identified gender.  The singular they is OK for single generic persons, to avoid using ‘he’ as the default pronoun.  Some authors use ‘she,’ which is also OK, being reverse sexism, a sort of affirmative action.  If it’s considered desirable to have a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised.  I’ve suggested ‘dey’ to rhyme with ‘they.’  Someone has argued that some people will mispronounce ‘dey’ to sound like ‘they,’ but so what?  They probably would have been using ‘they’ anyway.

The important words are readily identified gender.  A transgender person has a preferred gender, so use the preferred gender pronoun.  Almost all people have a readily identified gender.  The number of non-binary gender persons is too low to justify making ‘they’ the default 3rd person singular pronoun.  The proportion of the ‘never married’ is much higher, but no one seems worried that it’s assumed that every adult has a spouse, or that travel offer ‘bargains’ are always quoted ‘twin share.’  We singles don’t get to complain.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 12, 2019, 06:01:16 PM
As is normally the case, we're now talking about two different things.

bachfiend:  If a transgendered person requested that you use the pronouns 'they/them' would you do so?  If the answer is yes, then I have no quarrel with you.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 06:57:17 PM
As is normally the case, we're now talking about two different things.

bachfiend:  If a transgendered person requested that you use the pronouns 'they/them' would you do so?  If the answer is yes, then I have no quarrel with you.

But does it happen?  I don’t have any experience with transgender persons, but if a person changes gender, going from male to female for example, isn’t that person identifying as female and wanting to be recognised as female, in which case ‘she’ would be the appropriate pronoun?  If the person wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ isn’t that person actually indicating a preference to being of non-binary gender?

We’ve always be talking about two things ever since this kerfuffle started weeks (months?) ago.  All I’ve ever said is that ‘they’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identified gender, and that if a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered desirable then one should be devised.

It has been conflated with single non-specified generic persons of irrelevant gender (eg ‘anyone can succeed if they (not ‘he’) try’ is perfectly acceptable) and single specified persons of uncertain gender.  If I’m uncertain about the gender, my rule is not to use a pronoun.  Not to use ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘they’ as the default.  It’s never happened that I’ve been asked to use ‘they’ by a person.  It’s entirely hypothetical until it happens.  I doubt it will ever happen, because I don’t use social media.  Never have.  I used ‘she’ to refer to Rhea Butcher to be deliberately provocative on this very obscure website because I was asked (I wish I hadn’t), but I’m pretty certain that Rhea Butcher wouldn’t take any notice and wouldn’t be offended.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on February 12, 2019, 07:04:01 PM
Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz

Personally I stopped using patriarchal honorifics in the 80s. Australia is a first-name culture. We're talking specifically about pronouns. Honorifics are irrelevant.

I still use sir and ma'am a lot with clients - it just connotes a sense of formality and respect that seems appropriate for business dealings, even though ma'am sounds so archaic and sexist when you think about it too much.

English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific for us to argue about.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 07:26:23 PM
Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz

Personally I stopped using patriarchal honorifics in the 80s. Australia is a first-name culture. We're talking specifically about pronouns. Honorifics are irrelevant.

I still use sir and ma'am a lot with clients - it just connotes a sense of formality and respect that seems appropriate for business dealings, even though ma'am sounds so archaic and sexist when you think about it too much.

English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific for us to argue about.

The first thing I thought was: do Germans still use ‘gnädrige Frau’ (which is even more sexist)?  I only come across it in novels nowadays.  I don’t think it’s necessary to use any honorifics when talking to a person.  Or even the person’s name.  It’s usually obvious whom you’re talking to.
 
If you think English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific, you can call me ‘your excellency’ in future 😇

I’m not certain I’ve used the right smiley.  It’s supposed to be taken humorously not seriously without causing offence.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Friendly Angel on February 12, 2019, 08:06:47 PM
If you think English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific, you can call me ‘your excellency’ in future

I was thinking something like "gov'ner".

Although it would be an interesting challenge to get people to adopt to using second person pronouns with third person verb conjugations, does your excellency agree?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 08:22:31 PM
If you think English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific, you can call me ‘your excellency’ in future

I was thinking something like "gov'ner".

Although it would be an interesting challenge to get people to adopt to using second person pronouns with third person verb conjugations, does your excellency agree?

Well, it’s ‘you agree, they agree, he or she agrees’ so 2nd person pronouns have 2nd person verb conjugations.  ‘You’ is both singular and plural.  I don’t like ‘gov’ner’ or ‘governer’.  I have trouble governing myself, let alone others.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 12, 2019, 08:54:35 PM
Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz

Personally I stopped using patriarchal honorifics in the 80s. Australia is a first-name culture. We're talking specifically about pronouns. Honorifics are irrelevant.

I still use sir and ma'am a lot with clients - it just connotes a sense of formality and respect that seems appropriate for business dealings, even though ma'am sounds so archaic and sexist when you think about it too much.

English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific for us to argue about.

I would feel extremely uncomfortable if anyone ever called me "sir", regardless of the circumstances. It's just not commonly used any more. "Ma'am" even less.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 12, 2019, 09:18:25 PM
But does it happen?  I don’t have any experience with transgender persons, but if a person changes gender, going from male to female for example, isn’t that person identifying as female and wanting to be recognised as female, in which case ‘she’ would be the appropriate pronoun?  If the person wants to be referred to as ‘they,’ isn’t that person actually indicating a preference to being of non-binary gender?

Yes. It happens. Regularly.

All I’ve ever said is that ‘they’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identified gender...

Please explain how you readily identify someone's gender. To me, that sounds an awful like "assume".

and that if a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered desirable then one should be devised.

I know you never click on links I provide, but I have already explained that many nonbinary pronouns have been proposed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Alternatives_to_generic_he) over several decades, and none of them have entered common use. What makes you think any new one might?

It has been conflated with single non-specified generic persons of irrelevant gender (eg ‘anyone can succeed if they (not ‘he’) try’ is perfectly acceptable) and single specified persons of uncertain gender.  If I’m uncertain about the gender, my rule is not to use a pronoun.  Not to use ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘they’ as the default.  It’s never happened that I’ve been asked to use ‘they’ by a person.  It’s entirely hypothetical until it happens.  I doubt it will ever happen, because I don’t use social media.  Never have.  I used ‘she’ to refer to Rhea Butcher to be deliberately provocative on this very obscure website because I was asked (I wish I hadn’t), but I’m pretty certain that Rhea Butcher wouldn’t take any notice and wouldn’t be offended.

Your personal experience is irrelevant. There are many people who prefer gender neutral pronouns. If you refuse to use them, it is harrassment and abuse.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 09:27:32 PM
Do you address people with Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or Mz

Personally I stopped using patriarchal honorifics in the 80s. Australia is a first-name culture. We're talking specifically about pronouns. Honorifics are irrelevant.

I still use sir and ma'am a lot with clients - it just connotes a sense of formality and respect that seems appropriate for business dealings, even though ma'am sounds so archaic and sexist when you think about it too much.

English needs a good formal non-gender-specific honorific for us to argue about.

I would feel extremely uncomfortable if anyone ever called me "sir", regardless of the circumstances. It's just not commonly used any more. "Ma'am" even less.

When I was a surgical intern decades ago, I clerked for a very prim and proper female ophthalmologist Miss Bremner (surgeons in Australia and Britain are addressed with the ‘honorific’ ‘Mr’ - surgery is still heavily male dominated and riddled with sexism, alas) ((The American honorific of ‘Dr’ is much more sensible.)) (((It’s a worry that I can remember something that happened decades ago, but I can’t remember what happened last week.)))  As a surgical intern, you’re obliged to genuflect to your betters.  I called everyone ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 09:46:31 PM
arthwollipot,

A non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun hasn’t caught on, because the right one hasn’t been suggested.

I think the suggested German one of ‘dey’ (to rhyme with ‘they’ is a good one.  Language changes because people use the change.  If you think that there’s a need for a default non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then use ‘dey,’ and explain to people why you are doing it.

Using ‘they’ as the default is ugly and often ambiguous.  ‘Alex left the room carrying their laptop’ is both ugly and ambiguous.  Is Alex Alexander or Alexandra?  Is the laptop Alexs’ or someone else’s?

‘Alex left the room carrying deys laptop’ is much clearer.  It might sound a little odd at first, but with usage it will become easier.

When Australia went on the metric system decades ago, it was almost inevitable that ‘kilometre’ was going to be mispronounced like ‘thermometer’ instead of logically like ‘millimetre’ or ‘centimetre.’  It’s so common nowadays, it’s almost a shock to hear ‘kilometre’ pronounced correctly.  Although I still use the correct pronunciation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 12, 2019, 11:00:41 PM
Yes, you've made it clear that for you, a prescriptively correct grammar is more important than trans peoples' mental health.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 12, 2019, 11:55:44 PM
Yes, you've made it clear that for you, a prescriptively correct grammar is more important than trans peoples' mental health.

Well, we need a prescriptively grammar-correct non-ambiguous non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, and one should be devised.

English is a remarkably non-gendered language, and it’s getting better.  People can talk about the actors in a theatre company, and no one nowadays will fail to think that it includes both male and female actors (in Shakespeare’s days it was different.  Male adolescents took the female roles, and the actors were all male).

German in comparison is heavily gendered.  Der Schauspieler and die Schauspielerin are the male and female actors, and it’s mandatory to use the corresponding 3rd person singular pronouns of either er or sie.  And the possessive adjective sein or ihr.  And if the noun is neuter as in das Mädchen (the girl) es (it) and sein (its).  And then to avoid sexism, when referring to more than one actors of unspecified gender they have to use the clumsy die Schauspieler(innen).  Die Schauspieler are more than one male actors.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 12:16:18 AM
Yes, you've made it clear that for you, a prescriptively correct grammar is more important than trans peoples' mental health.

Well, we need a prescriptively grammar-correct non-ambiguous non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, and one should be devised.

You've already chosen one. All you have to do now is to get other people to use it. Good luck with that. Personally I won't be holding my breath.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 13, 2019, 05:30:03 AM
Yes, you've made it clear that for you, a prescriptively correct grammar is more important than trans peoples' mental health.

Well, we need a prescriptively grammar-correct non-ambiguous non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, and one should be devised.

You've already chosen one. All you have to do now is to get other people to use it. Good luck with that. Personally I won't be holding my breath.

I’ve been thinking.  The readership of the SGU forum is relatively liberal and possibly progressive.  How do you know that the general population shares your overdeveloped social conscience?   How do you know that the general population is happy to use ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ as appropriate?  Or that, being conservative, a considerable proportion of the population won’t oppose using the ‘singular they’ for ideological reasons?

Many people hearing or reading you using ‘they’ will possibly assume you’re being just ignorant or lazy (as I did).  If you use a special devised pronoun such as ‘dey’ if and when they query you about it, you could inform them and possibly raise social awareness.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 13, 2019, 07:59:08 AM
See.  I asked a very simple yes or no question and I got several paragraphs unrelated to the question.  Should I take that as a no?




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 13, 2019, 02:53:14 PM
See.  I asked a very simple yes or no question and I got several paragraphs unrelated to the question.  Should I take that as a no?




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

I wasn’t aware you were asking me a question.  I had to go back and reread your previous comments.  Was it ‘if a transgendered person asked me to use a particular pronoun, would I use it?’

It’s never happened.  I don’t use social media, never have.  I have very limited social contact.  I only comment on blogs such as this.  It’s a hypothetical situation.  But I think that people have exactly the same right to be referred to with a particular 3rd person singular pronoun in order to possibly increase their mental well-being as they do be described as highly intelligent or extremely talented, if asked by that particular person,  in order to possibly increase their mental well-being.

Would you describe a person as highly intelligent or extremely talented if asked by that person?

My answer would be no to both questions.

In such hypothetical situations, if I were commenting on transgendered persons, I wouldn’t use the preferred pronoun.  I’d use some other formulation to avoid using a pronoun.  But I would also attempt to be respectful.  In the same way, I wouldn’t call a person highly intelligent or extremely talented, if I didn’t think that was the case.  But I also wouldn’t call that person a stupid  klutz (notice that I haven’t used a ‘he’ or ‘she’).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 13, 2019, 03:57:45 PM

I was thinking something like "gov'ner".

A London cabbie called me gov’nr once. I found it quite amusing. I wondered at the time whether they just do that for obvious tourists, or if it’s the norm. I still don’t know.


I would feel extremely uncomfortable if anyone ever called me "sir", regardless of the circumstances. It's just not commonly used any more. "Ma'am" even less.

I get called Sir rather often. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fart. It doesn’t bother me, other than reminding me how old I am.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 13, 2019, 05:24:49 PM

I was thinking something like "gov'ner".

A London cabbie called me gov’nr once. I found it quite amusing. I wondered at the time whether they just do that for obvious tourists, or if it’s the norm. I still don’t know.


I would feel extremely uncomfortable if anyone ever called me "sir", regardless of the circumstances. It's just not commonly used any more. "Ma'am" even less.

I get called Sir rather often. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fart. It doesn’t bother me, other than reminding me how old I am.
I assume its more to do with where you are.

Its quite impolite to refer to someone by honorifics where I come from. People make an exception and always call medical doctors by their title, but outside the surgery, the ones who arent arseholes (seems harsh, but again, different local standards) tell you to call them by their first name.

For perspective, people here refer to the president by his first name and initial. Though funnily our first two female presidents were given honorifics in everyday conversation.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 13, 2019, 07:47:43 PM

I was thinking something like "gov'ner".

A London cabbie called me gov’nr once. I found it quite amusing. I wondered at the time whether they just do that for obvious tourists, or if it’s the norm. I still don’t know.


I would feel extremely uncomfortable if anyone ever called me "sir", regardless of the circumstances. It's just not commonly used any more. "Ma'am" even less.

I get called Sir rather often. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fart. It doesn’t bother me, other than reminding me how old I am.
I assume its more to do with where you are.

Its quite impolite to refer to someone by honorifics where I come from. People make an exception and always call medical doctors by their title, but outside the surgery, the ones who arent arseholes (seems harsh, but again, different local standards) tell you to call them by their first name.

