Pronouns have gotten a lot of attention lately, primarily because they have been brought to the forefront of efforts to create more inclusive language.
Those wishing to create welcoming spaces for transgender individuals will include their preferred pronouns when introducing themselves. “Hi, I’m Jamal, my pronouns are he/him,” someone might say. This is done to create a space where someone else might introduce themselves as “Jackie, pronouns they/them.”
I have written elsewhere that it can be hard for older English speakers to hear the word they as applying to a specific, defined individual. Nevertheless, the use of they to refer to a singular individual is nothing new—and nothing to fear.Continue reading “Singular “They” Is Not the End of the World”