The "they" Pronoun - Will I ever get it?

Hawki97

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
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I try to be respectful of people's choices. But god damn the "they" pronoun is just a complete and absolute block in my brain.

My kids are in the "woke" public school system of Iowa City so they (meaning my two children) will talk about someone they know who prefers they (as in a single person) occasionally. It often takes me a bit to figure out who they're talking about because "they" is hardwired as plural in my brain and I just don't naturally default to a singular option.

I just got an email from Strava and just kind of glanced through it. There's a story that has multiple they / their references and I was like...wait, what group is this? Then on closer inspection they did refer to the story being about a non-binary person but my mind just defaulted to a group as I skimmed it.

FTR, I think pronoun proclamation is silly, hyper-sensitive, and a bit ridiculous. So, I'm with ya MAGA! But I'm also with ya libturds in that who really cares - it's a minor thing that might make it easier on somebody else if I make an effort. But god damn if my brain just can't make the move on this one.
 

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
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I try to be respectful of people's choices. But god damn the "they" pronoun is just a complete and absolute block in my brain.

My kids are in the "woke" public school system of Iowa City so they (meaning my two children) will talk about someone they know who prefers they (as in a single person) occasionally. It often takes me a bit to figure out who they're talking about because "they" is hardwired as plural in my brain and I just don't naturally default to a singular option.

I just got an email from Strava and just kind of glanced through it. There's a story that has multiple they / their references and I was like...wait, what group is this? Then on closer inspection they did refer to the story being about a non-binary person but my mind just defaulted to a group as I skimmed it.

FTR, I think pronoun proclamation is silly, hyper-sensitive, and a bit ridiculous. So, I'm with ya MAGA! But I'm also with ya libturds in that who really cares - it's a minor thing that might make it easier on somebody else if I make an effort. But god damn if my brain just can't make the move on this one.

I advocated for "s/he" (pronounced: sheh-HEE) but it never caught on.
 

Hawki97

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
8,532
11,930
113
Iowa City, IA
I advocated for "s/he" (pronounced: sheh-HEE) but it never caught on.

That would be better. I could learn something new. But repurposing a word with rules that were basically beat into me by elementary school teachers that would be fired today for how they handled classrooms back then? Hell no...what are you trying to do to me?!
 

onlyTheObvious

HR Heisman
Jan 3, 2021
6,439
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I don’t care. Not saying it to people. I am close to retiring. So basically F you and your snowflake pronouns.

You don’t get to make rules that dictate others use of the English language. This isn’t like the ‘N’ word.

I bet if somebody said “ please refer to me as cup-of-water” some would try to accommodate.
 
Apr 22, 2022
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a bit ridiculous.
giphy.gif
 
Apr 22, 2022
833
593
93
I try to be respectful of people's choices. But god damn the "they" pronoun is just a complete and absolute block in my brain.

My kids are in the "woke" public school system of Iowa City so they (meaning my two children) will talk about someone they know who prefers they (as in a single person) occasionally. It often takes me a bit to figure out who they're talking about because "they" is hardwired as plural in my brain and I just don't naturally default to a singular option.

I just got an email from Strava and just kind of glanced through it. There's a story that has multiple they / their references and I was like...wait, what group is this? Then on closer inspection they did refer to the story being about a non-binary person but my mind just defaulted to a group as I skimmed it.

FTR, I think pronoun proclamation is silly, hyper-sensitive, and a bit ridiculous. So, I'm with ya MAGA! But I'm also with ya libturds in that who really cares - it's a minor thing that might make it easier on somebody else if I make an effort. But god damn if my brain just can't make the move on this one.
Or?

MAYBE?

You could not be an absolute BIGOT and just acquiesce to ridiculous demands?

Um, okay? Yeah?


Living Nonbinary in a Binary Sports World​

While many trans athletes have become political lightning rods, nonbinary people like the WNBA’s Layshia Clarendon are left out of the conversation. In a sex-segregated sports world, where do they fit in?

t was in the WNBA bubble—the Wubble—that New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon made the decision. The Wubble was a stressful experience for Clarendon. For one, they were living through a pandemic. For another, life at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was very small. Clarendon shuffled among their villa, the gym and games, like Groundhog Day designed for a professional athlete. They had also left their pregnant wife at home. (Clarendon alternately uses she, he and they pronouns.)