For perspective, people here refer to the president by his first name and initial. Though funnily our first two female presidents were given honorifics in everyday conversation.

I don’t mind being called Mr, although I find it odd.  I usually ask to be called by my first name (not ‘Christian’ name, I don’t have one).  I don’t think it’s impolite though.  It shows a little respect.  Or at least the attempted imitation of respect.

Australia doctors with a surgical specialisation (except for gynaecologists) are called Mr - and they regard it as an insult to be called Dr.  When  I was a surgical intern decades ago, I clerked for a female ophthalmologist, and she was ‘Miss Bremner.’  It is a worry that I can remember what I did 40 years ago, but I can’t remember what I did last week.  Sometimes I wonder how I remember to get up each morning.  I can remember inflicting the goniomter on all my patients, which is a crude device for measuring intraocular pressure as a screening test for glaucoma (currently there are simpler non-invasive methods).

I often get called Dr, although I have to point that I’m not entitled to that honorific, having been struck off the medical registry, twice (to indicate my importance).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on February 13, 2019, 08:02:50 PM
bachfiend:  If a transgendered person requested that you use the pronouns 'they/them' would you do so?  If the answer is yes, then I have no quarrel with you.

I wasn’t aware you were asking me a question.

HAHAHAHA!

Hm. I think last time I actively mocked and derided someone for open bigotry I got a warning. If that happens here it will be my second.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 13, 2019, 08:26:41 PM
Any time anyone calls me by my last name (which is always preceded by “Mr.”) I ask them to call me Daniel. Or Dan or Danny if they want to, though I don’t use either of those. But “sir” is just a way to address a man whose name you don’t know.

In Spanish, a formal form of address would be señor, with or without a surname. Effectively, señor serves as both “Mr.” and “sir.” The result is that sometimes an uneducated Mexican who knows just a little English will address a North American as “mister” by itself. In English usage, walking up to someone and just calling him “mister” sounds slightly aggressive. But in Spanish it is ultra-polite to walk up to a stranger and address him with “señor.”
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Morvis13 on February 13, 2019, 08:49:48 PM
(https://i.redd.it/qcpkflc5veg21.jpg)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 13, 2019, 09:23:04 PM
bachfiend:  If a transgendered person requested that you use the pronouns 'they/them' would you do so?  If the answer is yes, then I have no quarrel with you.

I wasn’t aware you were asking me a question.

HAHAHAHA!

Hm. I think last time I actively mocked and derided someone for open bigotry I got a warning. If that happens here it will be my second.

I’m not offended.  I must have missed the question.  To repeat my hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question concerning a hypothetical situation which non-hypothetically would not happen, I wouldn’t use ‘they’ if requested, but I also wouldn’t use ‘he’ or ‘she.’  I’d be tempted to use my suggested ‘dey/deym/deys’ (rhymes with ‘they’) as non-gendered 3rd person singular pronouns/passive adjectives.  If spoken, it might be taken as ‘they’ in which case the person requesting would be happy.  Or if written, might think my Spellcheck isn’t working (or I’m an idiot, which saves time).  Or if it’s noticed, I’d just explain I’m trying to start a campaign for a non-ambiguous non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun.

I don’t set out to offend people.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 09:33:59 PM
I’ve been thinking.  The readership of the SGU forum is relatively liberal and possibly progressive.  How do you know that the general population shares your overdeveloped social conscience?   How do you know that the general population is happy to use ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ as appropriate?  Or that, being conservative, a considerable proportion of the population won’t oppose using the ‘singular they’ for ideological reasons?

Because this isn't the only community I interact with.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 09:36:47 PM
I don’t set out to offend people.

No, you just do it accidentally.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 13, 2019, 09:53:48 PM
I’ve been thinking.  The readership of the SGU forum is relatively liberal and possibly progressive.  How do you know that the general population shares your overdeveloped social conscience?   How do you know that the general population is happy to use ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ as appropriate?  Or that, being conservative, a considerable proportion of the population won’t oppose using the ‘singular they’ for ideological reasons?

Because this isn't the only community I interact with.

OK, provide some evidence.  From my reading of history, I know that when people start praising the merits of democracy, it’s because democracy has been discredited and is under threat.  The same with the use of the ‘singular they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun to avoid offending transgender and non-binary gender persons.  If it’s as widespread and accepted as you claim, then you wouldn’t be needing to defend it, you can just wait for me to die.

I think you’ll find that the conservatives who disagree with Safe Schools, and want it abolished,  won’t go along with you.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 10:55:25 PM
OK, provide some evidence.

I did. It's not my fault you didn't click on it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 13, 2019, 11:01:43 PM
OK, provide some evidence.

I did. It's not my fault you didn't click on it.

Well, post it again, and I’ll look at it again.  I’ve never been impressed by anything you’ve previously posted to bother commenting on it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 11:38:41 PM
OK, provide some evidence.

I did. It's not my fault you didn't click on it.

Well, post it again, and I’ll look at it again.  I’ve never been impressed by anything you’ve previously posted to bother commenting on it.

Not going to do your homework for you, mate. The Internet is full of references to people who use they/them as a first person pronoun. I'm sure you can stumble across some of them.

I will, however, repost this, because I think it's most critically important for you to understand:

http://www.robot-hugs.com/pronoun-etiquette/

In case you're unsure, Robot Hugs is created by a person who uses nonbinary pronouns. Specifically:

Quote
RH lives in Toronto and works in UX/IA.  They have a degree in Linguistics and a graduate degree in Information Studies. They identify as genderqueer non-binary and use gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they’ or ‘zie/zir’. Specifically, they identify as a non-binary genderqueer peoplequeer mentally ill non-monogamous kinky critical feminist robot.  Their hobbies include worrying, being concerned about things they can’t change, being angry, being uselessly angry, hiding from the world, and knitting.

Source: the About page (http://www.robot-hugs.com/about/).

So there's one person who uses they/them, talking about how to respect other people's pronoun choices.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 11:45:19 PM
Here's another person who uses nonbinary pronouns:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Soloway

Quote
Jill Soloway (born September 26, 1965)[2][3][4] is an American television creator, showrunner, director and writer. Soloway won the Best Director award at the Sundance Film Festival for directing and writing the film Afternoon Delight. They are also known for their work on Six Feet Under and for creating, writing, executive producing and directing the Amazon original series Transparent, for which they won two Emmys.[5]

Soloway is nonbinary and gender non-conforming, and uses gender-neutral singular they pronouns.[6][7]
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 11:46:53 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meg-John_Barker

Quote
Meg-John Barker (born 23 June 1974) is an author, speaker, consultant, and activist-academic. They have written a number of anti self-help books on the topics of relationships, sex, and gender, as well as the popular comic book Queer: A Graphic History, and the book The Psychology of Sex. They are the writer of the relationships book and blog Rewriting the Rules, and they have a podcast with sex educator Justin Hancock.

Barker is currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University in the United Kingdom with a focus on psychotherapy. Barker holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Nottingham, and is also a UKCP accredited psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy and relationship counseling.

Barker has written and/or edited some of the first academic collections on open non-monogamy, bisexuality, non-binary gender and BDSM. They were editor of the journal Psychology & Sexuality from 2010 to 2017, and lead author of The Bisexuality Report and the BACP document on Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity.

Barker's pronouns are singular they/them.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 13, 2019, 11:49:40 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Alabanza

Quote
Alabanza identifies as black, trans feminine, gender non-conforming, and uses the pronouns "they/them".[9][10] Alabanza speaks out for trans rights and the importance of safe spaces and communities for gender non-conforming and transgender people.[11]

...he said, doing bachfiend's homework for him. I'll stop there for now, but could go on if more evidence is needed.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 14, 2019, 12:22:16 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Alabanza

Quote
Alabanza identifies as black, trans feminine, gender non-conforming, and uses the pronouns "they/them".[9][10] Alabanza speaks out for trans rights and the importance of safe spaces and communities for gender non-conforming and transgender people.[11]

...he said, doing bachfiend's homework for him. I'll stop there for now, but could go on if more evidence is needed.

What the heck does a bunch of links to single specified people of readily identifiable (or perhaps not) gender have to do with my suggestion that there are many people in the general community who will refuse to use the ‘singular they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun, in order to possibly avoid offending transgender and non-binary gender persons?

I’m thinking of religious conservatives.  I’m certain Tony Abbott will disagree.  I’m pretty certain that Scott ‘stop the boats’ Morrison will also disagree, since both also opposed the innocuous Same Sex marriage proposal.

And you haven’t addressed my comment that if the ‘singular they’ is widely accepted as the default pronoun, then you wouldn’t need to harp on it so much.  I read this morning about Parkinson’s corrolary to Parkinson’s Law.  The law is that the work expands to fill the time available to it.  The corollary is apparently that the attention spent on a matter is inversely proportional to its importance.  The building of a nuclear reactor gets waved through, because it’s too big and complex to understand, but discussions whether to have full cream or hi-lo milk in the tearoom take hours, because everyone has opinions about milk.

This argument is a perfect example of the corollary, if it exists (and it should).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 14, 2019, 12:53:00 AM
Okay I admit to misreading you there, and answering a question that you didn't ask.

Yes, I'm sure that there will be tons of people out there who will oppose gender-neutral pronouns for reasons equally as spurious as your own. They're wrong too.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 14, 2019, 12:54:08 AM
And you haven’t addressed my comment that if the ‘singular they’ is widely accepted as the default pronoun, then you wouldn’t need to harp on it so much.

I never claimed that it was widely accepted as a default pronoun. I said that I was using it as a default pronoun, and that's all.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 14, 2019, 05:37:29 AM
Okay I admit to misreading you there, and answering a question that you didn't ask.

Yes, I'm sure that there will be tons of people out there who will oppose gender-neutral pronouns for reasons equally as spurious as your own. They're wrong too.

My reasons for not wanting to use ‘they’ as the non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily determined gender are not spurious.  I have always said that if one is considered desirable, another one should be devised.

But it’s a minor problem.  English is a relatively non-gendered language.  If you were a non-binary gender actor in Germany you’d have to choose whether you’re a ‘Schauspieler’ (male) or a ‘Schauspielerin’ (female) with the mandatory pronouns ‘er’ (he) or ‘sie’ (she) respectively.  Bullying and ridiculing of minorities and the vulnerable are much greater problems.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on February 14, 2019, 07:47:43 AM
In Norwegian we have the words "skuespiller" and "skuespillerinne", but it's quite common to say "kvinnelig skuespiller", "female actor". And in general, the gendered terms have been or are being phased out. Which usually means stop using the female version. Where "-mann" has been used in a gender neutral way, it could be changed to "-person", or a different word entirely.

I'm not sure why that wouldn't work just as well in German. A Schauspieler is someone who's doing a Schauspiel, "show play" or play. The term isn't intrinsically male.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 14, 2019, 10:45:17 AM
And you haven’t addressed my comment that if the ‘singular they’ is widely accepted as the default pronoun, then you wouldn’t need to harp on it so much.

I never claimed that it was widely accepted as a default pronoun. I said that I was using it as a default pronoun, and that's all.
Well...the reason its not common is because of transphobic/transerasing bigots.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 14, 2019, 03:35:00 PM
In Norwegian we have the words "skuespiller" and "skuespillerinne", but it's quite common to say "kvinnelig skuespiller", "female actor". And in general, the gendered terms have been or are being phased out. Which usually means stop using the female version. Where "-mann" has been used in a gender neutral way, it could be changed to "-person", or a different word entirely.

I'm not sure why that wouldn't work just as well in German. A Schauspieler is someone who's doing a Schauspiel, "show play" or play. The term isn't intrinsically male.

Yes, but in German, all nouns have gender.  ‘Der Schauspieler’ is a masculine noun, just like ‘der Tisch’ (the table).  Both take ‘er’ (he or it) as the 3rd person pronoun.    There is a German noun ‘der Spielmann’ (which actually means jester, not actor).  It could be modified to ‘die Spielperson’ (and have its meaning modified to mean actor of either sex), but ‘die Person’ is a feminine noun, and takes ‘sie’ (she).

When Germans are talking about actors of either gender they have to use ‘die Schauspieler(innen).’  ‘Die Schauspieler’ and ‘die Schauspielerinnen’ are more than one actors of male or female gender respectively.

To make things worse, there are some person nouns that are neuter, such as ‘das Mädchen’ (the girl) and ‘das Fräulein’ (the young woman), and both take ‘es’ (it).

German is hopelessly gendered.  It’s been suggested that ‘dey’ should be adopted as a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun referring to named persons, which I quite like.  It could be adopted in English quite easily, to be pronounced to rhyme like ‘they.’  It also doesn’t grate, unlike the other suggested replacements.  Even if it’s misheard by some people as ‘they,’ nothing is lost, since ‘they’ is being pushed as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identifiable gender.

By the way, since you’re Norwegian, do you understand Danish and Swedish?  How do they compare?  There was a discussion on another episode concerning how closely related standard German and Swiss German (or at least the many regional dialects) are.

Harry Black,

If ‘dey’ was adopted as the default 3rd person singular pronoun, I would grab it with joy, and use it in all cases.  It would save me from having to use clumsy constructions such as ‘he or she’ or (s)he.’  I still haven’t come across a non-binary gender person, but then I don’t live much in the real world, and don’t have much social contact.  I think ‘dey’ would be the perfect pronoun, not ‘they,’ which is ambiguous.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 14, 2019, 07:31:46 PM
Dey will not be adopted. Who are you even trying to communicate that preference to if, as you insist, you are so isolated from trans people? Do you expect us to go forward amd make your shitty case for you?
Your refusal to compromise your petty grammar standards makes you a bigot.
End of story.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Belgarath on February 14, 2019, 07:45:32 PM
Well, now I know all I need to know.  Thanks bachfiend, or as I will now think of you in my mind, 'Jordan B Peterson-lite'

You're quite the ass and I hope no transgender person ever encounters you.


Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 14, 2019, 08:43:27 PM
My reasons for not wanting to use ‘they’ as the non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily determined gender are not spurious.

Yes they are.

I have always said that if one is considered desirable, another one should be devised.

