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Preferred Pronouns Week in Higher Education

Preferred Pronouns Week in Higher Education

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Connivin Caniff | October 19, 2019 at 11:40 am

Priority 1!: If this is International Pronouns Day, it is high time we fix the plural “you” problem. “Y’all” and “Yinz” are colorful localisms, but we really need the correct the intolerable situation we are now in of using the plural for the singular even without a distinct plural.
And International Conjunction Day should have Priority 1 of a mandatory definition as to the meaning of “or”, and completely legalizing “and/or”.
And notice that last period? I put it outside the quotes intentionally. Deal with it!

I prefer my president to prefer VERBS and action.

I admit to having a pet peeve with the pronoun protesters.

First of all, there was dear Mrs. Kosovsky back in 11th grade (no, not a boyish crush; she was just a veteran, middle-aged teacher doing what she was hired to do with us) who told us that pronouns must agree with antecedents, so it’s “If somone has trouble, you must help him–not them”, and explained how the “him” is considered gender neutral. Yes, some still feel a loyalty towards good teachers.

Next, I spent a good chunk of my adult life in the Far East. I read, write, and speak Mandarin, which adopted gendered pronouns only after 1919, and that as a nod to the “progressive” West. Yet, even so, putting 他,她,and 它 in the place of all-around 他 for he, she, and it, they still pronounced them all “ta” in the first tone. Then there were the Chinese local languages (exposure to Hakka, Hokkien, and Cantonese) in which there’s still no gender to the pronouns at all. And then there was Thai, where pronouns may vary with social rank, but not with gender. Yet, somehow, all these speakers of Sinitic and Kradai languages could still be as big a bunch of male chauvinist pigs as anyone who speaks a highly gendered Indo-European or Semitic language.

Hence, I see the pronoun protesters as yet another shame-inducing example of what has been called America’s incredible provinciality.