In her little time off, Clarendon became the face—and the force—behind the WNBA’s Say Her Name campaign, thinking about and talking about Black death on a near constant basis, busy with calls and webinars and brainstorming sessions. It was important work, and Clarendon felt called to do it, but it was draining, too. And there was another stressor that was draining Clarendon, one he wasn’t posting about on social media or sharing in postgame interviews: He couldn’t stop thinking about his chest.

Clarendon had no idea whether the WNBA would support their decision to have top surgery, a gender affirmation procedure that removes a person’s breasts and reshapes their chest to be flat, but they knew they would have the surgery regardless of how the league responded. The medical decision was not the struggle for Clarendon; the challenge was in figuring out whether she would be accepted by a sports world that was not designed for nonbinary trans people like her; she’d quietly updated the pronouns in her Twitter bio over the summer, but this was something different altogether. In the binary world of sports, leagues exist for men and for women. Clarendon sometimes feels like both of those things and other times feels like neither.

“It was something for me that was causing a lot of mental health issues,” Clarendon, 29, says of the worry about whether to move forward with top surgery and whether the WNBA would allow it—and what it would mean for his career if the league didn’t. “It made being in the bubble even harder than it [already] was.” It opened up a whole slate of questions that she had to consider, so after the season was over, she went to Terri Jackson, the executive director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA). There was no precedent for this, but Jackson was all in to support Clarendon.

It’s generally considered bad form to focus on the particulars of trans people’s bodies, but as a professional athlete, the decisions Clarendon—or any trans athlete—makes about their body are incredibly consequential. Careers can hinge on them. The questions Clarendon considered included: What will the recovery look like and how will it impact my 2021 season? The league and my team have a right to know a lot about my body because it affects my play, but is there anything personal that the league can’t ask me about? I know I am going to publicly talk about my top surgery, but what if another player has top or bottom surgery and doesn’t want to share that with their team or the public? If the league doesn’t support me, can I be fired?

When I first spoke to Clarendon in December, a few weeks before their surgery, they were still trying to navigate these conversations with the WNBA. Luckily, they received the “full support” of commissioner Cathy Engelbert, as well as the Liberty and the WNBPA. On Jan. 29, the day that Clarendon announced her surgery on social media, coordinated statements went out from each of the league accounts, too.

It was a stark contrast to how the National Women’s Soccer League responded when Quinn, a midfielder for the OL Reign, came out as nonbinary and transgender on Instagram in September 2020.

“I wanted to make sure that my identity was represented in my workplace, and in the public sphere,” Quinn, 25, says now of the decision to post about their identity on social media. Their teammates and coach knew, but the public did not, which meant that Quinn had to deal with being misgendered in the press—having the wrong pronouns used—and feeling invisible on a daily basis. “I really wanted to be another visible person in the sports realm, especially playing at such a high level. I wanted to help others that were looking for people like themselves in sport.”

Quinn’s Instagram post made headlines. But while their announcement was met mostly with support from the public, the NWSL's official Twitter account took weeks to acknowledge the event, and the Reign’s account took even longer. When the NWSL finally did acknowledge it, it was a quote tweet of the BBC’s coverage of Quinn’s coming out. In Quinn’s first televised game after coming out, broadcasters got their pronouns wrong on-air.

The way the NWSL lacked explicit public support for Quinn after they came out was likely not ill-intentioned (the NWSL did not respond to multiple requests for comment). In the Reign’s case, the team did what it thought was most supportive of Quinn.

“Right now, you either fit in or you get lost. Like, you meet the NCAA or IOC standards that make you eligible to play on the men’s or women’s side, or you don’t. Or you transition and you get lost, forced to move on with your life.”
—Layshia Clarendon, New York Liberty
 

Colonoscopy

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I try to be respectful of people's choices. But god damn the "they" pronoun is just a complete and absolute block in my brain.

My kids are in the "woke" public school system of Iowa City so they (meaning my two children) will talk about someone they know who prefers they (as in a single person) occasionally. It often takes me a bit to figure out who they're talking about because "they" is hardwired as plural in my brain and I just don't naturally default to a singular option.