As I never tire of pointing out, many have been devised, and none of them caught on. If you want to use dey/dem, then I absolutely encourage you to do so. It's way better than default-male, and a lot easier to use than some other proposals. But don't expect anyone else to start using it just because you do.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 14, 2019, 10:05:44 PM
Well, if I insist on using ‘dey’ if I am hypothetically asked by a hypothetical transgender or non-binary gender person, when dey asks me to use ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she,’ will I be accused of being a transphobic bigot, then I’ll do it.

Languages have rules and an inner logic in order to communicate clearly.  One rule is that ‘they’ refers to two or more persons, if they’re specified.  And single unspecified persons (‘anyone can succeed if they try,’ not ‘anyone can succeed if he tries,’ - I don’t use ‘he’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun).

Many people object to the ‘singular they’ for single specified persons, and not because they’re conservative religious bigots.  ‘Kilometre’ has been widely mispronounced like ‘thermometer’ instead of ‘millimetre’ ever since the metric system was adopted in Australia decades ago, but there are still people in Australia who pronounce it correctly (rarely, it’s almost a shock to hear it pronounced correctly, logically).  And I insist on pronouncing it correctly.

Transgender and non-binary gender persons have much bigger problems than the choice of 3rd person singular pronouns, such as bullying and being ridiculed.

If I promise to hypothetically use ‘dey’ instead of ‘they’ when hypothetically asked will I continue to be slandered as a transphobic bigot?  If so, then that’s what I’ll do.  End of argument.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 14, 2019, 10:30:20 PM
In Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty said that he uses words as he pleases, and if he asks them to do extra duty he’ll pay them more. But real languages evolve naturally, and new words or new usages of old words catch on or not. It’s rare that someone sets out to create a word and it catches on, and when it does, it’s generally because the person who uses it is in some position of respect in a field, or is popular for some reason. I don’t think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting “dey” adopted, and as it comes from German I wouldn’t even use it myself.

Bachfiend, I get it that you don’t like using “they” as a singular. The curmudgeon in me doesn’t like it either. But we’re a couple of old farts and the world is going to leave us behind regardless, and sooner if we insist on clinging to yesterday’s grammar, which, note, was itself new and rebellious at one time.

These young whippersnappers are ruining the grammar of our beloved 1950’s English, but there are fights to fight and fights to decline gracefully. I respectfully submit that “they” is not worth fighting over.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 14, 2019, 10:58:31 PM
In Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty said that he uses words as he pleases, and if he asks them to do extra duty he’ll pay them more. But real languages evolve naturally, and new words or new usages of old words catch on or not. It’s rare that someone sets out to create a word and it catches on, and when it does, it’s generally because the person who uses it is in some position of respect in a field, or is popular for some reason. I don’t think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting “dey” adopted, and as it comes from German I wouldn’t even use it myself.

Bachfiend, I get it that you don’t like using “they” as a singular. The curmudgeon in me doesn’t like it either. But we’re a couple of old farts and the world is going to leave us behind regardless, and sooner if we insist on clinging to yesterday’s grammar, which, note, was itself new and rebellious at one time.

These young whippersnappers are ruining the grammar of our beloved 1950’s English, but there are fights to fight and fights to decline gracefully. I respectfully submit that “they” is not worth fighting over.

I agree with you on many things.  And I make a point of reading your comments carefully because you often give me interesting ideas.  This isn’t one of them.  I won’t decline the fight against the ‘singular they’ being used for single specified persons, the mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ like ‘thermometer,’ and ‘it’s me’ instead of ‘it is I.’  There are many old farts pedants such as I around who object to the degradation of the glorious English language.  Insisting on ‘it is I’ isn’t just pedantry. I was impressed that JK Rowling used ‘it is I’ in one of her Harry Potter novels, and in dialogue too.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 14, 2019, 11:44:11 PM
I agree with you on many things.  And I make a point of reading your comments carefully because you often give me interesting ideas.  This isn’t one of them.  I won’t decline the fight against the ‘singular they’ being used for single specified persons, the mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ like ‘thermometer,’ and ‘it’s me’ instead of ‘it is I.’  There are many old farts pedants such as I around who object to the degradation of the glorious English language.  Insisting on ‘it is I’ isn’t just pedantry. I was impressed that JK Rowling used ‘it is I’ in one of her Harry Potter novels, and in dialogue too.

Like I said, spurious. The "degradation of the glorious English language"? Give me a break. The English language has never been glorious. It's a chaotic mishmash of other languages, and always has been. English is like three languages standing on each others' shoulders wearing a trenchcoat. Except it's more like thirty, and it's changing all the time. Opposing change on the basis of "I liked it better the way it used to be" is the very definition of spurious.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 12:01:09 AM
I agree with you on many things.  And I make a point of reading your comments carefully because you often give me interesting ideas.  This isn’t one of them.  I won’t decline the fight against the ‘singular they’ being used for single specified persons, the mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ like ‘thermometer,’ and ‘it’s me’ instead of ‘it is I.’  There are many old farts pedants such as I around who object to the degradation of the glorious English language.  Insisting on ‘it is I’ isn’t just pedantry. I was impressed that JK Rowling used ‘it is I’ in one of her Harry Potter novels, and in dialogue too.

Like I said, spurious. The "degradation of the glorious English language"? Give me a break. The English language has never been glorious. It's a chaotic mishmash of other languages, and always has been. English is like three languages standing on each others' shoulders wearing a trenchcoat. Except it's more like thirty, and it's changing all the time. Opposing change on the basis of "I liked it better the way it used to be" is the very definition of spurious.

‘Glorious’ as in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which actually wasn’t glorious, but made the world as it is, including monarchs not having control of national armies and the modern banking system.  Which, as the Royal Commission has shown, is becoming broken in Australia.  Change for change’s sake isn’t progress.  Some change is just window-dressing and don’t address the real problems, which is bullying and ridiculing of vulnerable minorities.  Some change needs to be opposed until better changes become apparent.

But anyhow.  Will you stop slandering me as a transphobic bigot if I promise to use ‘dey’ if I’m hypothetically asked to use ‘they?’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 15, 2019, 12:25:16 AM
‘Glorious’ as in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which actually wasn’t glorious, but made the world as it is, including monarchs not having control of national armies and the modern banking system.  Which, as the Royal Commission has shown, is becoming broken in Australia.  Change for change’s sake isn’t progress.  Some change is just window-dressing and don’t address the real problems, which is bullying and ridiculing of vulnerable minorities.  Some change needs to be opposed until better changes become apparent.

But anyhow.  Will you stop slandering me as a transphobic bigot if I promise to use ‘dey’ if I’m hypothetically asked to use ‘they?’

Using preferred pronouns isn't change for change's sake. It's progress. It corrects an institutionalised injustice and reduces harm by increasing social acceptance and inclusion. If you want to reduce the bullying and ridiculing of vulnerable minorities, accepting someone's preferred pronoun is a great way to start.

"Dey" is fine, mostly. But if in some hypothetical future you use "dey" and someone says "excuse me, I prefer they, rather than some random made-up pronoun" will you comply with their wishes? If not, then we haven't made any progress at all.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 12:49:18 AM
‘Glorious’ as in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which actually wasn’t glorious, but made the world as it is, including monarchs not having control of national armies and the modern banking system.  Which, as the Royal Commission has shown, is becoming broken in Australia.  Change for change’s sake isn’t progress.  Some change is just window-dressing and don’t address the real problems, which is bullying and ridiculing of vulnerable minorities.  Some change needs to be opposed until better changes become apparent.

But anyhow.  Will you stop slandering me as a transphobic bigot if I promise to use ‘dey’ if I’m hypothetically asked to use ‘they?’

Using preferred pronouns isn't change for change's sake. It's progress. It corrects an institutionalised injustice and reduces harm by increasing social acceptance and inclusion. If you want to reduce the bullying and ridiculing of vulnerable minorities, accepting someone's preferred pronoun is a great way to start.

"Dey" is fine, mostly. But if in some hypothetical future you use "dey" and someone says "excuse me, I prefer they, rather than some random made-up pronoun" will you comply with their wishes? If not, then we haven't made any progress at all.  And as part of a campaign to get a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun that’s not ‘they.’

Hypothetically, ‘no.’  I’d explain that I’m trying to be gender neutral, but that using ‘they’ for a single specified person offends my old fartedness pedantry, and I’m using ‘dey’ as a compromise so as to not offend both of us.

Would you use ‘he’ to refer to me, if I asked?  Would you use ‘Mz’ formally in addressing a person?  Would you use Mr to refer to me if I asked?Yesterday I received  letter addressed to Mr Wayne R..., so honorifics are still used.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 15, 2019, 01:31:56 AM
Hypothetically, ‘no.’  I’d explain that I’m trying to be gender neutral, but that using ‘they’ for a single specified person offends my old fartedness pedantry, and I’m using ‘dey’ as a compromise so as to not offend both of us.

Most people would accept that, but there are some who wouldn't. They'd ask you, politely at first, to please respect their wishes.

Would you use ‘he’ to refer to me, if I asked?  Would you use ‘Mz’ formally in addressing a person?  Would you use Mr to refer to me if I asked?Yesterday I received  letter addressed to Mr Wayne R..., so honorifics are still used.

If you asked me to address you as Mr, then yes absolutely I would. Not doing so would be rude. My own pronouns are he/him, so it doesn't come up much for me, but I will always respect someone's pronoun choice, because not doing so would be rude.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 15, 2019, 08:16:31 AM
Not respecting someones gender pronoun preferences is not just rude, it is transphobic.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 15, 2019, 09:14:27 AM
In Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty said that he uses words as he pleases, and if he asks them to do extra duty he’ll pay them more. But real languages evolve naturally, and new words or new usages of old words catch on or not. It’s rare that someone sets out to create a word and it catches on, and when it does, it’s generally because the person who uses it is in some position of respect in a field, or is popular for some reason. I don’t think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting “dey” adopted, and as it comes from German I wouldn’t even use it myself.

Bachfiend, I get it that you don’t like using “they” as a singular. The curmudgeon in me doesn’t like it either. But we’re a couple of old farts and the world is going to leave us behind regardless, and sooner if we insist on clinging to yesterday’s grammar, which, note, was itself new and rebellious at one time.

These young whippersnappers are ruining the grammar of our beloved 1950’s English, but there are fights to fight and fights to decline gracefully. I respectfully submit that “they” is not worth fighting over.

I agree with you on many things.  And I make a point of reading your comments carefully because you often give me interesting ideas.  This isn’t one of them.  I won’t decline the fight against the ‘singular they’ being used for single specified persons, the mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ like ‘thermometer,’ and ‘it’s me’ instead of ‘it is I.’  There are many old farts pedants such as I around who object to the degradation of the glorious English language.  Insisting on ‘it is I’ isn’t just pedantry. I was impressed that JK Rowling used ‘it is I’ in one of her Harry Potter novels, and in dialogue too.

And I agree with you on many things also. Including the proper use of “me” and “I” and I, too, give J.K. Rowland props for correct usage of me and I, and for correct English usage generally (though I thought her books were only mediocre otherwise, and she was a damn Luddite for resisting for so long allowing her books to be made available without the use of dead trees.)

But the singular “they” is already a lost fight, and is actually justified since English lacks a non-gendered singular personal pronoun.

And I will continue to rhyme kilometer with thermometer to the end of my days.

BTW, some gender nonconforming people prefer “it” as their personal pronoun of choice, and while that usage grates terribly on my ears, I will use it for people who request it. I do wish that English had a suitable pronoun, but it doesn’t, and there is a large class of people who have been so abused and so trodden on that by any standards of decency they deserve to be recognized by whatever grammatical convention(s) they choose.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Billzbub on February 15, 2019, 12:28:32 PM
As to bachfiend's question about the use of they outside of this forum, I did just have corporate training that specifically said to use they if he person wants or else it can be considered harassment.  This was mandatory training for our whole corporation of 38000 people.  I'd say that's fairly mainstream.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 01:25:53 PM
In Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty said that he uses words as he pleases, and if he asks them to do extra duty he’ll pay them more. But real languages evolve naturally, and new words or new usages of old words catch on or not. It’s rare that someone sets out to create a word and it catches on, and when it does, it’s generally because the person who uses it is in some position of respect in a field, or is popular for some reason. I don’t think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting “dey” adopted, and as it comes from German I wouldn’t even use it myself.

Bachfiend, I get it that you don’t like using “they” as a singular. The curmudgeon in me doesn’t like it either. But we’re a couple of old farts and the world is going to leave us behind regardless, and sooner if we insist on clinging to yesterday’s grammar, which, note, was itself new and rebellious at one time.

These young whippersnappers are ruining the grammar of our beloved 1950’s English, but there are fights to fight and fights to decline gracefully. I respectfully submit that “they” is not worth fighting over.

I agree with you on many things.  And I make a point of reading your comments carefully because you often give me interesting ideas.  This isn’t one of them.  I won’t decline the fight against the ‘singular they’ being used for single specified persons, the mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ like ‘thermometer,’ and ‘it’s me’ instead of ‘it is I.’  There are many old farts pedants such as I around who object to the degradation of the glorious English language.  Insisting on ‘it is I’ isn’t just pedantry. I was impressed that JK Rowling used ‘it is I’ in one of her Harry Potter novels, and in dialogue too.

And I agree with you on many things also. Including the proper use of “me” and “I” and I, too, give J.K. Rowland props for correct usage of me and I, and for correct English usage generally (though I thought her books were only mediocre otherwise, and she was a damn Luddite for resisting for so long allowing her books to be made available without the use of dead trees.)

But the singular “they” is already a lost fight, and is actually justified since English lacks a non-gendered singular personal pronoun.

And I will continue to rhyme kilometer with thermometer to the end of my days.

BTW, some gender nonconforming people prefer “it” as their personal pronoun of choice, and while that usage grates terribly on my ears, I will use it for people who request it. I do wish that English had a suitable pronoun, but it doesn’t, and there is a large class of people who have been so abused and so trodden on that by any standards of decency they deserve to be recognized by whatever grammatical convention(s) they choose.

This argument certainly illustrates Parkinson’s corollary to Parkinson’s law (if he’s actually the one who proposed it).  That the time spent on a discussion is in indirect proportion to the importance of the matter being discussed.  We’ve spent months arguing about a 3rd person singular pronoun, and haven’t once, not once, mentioned the real problems transgender and non-binary gender persons face everyday with bullying and ridiculing, and lack of official recognition.

It’s easy to get the socially active and the ones who can be bullied into using the ‘singular they.’  It’s not so easy to get the religious conservatives, other conservatives, old farts pedants (like me), and socially disinterested and isolated (also like me) to use it.

Would there be any objection if hypothetically I just didn’t use any pronoun if I were hypothetically asked to use either ‘they’ or ‘it?’  I think that people have exactly the same right to insist on a particular pronoun to be used in reference to them as they do to have them described as highly intelligent or extremely talented.  Both might increase their sense of mental well being.  But they do have the right not to be referred to as stupid klutzes or be referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she.’

I agree with you on many things.  But you’re certainly wrong regarding JK Rowling.  She’s a brilliant writer.  And as Robert Galbraith, she’s (he’s?) also a brilliant writer.  I’ve read all her books many times.  I first got into her books via the German audiobooks, and then started to buy and read the English originals as they came out with ‘the Order of the Phoenix’ since the German translations at that time weren’t appearing simultaneously often with a delay of months (it’s different nowadays - you can get the German translation of a new Dan Brown on the same day - and Dan Brown is much much better in German than English).  I have all both the German and eBook versions.  And both German audiobooks (the first one illustrated how gendered German is - in the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ a minor character is referred to as ‘a Slytherin,’ and the German translator had to decide whether it was ‘ein Slytherin’ (male) or ‘eine Slytherin’ (female), and went for female.  This minor character was mentioned again in ‘the Half Blood Prince’ as clearly male, so the new German audiobook corrected it in the first volume.  And all the eBooks got corrected too.

Your mispronunciation of ‘kilometre’ illustrates the differences between American English and British (and Australian) English.  You spell it ‘kilometer (pity you also don’t use it).  Why don’t you logically pronounce ‘millimeter’ as ‘thermometer’ too?  Try it.  It doesn’t work.  Kilometre, millimetre and centimetre should be pronounced in the same way, as should thermometer, speedometer and barometer.  Logically the two groups of words should be pronounced differently.

As logically there ought to be different 3rd person pronouns for singular versus plural.  I don’t oppose a new non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun to be devised.  ‘Mz’ has been suggested to replace ‘Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms.’  So why can’t one be done with the pronoun?  I think the German ‘dey’ is a good option.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 02:16:54 PM
And I will continue to rhyme kilometer with thermometer to the end of my days.

As you should. Because they do  ;) Here with our lazy way of not stressing syllables and shortening words, kilometre ends up sounding like Klom-etta. Thermometer as fur-mom-etta
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 02:40:54 PM
And I will continue to rhyme kilometer with thermometer to the end of my days.

As you should. Because they do  ;) Here with our lazy way off not stressing syllables and shortening words, kilometre ends up sounding like Klom-etta. Thermometer as fur-mom-etta

No, he shouldn’t.  When I’m lazy, I shorten ‘kilometre’ to ‘kays,’ as in I walk the dog 4.5 kays each morning, and ‘kilogram’ to ‘kilo,’ as in I weigh 61 kilos (I don’t know what that is in £s).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 02:46:24 PM
And I will continue to rhyme kilometer with thermometer to the end of my days.

As you should. Because they do  ;) Here with our lazy way off not stressing syllables and shortening words, kilometre ends up sounding like Klom-etta. Thermometer as fur-mom-etta

No, he shouldn’t.  When I’m lazy, I shorten ‘kilometre’ to ‘kays,’ as in I walk the dog 4.5 kays each morning, and ‘kilogram’ to ‘kilo,’ as in I weigh 61 kilos (I don’t know what that is in £s).

I shorten kilometre to kays as well, but klometta is the way I pronounce it.

Like wens-day, instead of wed-nes-day or sat-dy, instead of sat-ur-day  ;)

I express my weight in €s instead of £s  ;D
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 02:57:40 PM
And I will continue to rhyme kilometer with thermometer to the end of my days.

As you should. Because they do  ;) Here with our lazy way off not stressing syllables and shortening words, kilometre ends up sounding like Klom-etta. Thermometer as fur-mom-etta

No, he shouldn’t.  When I’m lazy, I shorten ‘kilometre’ to ‘kays,’ as in I walk the dog 4.5 kays each morning, and ‘kilogram’ to ‘kilo,’ as in I weigh 61 kilos (I don’t know what that is in £s).

I shorten kilometre to kays as well, but klometta is the way I pronounce it.

Like wens-day, instead of wed-nes-day or sat-dy, instead of sat-ur-day  ;)

I express my weight in €s instead of £s  ;D

I hardly ever know the day of the week since I went on a permanent long weekend in 2010.  February 16 to be exact, when I turned 55 and could get my hands on my superannuation (today’s my Big One,’ see ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’).  I usually know Wednesdays, because it’s the day I forgot to put the rubbish bin out yet again.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 15, 2019, 03:06:23 PM
I hardly ever know the day of the week since I went on a permanent long weekend in 2010.  February 16 to be exact, when I turned 55 and could get my hands on my superannuation (today’s my Big One,’ see ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’).  I usually know Wednesdays, because it’s the day I forgot to put the rubbish bin out yet again.

Despite (all of) our differences here, Happy Birthday
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 03:15:59 PM
I hardly ever know the day of the week since I went on a permanent long weekend in 2010.  February 16 to be exact, when I turned 55 and could get my hands on my superannuation (today’s my Big One,’ see ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’).  I usually know Wednesdays, because it’s the day I forgot to put the rubbish bin out yet again.

Despite (all of) our differences here, Happy Birthday

Yeah, Happy Birthday.  8)

Sadly I won't see my super until I'm 67. In 10 years time.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 03:33:34 PM
I hardly ever know the day of the week since I went on a permanent long weekend in 2010.  February 16 to be exact, when I turned 55 and could get my hands on my superannuation (today’s my Big One,’ see ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’).  I usually know Wednesdays, because it’s the day I forgot to put the rubbish bin out yet again.

Despite (all of) our differences here, Happy Birthday

Yeah, Happy Birthday.  8)

Sadly I won't see my super until I'm 67. In 10 years time.

Thank Malcolm Turnbull for that.  Perhaps Scott ‘stop the boats’ Morrison in desperation might change it?  Although, if you don’t have enough superannuation, it mightn’t help.  I know a lot of people who think they’re going to have to work till they die.  Who have unrealistic expectations as to how much money they need for a comfortable retirement.

Do we really have major differences?  Besides the really, really, really important ones, such as the AFL team to support?  (Come on the Eagles).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 15, 2019, 04:14:27 PM
When you start pronouncing “ghoti” as “fish” I will consider pronouncing kilometer like millimeter.

Pronunciation guide for “ghoti”:
enough
women
attention

English pronunciation is not based on logic. If anything, it requires the abandonment of logic.

J.K. Rowling, being, I believe, an English teacher by profession, has very good writing style. She’s just not that great a storyteller. I will have to take your word for it that the German translations of her books are better than the English. I’ve not read any of her books published under the name of Robert Galbraith. I did enjoy the movie version of Fantastic Beasts, but that’s mainly because Eddie Redmayne is such a good actor, and the rest of the cast was excellent as well.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 04:42:02 PM
Thank Malcolm Turnbull for that.  Perhaps Scott ‘stop the boats’ Morrison in desperation might change it?  Although, if you don’t have enough superannuation, it mightn’t help.  I know a lot of people who think they’re going to have to work till they die.  Who have unrealistic expectations as to how much money they need for a comfortable retirement.

I'll be happy if I have 500K in my super by retirement. The claims (made by financial experts) of needing 1.5 million are ridiculous and are based on being fully self funded and living off investment returns.

Do we really have major differences?  Besides the really, really, really important ones, such as the AFL team to support?  (Come on the Eagles).

Go Tiges  ;D

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 04:43:55 PM
When you start pronouncing “ghoti” as “fish” I will consider pronouncing kilometer like millimeter.

Pronunciation guide for “ghoti”:
enough
women
attention

English pronunciation is not based on logic. If anything, it requires the abandonment of logic.

J.K. Rowling, being, I believe, an English teacher by profession, has very good writing style. She’s just not that great a storyteller. I will have to take your word for it that the German translations of her books are better than the English. I’ve not read any of her books published under the name of Robert Galbraith. I did enjoy the movie version of Fantastic Beasts, but that’s mainly because Eddie Redmayne is such a good actor, and the rest of the cast was excellent as well.

Actually, I wrote that the German translations of Dan Brown are better than the originals, not JK Rowling.  Dan Brown is a terrible story teller.  You can tell how bad a novel is going to be by whether the plot is obviously ridiculous by the end of the first chapter or the first page (his Australian rival Matthew Reilly manages to do that on the first page).

Basically, the plots of Harry Potter are ridiculous.  There many forms of transport, for example, which are introduced into each novel only for reasons of the storyline.  If you were able to dematerialise and instantly appear elsewhere, why wouldn’t you?

I thought the last ‘Fantastic Beasts’ (the screenplay being written by JK Rowling) was absolutely terrible.  It was just backstory with no real story or plot.  I was bored to tears.  I actually got out a book to read in the cinema.

JK Rowling is more concerned with personal relationships.  Writing as Robert Galbraith, she spends a lot of space trying to get into the minds of her characters.  Although, perhaps I should have used ‘they’ instead of ‘she,’ since she’s he’s they’re transgender.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on February 15, 2019, 04:55:08 PM
Do we really have major differences?  Besides the really, really, really important ones, such as the AFL team to support?  (Come on the Eagles).

Go Tiges  ;D


Carn the Pies!
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 04:55:27 PM
Thank Malcolm Turnbull for that.  Perhaps Scott ‘stop the boats’ Morrison in desperation might change it?  Although, if you don’t have enough superannuation, it mightn’t help.  I know a lot of people who think they’re going to have to work till they die.  Who have unrealistic expectations as to how much money they need for a comfortable retirement.

I'll be happy if I have 500K in my super by retirement. The claims (made by financial experts) of needing 1.5 million are ridiculous and are based on being fully self funded and living off investment returns.

Do we really have major differences?  Besides the really, really, really important ones, such as the AFL team to support?  (Come on the Eagles).

Go Tiges  ;D

Golly, I didn’t know you were that delusional.  I was shocked when they won their last premiership ending a decades long history of failure.  I once went to see a Sydney Swans versus Richmond match at the SCG when I was in Sydney decades ago for a conference.  It was memorable mainly for the errors both teams made, including a Swans and a Tiger player leaving the ground not through the interchange area, and as a result not being able to come on again.  Actually, I’m reminded that I should be worried yet again about my memory.  I can clearly remember what happened decades ago, but I’d forgotten that the Eagles stole won the last premiership by 5 points last September.  I’d thought it was 2 points.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 05:05:25 PM
I was shocked when they won their last premiership ending a decades long history of failure.

Not as shocked as me. I was resigned to the fact that I'd die never seeing another premiership after their last when I was just 18, in 1980.



Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on February 15, 2019, 05:08:42 PM
I was shocked when they won their last premiership ending a decades long history of failure.

Not as shocked as me. I was resigned to the fact that I'd die never seeing another premiership after their last when I was just 18, in 1980.

And when did I say the Tiges looked really good that year? Preseason?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 05:37:56 PM
I was shocked when they won their last premiership ending a decades long history of failure.

Not as shocked as me. I was resigned to the fact that I'd die never seeing another premiership after their last when I was just 18, in 1980.

And when did I say the Tiges looked really good that year? Preseason?

Yes, you did  8)

But us Tiger fans are used to the Tigers finding ways of grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory  ;)

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 15, 2019, 06:47:17 PM

I thought the last ‘Fantastic Beasts’ (the screenplay being written by JK Rowling) was absolutely terrible. ...

... Although, perhaps I should have used ‘they’ instead of ‘she,’ since she’s he’s they’re transgender.

Is there more than one “Fantastic Beasts”? If so, I’m thinking of the first one.

I didn’t know that J.K. Rowling is transgender. Note that not every trans person wants to be called “they.” Some (maybe most?) consider themselves to be either male or female (just not the one on their birth certificate) and want to have the appropriate pronoun used for them. But there are people who consider themselves to be neither male nor female.

Respect involves listening to people, not just making assumptions.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 07:40:39 PM

I thought the last ‘Fantastic Beasts’ (the screenplay being written by JK Rowling) was absolutely terrible. ...

... Although, perhaps I should have used ‘they’ instead of ‘she,’ since she’s he’s they’re transgender.

Is there more than one “Fantastic Beasts”? If so, I’m thinking of the first one.

I didn’t know that J.K. Rowling is transgender. Note that not every trans person wants to be called “they.” Some (maybe most?) consider themselves to be either male or female (just not the one on their birth certificate) and want to have the appropriate pronoun used for them. But there are people who consider themselves to be neither male nor female.

Respect involves listening to people, not just making assumptions.

It was actually tongue in cheek.  When JK Rowling set out to write her adult books starting with ‘Casual Vacancy’ (which I loved) she wrote it under the name Robert Galbraith, thinking that she’d been typecast as a children’s writer.  She also used ‘JK’ instead of ‘Joanne K’ thinking that boys wouldn’t read female authors.

It didn’t actually work.  One of her very loyal readers quickly realised, and publicised the fact, which is the reason why I read it.  But she is ‘transgender.’  She’s female, but became a male, wanting to be judged as a male.

I’m quite happy to call transgender persons whatever pronoun they want, provided it’s ‘he’ or ‘she.’  I’m not happy with ‘they.’  If a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered necessary, then one should be devised.  There are bigger problems, including bullying.  From my German perspective, English pronouns are a very, very minor issue.  Transgender and non-binary gender persons face much greater difficulties.

There are two films in ‘the Fantastic Beasts’ series.  Hopefully, the 3rd will be better.

My sister sent me this link this morning.  Enjoy:

https://vimeo.com/10898084

Sigh... they don’t write songs like that anymore.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 15, 2019, 07:48:50 PM
Writing books using a male (or at least gender neutral) pseudonym is not being transgender. Not even close.