I just got an email from Strava and just kind of glanced through it. There's a story that has multiple they / their references and I was like...wait, what group is this? Then on closer inspection they did refer to the story being about a non-binary person but my mind just defaulted to a group as I skimmed it.

FTR, I think pronoun proclamation is silly, hyper-sensitive, and a bit ridiculous. So, I'm with ya MAGA! But I'm also with ya libturds in that who really cares - it's a minor thing that might make it easier on somebody else if I make an effort. But god damn if my brain just can't make the move on this one.

Way to uphold the gender binary you insensitive prick. You're making people more likely to die with that attitude.
 
Apr 22, 2022
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The existence of nonbinary people complicates a seemingly neat and tidy way of organizing athletics: men’s sports and women’s sports. Including nonbinary folks in the conversation requires a willingness to acknowledge that the way we currently categorize athletics is in need of an overhaul, and that leagues need to make accommodations for the nonbinary athletes who are already here.

he concept of nonbinary gender identity is not simply a third gender category. Rather, nonbinary identity sees gender as a spectrum: A person can exist anywhere in between the binary genders or shatter the binary altogether. “Nonbinary” can mean neither man nor woman. It can mean both man and woman. It can mean a million other things in between, each personal to the individual.

Nonbinary people can be assigned female at birth (AFAB) or assigned male at birth (AMAB). They can be intersex—a term used to describe someone who is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't fit neatly into the boxes of “female” or “male” as the categories are typically defined. Nonbinary people can choose aspects of medical transition for themselves, like feminizing or masculinizing hormones or gender-affirmation surgeries, or they might not medically transition at all.

“I've always known I was more than just a girl or a woman, but I didn’t know what exactly I was,” says Clarendon. “And so, identifying as nonbinary and trans in terms of the larger umbrella is really important to me. That gives me a place to belong and gives me community.”


“Nonbinary” gives Clarendon a word to identify with, one that encapsulates the fact that they feel like they are “equally both,” sometimes more male, sometimes more female, but definitely much bigger than “woman.” “It’s really important to me for that to be seen and for me to be whole,” he says. “My gender is just too big to fit in either box.”

Sports gave Clarendon the freedom to be herself even before she had the words to articulate her gender. As a kid growing up in San Bernadino, Calif., he didn’t know what transgender or nonbinary was; all he knew was that he felt best when he was in his hoops clothes.

They didn’t necessarily talk about gender with their teammates, but they knew there were people like them in sports, who liked to dress in gender nonconforming ways like they did. “That feeling of belonging is invaluable as a young person,” Clarendon says. “I loved the competitiveness of sports, chasing a goal, the camaraderie of being around teammates and how when I made a pass to someone and they scored it felt like we could accomplish anything.”

Clarendon says that realizing that gender could be fluid and ever-evolving was life-changing. He first identified publicly as “non-cisgender” in an article for The Players’ Tribune in 2015. But it took longer for them to embrace the idea that they belonged under the trans umbrella, requiring them to unpack some of their own internalized transphobia and seeing trans identity beyond the singular, dominant narrative of transitioning from one binary gender to the other. Last summer, during the WNBA season, she told teammates that she was changing her pronouns, and she quietly updated them in his Twitter bio.


Sports Illustrated's Daily Cover stories: https://www.si.com/tag/daily-cover

McBride’s process was a gradual one, too. Growing up in Tacoma, Wash., and later, Germany, they dropped hints to loved ones for over a decade that they had what they call “gender struggles.” They first heard the term “genderqueer”—another term that describes someone whose gender lives outside the binary and can sometimes be used interchangeably with nonbinary—in their 20s and instinctively knew that was what they were, but didn’t hear much about that identity outside of classes at the University of Ottawa. They didn’t find another word to describe themselves, though, until about two years ago when they began exploring nonbinary identity and started talking publicly about it on social media before coming out in a 2020 story in Triathlete magazine. Last year, at 42, the Vancouver resident switched to exclusively using they/them pronouns.