It is sad that female authors and/or their publishers feel it will sell more books.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 15, 2019, 08:01:22 PM
Writing books using a male (or at least gender neutral) pseudonym is not being transgender. Not even close.

It is sad that female authors and/or their publishers feel it will sell more books.

It is sad.  And unnecessary.  I seek out female writers.  They provide a perspective I sometimes wouldn’t have considered.  I’m not bothered by people changing their gender identity.  I don’t feel threatened by it.  But I do feel threatened by people insisting that i use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun.  It offends my old fartedness pedantry.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 16, 2019, 10:36:10 AM
Writing books using a male (or at least gender neutral) pseudonym is not being transgender. Not even close.

It is sad that female authors and/or their publishers feel it will sell more books.

^This.

Concealing your gender in order to get a job or sell your works is not being transgender. A transgender person is someone whose gender is other than the one normally identified with the physiology they were born with. And while some transgender people feel that they are male or female (and may choose to use “he” or “she” pronouns) others feel they are neither male nor female, and for them both “he” and “she” pronouns are offensive and hurtful.

What you (Bachfiend) are saying is that you will respect the wishes of the first group, but will not respect the wishes of the second group because that would offend your sense of grammatical correctness. A sense rooted in a specific time period, which is slipping into the past and being replaced by a new grammar for the present time period, likely to continue for a generation until it, too, becomes archaic and is replaced.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: 2397 on February 16, 2019, 10:59:47 AM
If you release the same book under (only) a male name and (only) a female name, with synonymous titles, how long until people catch on?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 16, 2019, 02:13:38 PM
If you release the same book under (only) a male name and (only) a female name, with synonymous titles, how long until people catch on?

JK Rowling issued her Harry Potter books under JK Rowling, and her adult books starting with ‘a Casual Vacancy’ under Robert Galbraith.  Her very loyal readers quickly realised that based on writing style Robert Galbraith was actually a pen name for JK Rowling.  She’s continued to us the Robert Galbraith pen name with the 4 books (so far) in the Cormoran Strike series.  She released different books under different names.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 16, 2019, 02:29:36 PM
Writing books using a male (or at least gender neutral) pseudonym is not being transgender. Not even close.

It is sad that female authors and/or their publishers feel it will sell more books.

^This.

Concealing your gender in order to get a job or sell your works is not being transgender. A transgender person is someone whose gender is other than the one normally identified with the physiology they were born with. And while some transgender people feel that they are male or female (and may choose to use “he” or “she” pronouns) others feel they are neither male nor female, and for them both “he” and “she” pronouns are offensive and hurtful.

What you (Bachfiend) are saying is that you will respect the wishes of the first group, but will not respect the wishes of the second group because that would offend your sense of grammatical correctness. A sense rooted in a specific time period, which is slipping into the past and being replaced by a new grammar for the present time period, likely to continue for a generation until it, too, becomes archaic and is replaced.

This argument really, really illustrates Parkinson’s corollary to Parkinson’s law (I’m going to assume he really did state it) - that the time spent on an argument is in indirect proportion to its importance.

I don’t doubt that transgender and non-binary gender persons have it tough with lack of official recognition, lack of toilet facilities, bullying, ridiculing by peers and others, mobbing...  and not having people use their preferred pronouns, which varies from transgender and non-binary gender person to transgender and non-binary gender person.

Of all the problems they face, the choice of pronoun is very, very minor.  But progressives have apparently decided to make this very, very minor problem their sole concern, instead of addressing the major problems.

I’ll ask again.  If I’m hypothetically asked to use ‘they,’ and I hypothetically decline to use any pronoun, using some other formulation, where’s the problem?  If a hypothetical John Smith asks me to use ‘they,’ and I hypothetically just repeat John Smith’s same when hypothetically necessary, where’s the problem?  I don’t like ‘they’ as a singular pronoun, because it’s often ambiguous.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 16, 2019, 02:45:00 PM
Sure enough, there’s an article on page 4 of this morning’s ‘Sunday Age’:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/young-libs-accuse-party-vice-president-of-malicious-behaviour-20190216-p50y98.html

Not a mention of whether she’s being alleged using the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 16, 2019, 02:49:12 PM
I think you meant inverse proportion rather than indirect proportion. The less important a subject, the more time will be spent arguing it. However, some important subjects get a lot of discussion, and some unimportant subjects are quickly put to bed. So Parkinson’s law/corollary/whatever is more a vague “sometimes” than a law.

As for the ambiguity of “they,” language is chock-full of ambiguities. Personally, I’d see nothing too wrong with your suggestion of avoiding personal pronouns altogether, until someone realizes that you are treating them differently than you’re treating everyone else, and it begins to look as though you are uncomfortable with or in denial of their gender identity.

Personally, I share your feelings about using “they” as a singular, but I just don’t think it’s important enough to make a fuss over if it ends up shitting on people who are already being shit on and driven to suicide by people insisting they must be one of two genders, as established on their birth certificate.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 16, 2019, 03:27:44 PM
I think you meant inverse proportion rather than indirect proportion. The less important a subject, the more time will be spent arguing it. However, some important subjects get a lot of discussion, and some unimportant subjects are quickly put to bed. So Parkinson’s law/corollary/whatever is more a vague “sometimes” than a law.

As for the ambiguity of “they,” language is chock-full of ambiguities. Personally, I’d see nothing too wrong with your suggestion of avoiding personal pronouns altogether, until someone realizes that you are treating them differently than you’re treating everyone else, and it begins to look as though you are uncomfortable with or in denial of their gender identity.

Personally, I share your feelings about using “they” as a singular, but I just don’t think it’s important enough to make a fuss over if it ends up shitting on people who are already being shit on and driven to suicide by people insisting they must be one of two genders, as established on their birth certificate.

I take your point about ‘indirect.’  I did mean ‘inverse.’  ‘The exception proves the rule.’  What that means, is that all laws and rules have exceptions.  The existence of exceptions means that there’s a general rule or law applying in most circumstances.

Very, very minor problems get overdiscussed when people have strong, often irrational feelings about them.

I really can’t see that the very, very minor distress of my hypothetically not using any pronoun referring to a hypothetical person when hypothetically asked to use ‘they’ is going to drive that person to suicide, when that hypothetical person is hypothetically submitted to much worse injuries, which none of the progressives here have chosen to mention or address.

Pronouns are just an easy sop to conscience.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 16, 2019, 03:28:02 PM
Sure enough, there’s an article on page 4 of this morning’s ‘Sunday Age’:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/young-libs-accuse-party-vice-president-of-malicious-behaviour-20190216-p50y98.html

Not a mention of whether she’s being alleged using the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

One of the Liberals acting like an "holier than thou" asshat. Nooooooooo, I'm totally shocked :: Sarcasm ::   ::)

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 16, 2019, 04:27:57 PM
Sure enough, there’s an article on page 4 of this morning’s ‘Sunday Age’:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/young-libs-accuse-party-vice-president-of-malicious-behaviour-20190216-p50y98.html

Not a mention of whether she’s being alleged using the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

One of the Liberals acting like an "holier than thou" asshat. Nooooooooo, I'm totally shocked :: Sarcasm ::   ::)

To return to something that’s very, very important:

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/every-afl-list-rated-and-premiers-west-coast-are-seventh-20190215-p50y21.html

The Melbourne Age is completely delusional and has Richmond finishing top of the ladder at the end of the 2019 home and away season, ahead of Melbourne.  And my Eagles finishing 7th.  Which I don’t mind.  It would be the season I was expecting them to have in 2018.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Tassie Dave on February 16, 2019, 05:04:10 PM
Sure enough, there’s an article on page 4 of this morning’s ‘Sunday Age’:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/young-libs-accuse-party-vice-president-of-malicious-behaviour-20190216-p50y98.html

Not a mention of whether she’s being alleged using the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

One of the Liberals acting like an "holier than thou" asshat. Nooooooooo, I'm totally shocked :: Sarcasm ::   ::)

To return to something that’s very, very important:

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/every-afl-list-rated-and-premiers-west-coast-are-seventh-20190215-p50y21.html

The Melbourne Age is completely delusional and has Richmond finishing top of the ladder at the end of the 2019 home and away season, ahead of Melbourne.  And my Eagles finishing 7th.  Which I don’t mind.  It would be the season I was expecting them to have in 2018.

I agree with most of their assessments (Especially the Tigers on top  8) ), If Lynch can get over his injury we will effectively have the best offense, best mid-field and best defense in the AFL. Hard to argue them not being the best side being top in all 3 zones. We don't have the best ruck combination, but that is the least important position on the ground.

I don't think Essendon or Hawthorn will make the finals. I do think Geelong and possibly North Melbourne will.

I not only think God Coast will finish last, but will fail to win a game for the whole H&A season. Which has never happened in my lifetime.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 16, 2019, 06:06:04 PM
I think you meant inverse proportion rather than indirect proportion. The less important a subject, the more time will be spent arguing it. However, some important subjects get a lot of discussion, and some unimportant subjects are quickly put to bed. So Parkinson’s law/corollary/whatever is more a vague “sometimes” than a law.

As for the ambiguity of “they,” language is chock-full of ambiguities. Personally, I’d see nothing too wrong with your suggestion of avoiding personal pronouns altogether, until someone realizes that you are treating them differently than you’re treating everyone else, and it begins to look as though you are uncomfortable with or in denial of their gender identity.

Personally, I share your feelings about using “they” as a singular, but I just don’t think it’s important enough to make a fuss over if it ends up shitting on people who are already being shit on and driven to suicide by people insisting they must be one of two genders, as established on their birth certificate.

I take your point about ‘indirect.’  I did mean ‘inverse.’  ‘The exception proves the rule.’  What that means, is that all laws and rules have exceptions.  The existence of exceptions means that there’s a general rule or law applying in most circumstances.

Very, very minor problems get overdiscussed when people have strong, often irrational feelings about them.

I really can’t see that the very, very minor distress of my hypothetically not using any pronoun referring to a hypothetical person when hypothetically asked to use ‘they’ is going to drive that person to suicide, when that hypothetical person is hypothetically submitted to much worse injuries, which none of the progressives here have chosen to mention or address.

Pronouns are just an easy sop to conscience.

An example of how languages change: “The exception proves the rule” comes from an archaic saying, from a time when “to prove” meant “to test,” and not “to establish that <something> is correct.”

The way it is commonly used today is nonsense. An exception does not demonstrate that the rule is correct. An exception tests the rule. And in this case, the exceptions demonstrate that the rule is not correct. I will assert that there is no correlation between the length of a discussion and the importance of the topic. Rather, on the internet, any random topic is liable to generate unending argument.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 16, 2019, 07:25:44 PM
I think you meant inverse proportion rather than indirect proportion. The less important a subject, the more time will be spent arguing it. However, some important subjects get a lot of discussion, and some unimportant subjects are quickly put to bed. So Parkinson’s law/corollary/whatever is more a vague “sometimes” than a law.

As for the ambiguity of “they,” language is chock-full of ambiguities. Personally, I’d see nothing too wrong with your suggestion of avoiding personal pronouns altogether, until someone realizes that you are treating them differently than you’re treating everyone else, and it begins to look as though you are uncomfortable with or in denial of their gender identity.

Personally, I share your feelings about using “they” as a singular, but I just don’t think it’s important enough to make a fuss over if it ends up shitting on people who are already being shit on and driven to suicide by people insisting they must be one of two genders, as established on their birth certificate.

I take your point about ‘indirect.’  I did mean ‘inverse.’  ‘The exception proves the rule.’  What that means, is that all laws and rules have exceptions.  The existence of exceptions means that there’s a general rule or law applying in most circumstances.

Very, very minor problems get overdiscussed when people have strong, often irrational feelings about them.

I really can’t see that the very, very minor distress of my hypothetically not using any pronoun referring to a hypothetical person when hypothetically asked to use ‘they’ is going to drive that person to suicide, when that hypothetical person is hypothetically submitted to much worse injuries, which none of the progressives here have chosen to mention or address.

Pronouns are just an easy sop to conscience.

An example of how languages change: “The exception proves the rule” comes from an archaic saying, from a time when “to prove” meant “to test,” and not “to establish that <something> is correct.”

The way it is commonly used today is nonsense. An exception does not demonstrate that the rule is correct. An exception tests the rule. And in this case, the exceptions demonstrate that the rule is not correct. I will assert that there is no correlation between the length of a discussion and the importance of the topic. Rather, on the internet, any random topic is liable to generate unending argument.

No, it doesn’t.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_that_proves_the_rule

It’s meant ‘proves’ the rule, not ‘tests’ the rule for almost two thousand years.  An exception does prove that a general rule exists.  When I was learning German, I started off learning the rules for determining the gender of nouns (and all German nouns have gender - masculine, feminine or neuter, and take gendered pronouns), and then had to learn (the very long lists) of exceptions to the rules.  The exceptions prove that the rule exists, not that it’s false.

German gendered nouns and their mandatory gendered pronouns has given me the perspective that this kerfuffle regarding preferred pronouns in English, which is a relatively non-gendered language, really is just a storm in a teacup.  There are more important things to get worried about.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Harry Black on February 16, 2019, 08:56:08 PM
Sigh.
A- Lets let trans people themselves decide what they think is "very, very minor". My friends happen to get very upset about being misgendered and its a symptom of an overall culture that undervalues them and makes them acceptable targets of violence to many people.
B- Fallacy of relative privation.
You admit to being ignorant about trans issues so how the fuck would you know what people are putting their effort into and in what amount relative to other issues? You are putting as much or more effort into this "very, very minor" issue as anyone else.

Your priority if valuing your own comfort with percieved grammatical rules over the acceptance of trans identities make you a bigot. A transphobic bigot. Thats not slander, your own posts here are the evidence.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 16, 2019, 09:37:38 PM
I think you meant inverse proportion rather than indirect proportion. The less important a subject, the more time will be spent arguing it. However, some important subjects get a lot of discussion, and some unimportant subjects are quickly put to bed. So Parkinson’s law/corollary/whatever is more a vague “sometimes” than a law.

As for the ambiguity of “they,” language is chock-full of ambiguities. Personally, I’d see nothing too wrong with your suggestion of avoiding personal pronouns altogether, until someone realizes that you are treating them differently than you’re treating everyone else, and it begins to look as though you are uncomfortable with or in denial of their gender identity.

Personally, I share your feelings about using “they” as a singular, but I just don’t think it’s important enough to make a fuss over if it ends up shitting on people who are already being shit on and driven to suicide by people insisting they must be one of two genders, as established on their birth certificate.

I take your point about ‘indirect.’  I did mean ‘inverse.’  ‘The exception proves the rule.’  What that means, is that all laws and rules have exceptions.  The existence of exceptions means that there’s a general rule or law applying in most circumstances.

Very, very minor problems get overdiscussed when people have strong, often irrational feelings about them.

I really can’t see that the very, very minor distress of my hypothetically not using any pronoun referring to a hypothetical person when hypothetically asked to use ‘they’ is going to drive that person to suicide, when that hypothetical person is hypothetically submitted to much worse injuries, which none of the progressives here have chosen to mention or address.

Pronouns are just an easy sop to conscience.

An example of how languages change: “The exception proves the rule” comes from an archaic saying, from a time when “to prove” meant “to test,” and not “to establish that <something> is correct.”

The way it is commonly used today is nonsense. An exception does not demonstrate that the rule is correct. An exception tests the rule. And in this case, the exceptions demonstrate that the rule is not correct. I will assert that there is no correlation between the length of a discussion and the importance of the topic. Rather, on the internet, any random topic is liable to generate unending argument.

No, it doesn’t.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_that_proves_the_rule

It’s meant ‘proves’ the rule, not ‘tests’ the rule for almost two thousand years.  An exception does prove that a general rule exists.  When I was learning German, I started off learning the rules for determining the gender of nouns (and all German nouns have gender - masculine, feminine or neuter, and take gendered pronouns), and then had to learn (the very long lists) of exceptions to the rules.  The exceptions prove that the rule exists, not that it’s false.

German gendered nouns and their mandatory gendered pronouns has given me the perspective that this kerfuffle regarding preferred pronouns in English, which is a relatively non-gendered language, really is just a storm in a teacup.  There are more important things to get worried about.


The Wikipedia article confirms that “the exception proves the rule” does NOT mean that an exception to a rule demonstrates that the rule was correct. Many people use it that way and the article points out that they are wrong.

Since we were not discussing legislation, that whole portion of the article is irrelevant for our discussion. We were also not discussing scientific classifications of species.

We were discussing the proposition that internet discussions last longer the more trivial they are. This is not a “law” in the legislative sense. It is intended to be a truism, whereas I contend that it’s just completely wrong, and that there’s no correlation at all between the importance of topics and the length of the internet discussions around them. An exception to this “rule” is not a “proof” that the rule exists, it is rather a piece of evidence against the veracity of the “rule,” and a sufficient number of exceptions invalidate the “rule” entirely.

And as I said before, on the internet, all sort of topics are discussed ad infinitum, both trivial and consequential. Attempts to validate the “rule” rely on confirmation bias. If you want to believe the “rule” you can find an endless list of examples; but you are ignoring the equally endless list of counter-examples.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 17, 2019, 12:00:25 AM
I think you meant inverse proportion rather than indirect proportion. The less important a subject, the more time will be spent arguing it. However, some important subjects get a lot of discussion, and some unimportant subjects are quickly put to bed. So Parkinson’s law/corollary/whatever is more a vague “sometimes” than a law.

As for the ambiguity of “they,” language is chock-full of ambiguities. Personally, I’d see nothing too wrong with your suggestion of avoiding personal pronouns altogether, until someone realizes that you are treating them differently than you’re treating everyone else, and it begins to look as though you are uncomfortable with or in denial of their gender identity.

Personally, I share your feelings about using “they” as a singular, but I just don’t think it’s important enough to make a fuss over if it ends up shitting on people who are already being shit on and driven to suicide by people insisting they must be one of two genders, as established on their birth certificate.

I take your point about ‘indirect.’  I did mean ‘inverse.’  ‘The exception proves the rule.’  What that means, is that all laws and rules have exceptions.  The existence of exceptions means that there’s a general rule or law applying in most circumstances.

Very, very minor problems get overdiscussed when people have strong, often irrational feelings about them.

I really can’t see that the very, very minor distress of my hypothetically not using any pronoun referring to a hypothetical person when hypothetically asked to use ‘they’ is going to drive that person to suicide, when that hypothetical person is hypothetically submitted to much worse injuries, which none of the progressives here have chosen to mention or address.

Pronouns are just an easy sop to conscience.

An example of how languages change: “The exception proves the rule” comes from an archaic saying, from a time when “to prove” meant “to test,” and not “to establish that <something> is correct.”

The way it is commonly used today is nonsense. An exception does not demonstrate that the rule is correct. An exception tests the rule. And in this case, the exceptions demonstrate that the rule is not correct. I will assert that there is no correlation between the length of a discussion and the importance of the topic. Rather, on the internet, any random topic is liable to generate unending argument.

No, it doesn’t.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_that_proves_the_rule

It’s meant ‘proves’ the rule, not ‘tests’ the rule for almost two thousand years.  An exception does prove that a general rule exists.  When I was learning German, I started off learning the rules for determining the gender of nouns (and all German nouns have gender - masculine, feminine or neuter, and take gendered pronouns), and then had to learn (the very long lists) of exceptions to the rules.  The exceptions prove that the rule exists, not that it’s false.

German gendered nouns and their mandatory gendered pronouns has given me the perspective that this kerfuffle regarding preferred pronouns in English, which is a relatively non-gendered language, really is just a storm in a teacup.  There are more important things to get worried about.


The Wikipedia article confirms that “the exception proves the rule” does NOT mean that an exception to a rule demonstrates that the rule was correct. Many people use it that way and the article points out that they are wrong.

Since we were not discussing legislation, that whole portion of the article is irrelevant for our discussion. We were also not discussing scientific classifications of species.

We were discussing the proposition that internet discussions last longer the more trivial they are. This is not a “law” in the legislative sense. It is intended to be a truism, whereas I contend that it’s just completely wrong, and that there’s no correlation at all between the importance of topics and the length of the internet discussions around them. An exception to this “rule” is not a “proof” that the rule exists, it is rather a piece of evidence against the veracity of the “rule,” and a sufficient number of exceptions invalidate the “rule” entirely.

And as I said before, on the internet, all sort of topics are discussed ad infinitum, both trivial and consequential. Attempts to validate the “rule” rely on confirmation bias. If you want to believe the “rule” you can find an endless list of examples; but you are ignoring the equally endless list of counter-examples.

No (again).  ‘The exception proves the rule’ means that the exception proves the existence of the rule, not that having exceptions disproves the rule.  Having exceptions to a rule means that the rule is true in most cases.

Parkinson’s law is more of a rule than a law.  There are exceptions.  Parkinson’s corollary to Parkinson’s law is also a rule, and has its exceptions.  This multi-month argument about ‘they’ as a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun isn’t an exception proving the rule.  It’s a very good example illustrating the rule.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 17, 2019, 11:32:43 PM
If I didn't think it was important, I wouldn't be trying so hard to get you to change your behaviour for this long. In fact, your belief that it's not important is a big part of the problem.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 12:21:17 AM
If I didn't think it was important, I wouldn't be trying so hard to get you to change your behaviour for this long. In fact, your belief that it's not important is a big part of the problem.

Well, if I hypothetically ever had social contact with transgender or non-binary gender persons (which I don’t), or if I hypothetically visited transgender or non-binary gender websites or used social media (which I don’t), then hypothetically I might change my hypothetical behaviour to avoid hypothetical injury to transgender or non-binary gender persons by hypothetically declining to use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun, instead of hypothetically using other non-gendered formulations.

I regard the harm done to vulnerable minorities as a result of bullying,ridiculing, mobbing and the use of the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun isn’t much greater than the harm done to vulnerable minorities by bullying, ridiculing, mobbing and the use of the ‘right’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

You’re the perfect example of Parkinson’s corollary to Parkinson’s law.  Spending an inordinate amount of time on trivia and ignoring the important.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 18, 2019, 12:42:35 AM
You’re the perfect example of Parkinson’s corollary to Parkinson’s law.  Spending an inordinate amount of time on trivia and ignoring the important.

You don't know what I am or am not ignoring. Lots of things are important, and getting you to acknowledge one in no way means that other things aren't. And this is such a simple thing to fix, if only you would give up your slavish addiction to "proper" grammar.

How can I convince you that getting pronouns right is important?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on February 18, 2019, 01:24:31 AM
bachfiend, I really hope you reevaluate your position on gendered pronouns. I'm don't think you appreciate what an important issue this is, or how harmful your attitudes can be.

If you don't open yourself to learning about this stuff and changing your attitude, you risk looking back on things with a huge amount of shame and regret in 5-10 years. You also risk being the person that nobody wants at family holiday dinners because your ideas are embarrassing and offensive.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 05:38:50 AM
bachfiend, I really hope you reevaluate your position on gendered pronouns. I'm don't think you appreciate what an important issue this is, or how harmful your attitudes can be.

If you don't open yourself to learning about this stuff and changing your attitude, you risk looking back on things with a huge amount of shame and regret in 5-10 years. You also risk being the person that nobody wants at family holiday dinners because your ideas are embarrassing and offensive.

No, I won’t.  I’ll look back at it with pleasure.  And I’m actually the most liberal member of my family.

The fact that the LBGBT (or whatever) community can’t agree on a non-ambiguous non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun means it’s not generally regarded as important.  And doesn’t give some of them the right to steal ‘they’ and pervert its meaning.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 18, 2019, 09:22:57 AM
bachfiend, I really hope you reevaluate your position on gendered pronouns. I'm don't think you appreciate what an important issue this is, or how harmful your attitudes can be.

If you don't open yourself to learning about this stuff and changing your attitude, you risk looking back on things with a huge amount of shame and regret in 5-10 years. You also risk being the person that nobody wants at family holiday dinners because your ideas are embarrassing and offensive.

No, I won’t.  I’ll look back at it with pleasure.  And I’m actually the most liberal member of my family.

The fact that the LBGBT (or whatever) community can’t agree on a non-ambiguous non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun means it’s not generally regarded as important.  And doesn’t give some of them the right to steal ‘they’ and pervert its meaning.

No large group of people ever agrees on anything. In fact, if they didn't regard an issue as important, they'd come to an agreement more easily. It's when an issue is important that people argue long and hard. Which also disproves Parkinson. Note also that "important" is not a value that can be determined by science. What's important to Jill won't be important to Jack. Parkinson is using "important" as though it were an unambiguous quality. It is apparently of utmost importance to you that "they" not be used as a singular pronoun. To me it's somewhat important, but less important than people's feelings. And to a growing number of people, it's not important at all. But the entire construct of "Parkinson's corollary to Parkinson's law" collapses when you recognize that "important" is entirely subjective.

I would like people to conform their language usage to the grammar that I learned growing up. But when it comes right down to it, when it causes real human pain and anguish, then it's time to let go. It's time to let go of this one.

Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 12:56:41 PM
My argument is limited.

‘They’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identifiable gender.  The readily identifiable gender is important.  Most people want to be referred to as ‘he’ or she,’ and would probably object, albeit mildly, if they were referred to as ‘they’ when they’re being referred to singly and specifically.

If it’s considered important to have a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised.  The failure of transgender and non-binary gender persons (and their progressive running dogs) to agree on one doesn’t give them the right to steal ‘they,’ pervert its meaning and insist that everyone else uses it with its new meaning, else they’ll invoke the guilt card.

I’ve suggested using ‘dey’ as a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun.  Why not?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 18, 2019, 02:43:32 PM
My argument is limited.

‘They’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identifiable gender.  The readily identifiable gender is important.  Most people want to be referred to as ‘he’ or she,’ and would probably object, albeit mildly, if they were referred to as ‘they’ when they’re being referred to singly and specifically.

If it’s considered important to have a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised.  The failure of transgender and non-binary gender persons (and their progressive running dogs) to agree on one doesn’t give them the right to steal ‘they,’ pervert its meaning and insist that everyone else uses it with its new meaning, else they’ll invoke the guilt card.

I’ve suggested using ‘dey’ as a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun.  Why not?

There is no such thing as a person of "readily identifiable gender." There are people who have told you their gender or who have made their gender known publicly, and there are people whose gender you do not know. In the latter group, you may think you know, or you may be aware that you do not know. And of course there are situations where the individual is not specified, such as "a carpenter."

But there's nobody of readily identifiable gender. Just people who have revealed their gender to you and people who have not.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 04:22:12 PM
My argument is limited.

‘They’ should not be used as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for single specified persons of readily identifiable gender.  The readily identifiable gender is important.  Most people want to be referred to as ‘he’ or she,’ and would probably object, albeit mildly, if they were referred to as ‘they’ when they’re being referred to singly and specifically.

If it’s considered important to have a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised.  The failure of transgender and non-binary gender persons (and their progressive running dogs) to agree on one doesn’t give them the right to steal ‘they,’ pervert its meaning and insist that everyone else uses it with its new meaning, else they’ll invoke the guilt card.

I’ve suggested using ‘dey’ as a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun.  Why not?

There is no such thing as a person of "readily identifiable gender." There are people who have told you their gender or who have made their gender known publicly, and there are people whose gender you do not know. In the latter group, you may think you know, or you may be aware that you do not know. And of course there are situations where the individual is not specified, such as "a carpenter."

But there's nobody of readily identifiable gender. Just people who have revealed their gender to you and people who have not.

Yes, there are.  Arthwollipot is of readily identifiable male gender, since he has an image of himself as a male (unless he wants to be identified as male, and I’m quite happy to go along with that).  As is CarbShark who used to have as his signature the claim that he’s just a guy who’s done a non-metric tonne of research on diet and nutrition until this storm on a teacup started and he changed it to someone.