McBride—known as the “Purple Tiger”—has been racing full-time as a triathlete since 2011 and was dubbed “the most interesting [person] in triathlon” by TRS Radio. They are a three-time Ironman 70.3 champion, have logged eight Ironman 70.3 fastest bike splits and are a two-time Ironman bike course record holder and a three-time course record holder—including the Canadian National Championships. But not being able to fully embody their true self during competitions made them feel like they weren’t reaching their full potential.


“Just recognizing my gender identity has created a space for me to feel more comfortable at the start line, because my experience before was of feeling odd and like I didn’t fit in and I didn’t understand why,” says McBride. “Now, I understand why and I can embrace that and I can still compete amongst the people I feel most comfortable with.”



That's it. I can't continue to copy/paste this nonsense.
 

EasyHawk

HR Heisman
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Jun 21, 2015
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Or?

MAYBE?

You could not be an absolute BIGOT and just acquiesce to ridiculous demands?

Um, okay? Yeah?


Living Nonbinary in a Binary Sports World​

While many trans athletes have become political lightning rods, nonbinary people like the WNBA’s Layshia Clarendon are left out of the conversation. In a sex-segregated sports world, where do they fit in?

t was in the WNBA bubble—the Wubble—that New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon made the decision. The Wubble was a stressful experience for Clarendon. For one, they were living through a pandemic. For another, life at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was very small. Clarendon shuffled among their villa, the gym and games, like Groundhog Day designed for a professional athlete. They had also left their pregnant wife at home. (Clarendon alternately uses she, he and they pronouns.)

In her little time off, Clarendon became the face—and the force—behind the WNBA’s Say Her Name campaign, thinking about and talking about Black death on a near constant basis, busy with calls and webinars and brainstorming sessions. It was important work, and Clarendon felt called to do it, but it was draining, too. And there was another stressor that was draining Clarendon, one he wasn’t posting about on social media or sharing in postgame interviews: He couldn’t stop thinking about his chest.

Clarendon had no idea whether the WNBA would support their decision to have top surgery, a gender affirmation procedure that removes a person’s breasts and reshapes their chest to be flat, but they knew they would have the surgery regardless of how the league responded. The medical decision was not the struggle for Clarendon; the challenge was in figuring out whether she would be accepted by a sports world that was not designed for nonbinary trans people like her; she’d quietly updated the pronouns in her Twitter bio over the summer, but this was something different altogether. In the binary world of sports, leagues exist for men and for women. Clarendon sometimes feels like both of those things and other times feels like neither.

“It was something for me that was causing a lot of mental health issues,” Clarendon, 29, says of the worry about whether to move forward with top surgery and whether the WNBA would allow it—and what it would mean for his career if the league didn’t. “It made being in the bubble even harder than it [already] was.” It opened up a whole slate of questions that she had to consider, so after the season was over, she went to Terri Jackson, the executive director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA). There was no precedent for this, but Jackson was all in to support Clarendon.

It’s generally considered bad form to focus on the particulars of trans people’s bodies, but as a professional athlete, the decisions Clarendon—or any trans athlete—makes about their body are incredibly consequential. Careers can hinge on them. The questions Clarendon considered included: What will the recovery look like and how will it impact my 2021 season? The league and my team have a right to know a lot about my body because it affects my play, but is there anything personal that the league can’t ask me about? I know I am going to publicly talk about my top surgery, but what if another player has top or bottom surgery and doesn’t want to share that with their team or the public? If the league doesn’t support me, can I be fired?

When I first spoke to Clarendon in December, a few weeks before their surgery, they were still trying to navigate these conversations with the WNBA. Luckily, they received the “full support” of commissioner Cathy Engelbert, as well as the Liberty and the WNBPA. On Jan. 29, the day that Clarendon announced her surgery on social media, coordinated statements went out from each of the league accounts, too.

It was a stark contrast to how the National Women’s Soccer League responded when Quinn, a midfielder for the OL Reign, came out as nonbinary and transgender on Instagram in September 2020.

“I wanted to make sure that my identity was represented in my workplace, and in the public sphere,” Quinn, 25, says now of the decision to post about their identity on social media. Their teammates and coach knew, but the public did not, which meant that Quinn had to deal with being misgendered in the press—having the wrong pronouns used—and feeling invisible on a daily basis. “I really wanted to be another visible person in the sports realm, especially playing at such a high level. I wanted to help others that were looking for people like themselves in sport.”