I’m more circumspect when I’m not certain as to the gender of the person concerned.  When it’s a generic person or a person not of readily identifiable gender.  Or if hypothetically I’m asked by a hypothetical person to use a particular pronoun (it’s never happened, although arthwollipot once did ask for me to use ‘they’ to refer to him, but I refused, since he was obviously staging - he’s not transgender or of non-binary gender.  If he was, he could give a very interesting and illuminating perspective).  But I won’t use ‘he’ or ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun.

German doesn’t have this problem with gender, since it’s riddled with gender.  ‘Carpenter’ is ‘Zimmermann,’ which is masculine and takes ‘er’ (he).  I’m not certain if there’s a feminine equivalent - it should be ‘Zimmerfrau,’ but that has a different meaning of landlady (the female equivalent of landlord).  There’s a female sports journalist with the family name of Zimmermann, who has the domain address of @zimmerfrau .  German is hyperconcerned with gender unlike English.  When referring to a particularly person, it’s often ‘die Zimmermann,’ indicating that it’s a female not a male with the name of Zimmermann.

German names often mean something as they do in English too.  John Carpenter is an American film director (I was hoping that he’s dead, since I looked up his biography to check, and I found that ‘Memoirs of an Invisible Man’ was one of his films.  As was ‘Vampires,’ which apparently is now a cult film - there’s no accounting for taste).
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 18, 2019, 08:19:57 PM
As I said, there's no such thing as a person of readily identifiable gender, unless they have made their gender public or confided it in you.

ETA: And German is irrelevant when discussing English grammar. You'd like English to be more like German. I'm glad it isn't. Not relevant to this discussion.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 09:23:15 PM
As I said, there's no such thing as a person of readily identifiable gender, unless they have made their gender public or confided it in you.

ETA: And German is irrelevant when discussing English grammar. You'd like English to be more like German. I'm glad it isn't. Not relevant to this discussion.

I mention German, because it gives me a perspective on English pronouns.  Compared to other languages, English is remarkably ungendered.  Some languages have gendered 2nd person singular pronouns.  Some languages have even gendered 1st person singular (even if not pronouns at least) verb endings.

If English had gendered 1st and 2nd person singular pronouns, then transgender and non-binary gender persons would have reasons to complain.  Being forced to use ‘we’ instead of a gendered ‘I’ or being insulted by having other people address them by the pronoun for the wrong gender.

But English doesn’t have them.  Transgender and non-binary gender persons have much to complain about, but having someone refer to them with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun on the Internet is very much the very least of them.

And despite your repeated many statements, almost everyone are single specified persons of readily identified gender.  Almost everyone you meet on the street are of readily identified gender on first glance.  Humans are very good at doing that.  If a person can’t do that, then it’s an indication that the person is being rude and not paying attention.  Actually, this reminds me of an event I once observed.  I was waiting to board a British Airways flight at Heathrow to Oslo, and someone I think a Nigerian in colourful national dress, had gone to the wrong gate.  The rather harassed boarding agent didn’t look up and addressed the passenger as a woman (having seen only the colourful national dress, before looking up and realising that she was wrong (it was obvious at one glance that the passenger was male - the beard sort of gave it away).

If you can identify a person’s gender, then use the appropriate gender.  If you can’t identify the person’s gender (or it’s a generic person), be more circumspect.

Anyone can succeed if they try is correct because anyone is of non-identified gender and generic.  John Smith can succeed if they try is incorrect because it’s ambiguous.  John Smith can succeed because other people try?  It’s better to write John Smith can succeed if he tries.  John Smith is a single specified person of male gender, and he (not someone else) needs to try.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 18, 2019, 09:28:27 PM
If you're basing your behaviour on "readily identifiable gender" then you are going to misgender someone. Absolutely, 100%. There are women who are "readily identifiable" as men, and men who are "readily identifiable" as women. And you are going to misgender them by making assumptions on the basis of their appearance, which is about the worst thing you can do. John is not an exclusively male name - no name is - and you have just misgendered every woman named John.

Sticking your head in the sand and saying "oh, I never run into trans people" is not going to help, because I absolutely guarantee that either you have and you just haven't known it, or you will. Unless you seal yourself into a box for the rest of your life, in which case you can do whatever the fuck you like.

And by the way, saying "the LBGBT (or whatever) community" is incredibly disrespectful as well. It demonstrates that you don't give a shit about the members of that community, their concerns or their preferences. I mean, we know that, but this makes it clear. The initialism is LGBT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT). Four letters. It's not hard, and it'll get you by in most situations. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. If you want to be inclusive, add I for Intersex and/or Q for Queer and/or + for members of related communities. If you're going to refer to these communities at all, for the love of dog please don't be so incredibly rude as to say "or whatever".

You have a LOT to learn. Start learning some of it. Or seal yourself up in that box so that you don't damage anyone.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: brilligtove on February 18, 2019, 10:30:49 PM
Is this hate speech? Have we met the threshold yet?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 10:41:27 PM
If you're basing your behaviour on "readily identifiable gender" then you are going to misgender someone. Absolutely, 100%. There are women who are "readily identifiable" as men, and men who are "readily identifiable" as women. And you are going to misgender them by making assumptions on the basis of their appearance, which is about the worst thing you can do. John is not an exclusively male name - no name is - and you have just misgendered every woman named John.

Sticking your head in the sand and saying "oh, I never run into trans people" is not going to help, because I absolutely guarantee that either you have and you just haven't known it, or you will. Unless you seal yourself into a box for the rest of your life, in which case you can do whatever the fuck you like.

And by the way, saying "the LBGBT (or whatever) community" is incredibly disrespectful as well. It demonstrates that you don't give a shit about the members of that community, their concerns or their preferences. I mean, we know that, but this makes it clear. The initialism is LGBT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT). Four letters. It's not hard, and it'll get you by in most situations. It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. If you want to be inclusive, add I for Intersex and/or Q for Queer and/or + for members of related communities. If you're going to refer to these communities at all, for the love of dog please don't be so incredibly rude as to say "or whatever".

You have a LOT to learn. Start learning some of it. Or seal yourself up in that box so that you don't damage anyone.

Readily identifiable gender means that the person’s gender is easily identifiable.  Most people have readily identiable gender.  If I’m uncertain, I’m circumspect in my choice of pronoun.  But I don’t use ‘he’ or ‘they’ as default 3rd person singular pronouns.  Specified persons almost always have readily identifiable gender because it’s also specified.  Agreed - given names can be ambiguous. I used one earlier; Alex left the room carrying her laptop.

Are the authors who choose to use ‘she’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun, which is a common practice, wrong?

Agreed.  I live in a ‘box.’  I’m not interested in being a gender activist.  They can fight their own fight.  I have too many other concerns.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 10:46:34 PM
Is this hate speech? Have we met the threshold yet?

No.  What makes you think it is?  Transgender and non-binary gender persons face many problems, include bullying, ridiculing and mobbing.  Being referred to with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun almost always in the non-physical world of the Internet is very very trivial, and hardly justifies using ‘they’ as the default for everyone, regardless.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 18, 2019, 11:01:54 PM
Is this hate speech? Have we met the threshold yet?

No.  What makes you think it is?  Transgender and non-binary gender persons face many problems, include bullying, ridiculing and mobbing.  Being referred to with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun almost always in the non-physical world of the Internet is very very trivial, and hardly justifies using ‘they’ as the default for everyone, regardless.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/3s298sv3aevOC4fktQ/giphy.gif)

Misgendering pronouns is bullying. It is abuse, and it is harassment. And it happens in the real world, if anything, more than online. We have given you the evidence. How many times must we say it before you get the message?

At this time you are leaving me no choice but to label you not only a transphobic bigot, but a deliberately and maliciously transphobic bigot.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 18, 2019, 11:27:24 PM
Is this hate speech? Have we met the threshold yet?

No.  What makes you think it is?  Transgender and non-binary gender persons face many problems, include bullying, ridiculing and mobbing.  Being referred to with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun almost always in the non-physical world of the Internet is very very trivial, and hardly justifies using ‘they’ as the default for everyone, regardless.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/3s298sv3aevOC4fktQ/giphy.gif)

Misgendering pronouns is bullying. It is abuse, and it is harassment. And it happens in the real world, if anything, more than online. We have given you the evidence. How many times must we say it before you get the message?

At this time you are leaving me no choice but to label you not only a transphobic bigot, but a deliberately and maliciously transphobic bigot.

OK, you can do that.  You can do whatever you want.  But you’re wrong.  I’m not a transphobic bigot.  I’m just uninterested (or perhaps disinterested). I voted yes in the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite for much the same reason.  People can do whatever they want, provided it doesn’t cause real harm to others.

Undoubtedly I offend many Christians with my complete lack of belief in God and Their existence.  But it’s not real harm, so I don’t worry about it.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 18, 2019, 11:44:16 PM
OK, you can do that.  You can do whatever you want.  But you’re wrong.  I’m not a transphobic bigot.  I’m just uninterested (or perhaps disinterested). I voted yes in the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite for much the same reason.  People can do whatever they want, provided it doesn’t cause real harm to others.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CAUSING REAL HARM TO OTHERS.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 12:17:25 AM
OK, you can do that.  You can do whatever you want.  But you’re wrong.  I’m not a transphobic bigot.  I’m just uninterested (or perhaps disinterested). I voted yes in the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite for much the same reason.  People can do whatever they want, provided it doesn’t cause real harm to others.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CAUSING REAL HARM TO OTHERS.

No, it isn’t.  Or it is, but only hypothetically.  I only see around a handful of people during the day, and I only comment on websites such as this.  And i don’t use social media.  I admit I might be causing you harm, with your shouting, and getting your knickers in a twist, but you really need to chill out, else you’ll pop an aneurysm.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: fuzzyMarmot on February 19, 2019, 12:36:48 AM
OK, you can do that.  You can do whatever you want.  But you’re wrong.  I’m not a transphobic bigot.  I’m just uninterested (or perhaps disinterested). I voted yes in the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite for much the same reason.  People can do whatever they want, provided it doesn’t cause real harm to others.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CAUSING REAL HARM TO OTHERS.

No, it isn’t.  Or it is, but only hypothetically.  I only see around a handful of people during the day, and I only comment on websites such as this.  And i don’t use social media.  I admit I might be causing you harm, with your shouting, and getting your knickers in a twist, but you really need to chill out, else you’ll pop an aneurysm.
You just don't get it, bachfiend. Your isolation does not make your ignorance ok (out of charity, I'll assume it's ignorance and not transphobia). You have a lot of people who are trying to explain to you that your attitudes are retrograde and harmful. Please listen. It's really difficult to recognize one's own prejudices. That's why it is essential to take it to heart when external people point these out.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 06:37:10 AM
OK, you can do that.  You can do whatever you want.  But you’re wrong.  I’m not a transphobic bigot.  I’m just uninterested (or perhaps disinterested). I voted yes in the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite for much the same reason.  People can do whatever they want, provided it doesn’t cause real harm to others.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CAUSING REAL HARM TO OTHERS.

No, it isn’t.  Or it is, but only hypothetically.  I only see around a handful of people during the day, and I only comment on websites such as this.  And i don’t use social media.  I admit I might be causing you harm, with your shouting, and getting your knickers in a twist, but you really need to chill out, else you’ll pop an aneurysm.
You just don't get it, bachfiend. Your isolation does not make your ignorance ok (out of charity, I'll assume it's ignorance and not transphobia). You have a lot of people who are trying to explain to you that your attitudes are retrograde and harmful. Please listen. It's really difficult to recognize one's own prejudices. That's why it is essential to take it to heart when external people point these out.

Yes, but I am still going to use ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun just in case the person referred happens to be a transgender or non-binary gender person (most aren’t).  If there’s considered a need for a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun, then one should be devised.  The fact that one hasn’t been devised is an indication that one isn’t really necessary.

The belief that ‘they’ refers to two or more, not one and only one, is no more retrograde than the belief that one plus one doesn’t equal three.  I agree than transgender and non-binary gender persons have problems such bullying, mobbing and ridiculing.  The ‘wrong’ pronoun in comparison is very very minor and trivial.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 19, 2019, 10:40:43 AM
@bachfiend:

Most people display an apparent gender, and many of those are indeed the gender they appear. But unless a person has told you their gender, or made it public, you do not know if their apparent gender is their actual gender. Even a person with a beard, or a penis, or breasts (the latter two items might be visible on a nude beach) might be a transgender person who has not yet begun a transition process, or who for some reason is unable to transition. Or might identify as ungendered.

There are people out there who are transgender but have not yet transitioned, and so are not the gender they "obviously" appear to be. And you cannot know who they are unless they have told you or made it public.

Is this hate speech? Have we met the threshold yet?

I don't think this is hate speech because I am confident that it's not motivated by hate. I think that bachfiend is simply too stubbornly clinging to an arbitrary and archaic grammatical convention to recognize the real pain this causes to a segment of society, a segment that has been so marginalized that he still does not see them. FWIW, I was pretty much oblivious of trans people until fairly recently.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 02:51:45 PM
I’m not going to be blackmailed into using the very unsatisfactory 3rd person singular ‘they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun for all single specified persons, whether of readily identified gender or not, just because transgender and non-binary gender people have it tough, with cyber bullying, physical mobbing and ridiculing.

If a non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun is considered desirable, then one should be devised.  The fact that no agreement can be reached on one, indicates to me that the current situation, with the ‘wrong’ pronoun (either ‘he’ or ‘she’) being used can’t be that bad.  If the use of the ‘wrong’ pronoun is so bad, then compromise on another alternative should have been reached.  It wasn’t, but that doesn’t justify the ‘theft’ of ‘they’ and the perversion of its meaning.

Most people have readily identifiable gender.  The appropriate pronoun is either ‘he’ or ‘she.’  If I’m uncertain as to the person’s gender, I’m more circumspect, just repeating the person’s name or descriptor.  But I don’t use a default pronoun, such as ‘he’ or ‘they.’  Sometimes I use ‘(s)he’ or ‘he or she,’ but apparently that’s wrong, so I should stop doing that.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 05:00:12 PM
This morning’s Melbourne ‘Age’ has a timely article:

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cheating-navratilova-ignites-transgender-debate-as-tokyo-looms-20190219-p50ywk.html

Gay athlete and tennis player Martina Navratilova, with a transgender friend, is complaining about the advantages transgender athletes are gaining, by transitioning from male to female.  And she happily uses ‘he’ and ‘she’ to describe the transgender athletes, with not a ‘they’ in sight.

The non-gendered 3rd person singular pronoun ‘they’ is a non-issue, promulgated by activist progressives. 

I’m a liberal, not a progressive.  A liberal believes a person has the right to choose to do the ‘right’ ting.  A progressive believes a person should be forced to do the ‘right’ thing.  A libertarian believes a person has the right to choose to do the ‘wrong’ thing.  A conservative believes a person should be forced to do the ‘wrong’ thing.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 19, 2019, 05:05:22 PM
I’m not going to be blackmailed ...

Nobody is blackmailing you. Maybe we are browbeating you. But that's entirely different. ;D
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 05:25:19 PM
I’m not going to be blackmailed ...

Nobody is blackmailing you. Maybe we are browbeating you. But that's entirely different. ;D

I am being blackmailed.  I’m being made to feel guilty about referring to transgender and non-binary gender persons with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

Well, I don’t feel guilty.  Not even hypothetically.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 19, 2019, 06:24:06 PM
I’m not going to be blackmailed ...

Nobody is blackmailing you. Maybe we are browbeating you. But that's entirely different. ;D

I am being blackmailed.  I’m being made to feel guilty about referring to transgender and non-binary gender persons with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

Well, I don’t feel guilty.  Not even hypothetically.

From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/blackmail -

Definition of blackmail in English:

blackmail
noun
mass noun

    1The action, treated as a criminal offence, of demanding money from someone in return for not revealing compromising information which one has about them.
    ‘they were acquitted of charges of blackmail’
    as modifier ‘she recounted the blackmail threats’

    1.1 Money demanded by a person or group engaged in blackmail.
    ‘we do not pay blackmail’

1.2 The use of threats or the manipulation of someone's feelings to force them to do something.
‘some people use emotional blackmail’

verb
[with object]

    1Demand money from (someone) in return for not revealing compromising information about them.
    ‘they use this fact to blackmail him, trying to force him to vote for their candidate’

    1.1 Force (someone) to do something by using threats or manipulating their feelings.
    ‘he had blackmailed her into sailing with him’


Even looking at 1.2, no one has threatened you or forced you to do anything here, and certainly no one is trying to extort you. Misusing such a well-established word like "blackmail" suggests that words don't really matter to you after all.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 07:33:37 PM
I’m not going to be blackmailed ...

Nobody is blackmailing you. Maybe we are browbeating you. But that's entirely different. ;D

I am being blackmailed.  I’m being made to feel guilty about referring to transgender and non-binary gender persons with the ‘wrong’ 3rd person singular pronoun.

Well, I don’t feel guilty.  Not even hypothetically.

From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/blackmail -

Definition of blackmail in English:

blackmail
noun
mass noun

    1The action, treated as a criminal offence, of demanding money from someone in return for not revealing compromising information which one has about them.
    ‘they were acquitted of charges of blackmail’
    as modifier ‘she recounted the blackmail threats’

    1.1 Money demanded by a person or group engaged in blackmail.
    ‘we do not pay blackmail’

1.2 The use of threats or the manipulation of someone's feelings to force them to do something.
‘some people use emotional blackmail’

verb
[with object]

    1Demand money from (someone) in return for not revealing compromising information about them.
    ‘they use this fact to blackmail him, trying to force him to vote for their candidate’

    1.1 Force (someone) to do something by using threats or manipulating their feelings.
    ‘he had blackmailed her into sailing with him’


Even looking at 1.2, no one has threatened you or forced you to do anything here, and certainly no one is trying to extort you. Misusing such a well-established word like "blackmail" suggests that words don't really matter to you after all.

They are attempting to blackmail me.  They’re trying to make me feel guilty for refusing to use the ‘singular they’ as the default 3rd person singular pronoun, in case I upset a transgender or non-binary gender person.  Which is what blackmailers do - they know something about a person, which the person feels ashamed and guilty about, and attempt to force the person to do something, either pay money or perform some action.  Blackmailers attempt to shame their victims into doing something.  Spies can blackmail people to become traitors by threatening to shame them.

I could have used ‘shame’ instead of ‘blackmail,’ but they’re the same thing.

I’m concerned with the meaning of words.  I sort of get the idea of ‘transgender.’  The person doesn’t identify with the gender recorded on the birth certificate, and wants to be regarded as the other gender.  But what exactly is ‘non-binary gender?’  I’ve looked at a number of websites, and there’s no consistent definitions.  Actually no definitions at all.  It just seems to be a non-condition created by progressive activists in order to produce victimhood and guilt.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 19, 2019, 07:41:30 PM
Beef Wellington beat me to it: blackmail is demanding money from someone on the threat of revealing damaging information about them if they don't pay. Nobody here is doing that. (Unless maybe someone I don't know about has sent you a P.M. demanding money if you don't change your language.)

As I said we are merely trying to browbeat you into compliance with 2019 gramatical conventions. Trying to make you feel guilty is browbeating, not blackmail. But I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I'm trying to get you to empathize with a group of people who are in real pain, and accept changing grammatical conventions.

Languages evolve, and we are living this evolution. Resistance is futile. The language will evolve in spite of you. Join the collective and submit to the inevitable.  8)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 19, 2019, 08:00:59 PM
I could have used ‘shame’ instead of ‘blackmail,’ but they’re the same thing.

No. No, they're not.

I’m concerned with the meaning of words.  I sort of get the idea of ‘transgender.’  The person doesn’t identify with the gender recorded on the birth certificate, and wants to be regarded as the other gender.  But what exactly is ‘non-binary gender?’  I’ve looked at a number of websites, and there’s no consistent definitions.  Actually no definitions at all.

You know how not guilty doesn't necessarily mean innocent? Well, non-binary works the same way. It just means they are not binary (stuck as either male or female).

It just seems to be a non-condition created by progressive activists in order to produce victimhood and guilt.

Holy shit. Just wow. I was really hoping you simply didn't understand basic concepts. It's one thing to not look at someone's info if your mind has already been made up, but assuming so much with so little knowledge is a goddamned travesty. That attitude is responsible for a lot of the world's problems, not the origin but the failure to fix anything. Too many people know, they just know those scientists are paid off and those pesky liberals are trying to control society, so climate change has gotta be fake. I got the flu shot once and I still got the flu, so all vaccines must be a scam. Belgarath was on to something- "Jordan B. Peterson-lite." I'm genuinely not trying to take a personal dig with any of this, but jesus christ sometimes experts know what they're talking about. It's up to you to listen to them.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 08:19:22 PM
Spies blackmail their victims into doing something (betray their country), not to pay money.  People here are trying to blackmail me into betraying my beliefs as to to the meaning of words, not paying money.

I’m still having problems understanding what non-binary gender is.  What is it?  It just seems to be an invented non-condition, with victimhood and shaming added in.  If it’s a real condition, it wouldn’t be a ‘whatever.’
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 19, 2019, 08:29:01 PM
Spies blackmail their victims into doing something (betray their country), not to pay money.  People here are trying to blackmail me into betraying my beliefs as to to the meaning of words, not paying money.

I’m still having problems understanding what non-binary gender is.  What is it?  It just seems to be an invented non-condition, with victimhood and shaming added in.  If it’s a real condition, it wouldn’t be a ‘whatever.’

Trying is not forcing, so no blackmail. And you're missing the entire point of the "non." It doesn't matter what something is, it's what it isn't (either male or female in this case). It's like when atheists are accused of claiming there is no god, when in reality they're simply not convinced a god exists. It's the same thing. People whose gender is considered non-binary don't have to be something to qualify as non-binary, they need to not be something.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 08:40:17 PM
Spies blackmail their victims into doing something (betray their country), not to pay money.  People here are trying to blackmail me into betraying my beliefs as to to the meaning of words, not paying money.

I’m still having problems understanding what non-binary gender is.  What is it?  It just seems to be an invented non-condition, with victimhood and shaming added in.  If it’s a real condition, it wouldn’t be a ‘whatever.’

Trying is not forcing, so no blackmail. And you're missing the entire point of the "non." It doesn't matter what something is, it's what it isn't (either male or female in this case). It's like when atheists are accused of claiming there is no god, when in reality they're simply not convinced a god exists. It's the same thing. People whose gender is considered non-binary don't have to be something to qualify as non-binary, they need to not be something.

Well, what is non-binary gender?  Something without a definition isn’t something, it’s a nothing.

I’m an atheist, because I claim that a god or gods don’t exist.  I’m convinced that God doesn’t exist, not that there’s no adequate evidence that They exist.  I wonder if I’m non-binary gender, because of its ‘whatever.’  I never married, never had the desire to marry, never had the desire to have children (I reasoned that my 6 siblings could do the necessary breeding for the family).  I’ve never been interested in sex, have been celibate my entire life, but I identify as male and heterosexual, but I also regard gender as irrelevant.

So what am I?  A transphobic bigot?
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 19, 2019, 09:05:41 PM
Well, what is non-binary gender?  Something without a definition isn’t something, it’s a nothing.

Non-binary is anything, yes anything, that is not binary. Pretty simple.

I’m an atheist, because I claim that a god or gods don’t exist.

You're not an atheist because you claim gods don't exist, that's tacked on after the basic requirement of not being convinced gods exist has already been met.

So what am I?  A transphobic bigot?

You'll have to ask another poster, I'm staying out of that game.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 19, 2019, 09:25:08 PM
The ‘wrong’ pronoun in comparison is very very minor and trivial.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/3s298sv3aevOC4fktQ/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 09:26:27 PM
Beef Wellington,

So what is non-binary gender?  Being ‘not something’ is not ‘being something.’

I’m not a lot of things.  I’m not a stamp collector, but that doesn’t make me a ‘non-stamp collector.’  My identity doesn’t depend on my being a ‘non-stamp collector.’

In Perth Australia, most people support one of the two local AFL clubs, the Eagles or the Dockers, so it’s binary.  Perth people are either Eagles supporters or Dockers supporters.   But there is a small minority of Perth people who are neither.  But they’re not ‘non-binary AFL football supporters.’  They either don’t like the game, or they support other teams.  Whatever. 
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 09:32:57 PM
The ‘wrong’ pronoun in comparison is very very minor and trivial.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/3s298sv3aevOC4fktQ/giphy.gif)

Well, why don’t you take it up with Martina Navratilova?  She’s a female homosexual athlete and tennis player with a transsexual friend and coach, who quite happily used ‘he’ and ‘she’ to describe transsexual people.

The choice of 3rd person singular pronoun seems to be a matter of personal choice, and is a ‘whatever.’  I’ll ask you.  I get the idea of transgender.  But what is non-binary gender?  It just seems to be a ‘whatever’ too.  A condition without a definition isn’t a condition, it’s a non-condition.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: Beef Wellington on February 19, 2019, 09:39:10 PM
Beef Wellington,

So what is non-binary gender?  Being ‘not something’ is not ‘being something.’

I’m not a lot of things.  I’m not a stamp collector, but that doesn’t make me a ‘non-stamp collector.’  My identity doesn’t depend on my being a ‘non-stamp collector.’

In Perth Australia, most people support one of the two local AFL clubs, the Eagles or the Dockers, so it’s binary.  Perth people are either Eagles supporters or Dockers supporters.   But there is a small minority of Perth people who are neither.  But they’re not ‘non-binary AFL football supporters.’  They either don’t like the game, or they support other teams.  Whatever.

Yes, you are a non-stamp collector. You probably just don't care enough to tell the people around you. The people who identify as non-binary, however, DO care, so they let people know. We, as a society, should respect these preferences accordingly. It's very basic stuff and this is clearly going nowhere. It was going nowhere 5 weeks ago.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: arthwollipot on February 19, 2019, 10:26:12 PM
Well, why don’t you take it up with Martina Navratilova?  She’s a female homosexual athlete and tennis player with a transsexual friend and coach, who quite happily used ‘he’ and ‘she’ to describe transsexual people.

And she probably asked first. It's true - many transsexual people do use definite masculine or feminine pronouns. The danger is in assuming that you know without asking.

The choice of 3rd person singular pronoun seems to be a matter of personal choice, and is a ‘whatever.’  I’ll ask you.  I get the idea of transgender.  But what is non-binary gender?  It just seems to be a ‘whatever’ too.  A condition without a definition isn’t a condition, it’s a non-condition.

At the risk of repeating myself,

(https://media.giphy.com/media/3s298sv3aevOC4fktQ/giphy.gif)

Nonbinary gender means that you are of a gender that is not male, and not female. You are a third gender (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender#Non-binary_and_third_genders). Maybe a fourth, or a fifth. If you are not gendered at all, that's agender (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderqueer#Definitions_and_identity) or genderless. And yes, there are people who identify as agender.

And about "whatever" and lumping groups of people into a generic "other" category, I will link to this academic dissertation in the form of a five-part webcomic. I know you won't read it, but you really should. You really really should. The first is an introduction.

Notice (http://www.robot-hugs.com/notice/)
Other One (http://www.robot-hugs.com/other-one/)
Other Two (http://www.robot-hugs.com/other-two/)
Other Three (http://www.robot-hugs.com/other-three/)
Other Four (http://www.robot-hugs.com/other-four/)
Other Five (http://www.robot-hugs.com/other-five/)

In fact, this is a good opportunity for me to re-read that too, because it is important and I need a refresher.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: daniel1948 on February 19, 2019, 10:31:37 PM
Spies blackmail their victims into doing something (betray their country), not to pay money. ...

Okay. It's not always about money. But blackmail does always involve a threat: "Do thus and such or we will do this and that." Nobody here is threatening you with anything!!!

There are people who do not regard themselves as either male or female. That's what non-binary is.

Now this is important, and I know you are intelligent so if you refuse to see this then you're being disengenuous: transgender and non-binary are not synonymous! Just beause Martina Navratilova has trans friends who are male or female does not mean that everyone is either male or female.
Title: Re: Episode #700
Post by: bachfiend on February 19, 2019, 10:36:34 PM