Quinn’s Instagram post made headlines. But while their announcement was met mostly with support from the public, the NWSL's official Twitter account took weeks to acknowledge the event, and the Reign’s account took even longer. When the NWSL finally did acknowledge it, it was a quote tweet of the BBC’s coverage of Quinn’s coming out. In Quinn’s first televised game after coming out, broadcasters got their pronouns wrong on-air.

The way the NWSL lacked explicit public support for Quinn after they came out was likely not ill-intentioned (the NWSL did not respond to multiple requests for comment). In the Reign’s case, the team did what it thought was most supportive of Quinn.

“Right now, you either fit in or you get lost. Like, you meet the NCAA or IOC standards that make you eligible to play on the men’s or women’s side, or you don’t. Or you transition and you get lost, forced to move on with your life.”
—Layshia Clarendon, New York Liberty
Uh yeah no thanks. That can get lost.
 

Hawki97

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
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Iowa City, IA
Way to uphold the gender binary you insensitive prick. You're making people more likely to die with that attitude.

That's the thing, I actually do make an effort to play along. It's not the hill I'm going to die on.

It's just something that can't easily click in my brain - like a block. Like the same way I always question the the sequence of the letters "e" and "i" in the word weird. I've written / seen weird a million times. Why is that an issue?
 

Colonoscopy

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That's the thing, I actually do make an effort to play along. It's not the hill I'm going to die on.

It's just something that can't easily click in my brain - like a block. Like the same way I always question the the sequence of the letters "e" and "i" in the word weird. I've written / seen weird a million times. Why is that an issue?
Eh, I quoted the wrong guy then. You shall be spared. . . for a while, at least.
 

3boysmom

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Dec 21, 2001
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www.chooseyouradventuretravels.com
Is this something you have to do regularly and mess it up? Or are you just wringing your hands about something that really isn't a part of your everyday life anyway? In conversation with someone I refer to them by their name. If they're not around then I suppose they can't really get offended if I slip. Do I find the entire thing perplexing? Yes. But I also find it perplexing that people are actually Nebraska or Iowa State fans. Why would they do that to themselves?
 

3boysmom

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They, them, us……it’s for a group of two or more people. The world has gone insane and lots of people just eat it up.
Not necessarily. If your boss says “swag, would you mind doing an interview with this person we’re looking at putting in your department. They are supposed to be here at 2”. How many people are you expecting to be there? It’s not uncommon to refer to an unknown person as they or them because you don’t know the gender. It’s just upsetting to people when they believe they know the gender to refer to that person as though they do not.
 

KFsdisciple

HR Legend
Jul 3, 2003
11,573
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I try to be respectful of people's choices. But god damn the "they" pronoun is just a complete and absolute block in my brain.

My kids are in the "woke" public school system of Iowa City so they (meaning my two children) will talk about someone they know who prefers they (as in a single person) occasionally. It often takes me a bit to figure out who they're talking about because "they" is hardwired as plural in my brain and I just don't naturally default to a singular option.

I just got an email from Strava and just kind of glanced through it. There's a story that has multiple they / their references and I was like...wait, what group is this? Then on closer inspection they did refer to the story being about a non-binary person but my mind just defaulted to a group as I skimmed it.

FTR, I think pronoun proclamation is silly, hyper-sensitive, and a bit ridiculous. So, I'm with ya MAGA! But I'm also with ya libturds in that who really cares - it's a minor thing that might make it easier on somebody else if I make an effort. But god damn if my brain just can't make the move on this one.
Only gets worse when they use Ze and Za
 

like-woahh

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Feb 8, 2014
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I don't really understand the point, especially when it's like... she/they. I've heard it explained and it seems to be much ado about nothing.

I don't really care though and make my best effort to accommodate. I've slipped up a couple times unintentionally, but it's been my experience that most people don't care if you're at least making an effort.

Regardless of the situation, if you're going out of your way to make someone else feel bad then you're just being an ass.
 
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KFsdisciple

HR Legend
Jul 3, 2003
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I don't really understand the point, especially when it's like... she/they. I've heard it explained and it seems to be much ado about nothing.

I don't really care though and make my best effort to accommodate. I've slipped up a couple times unintentionally, but it's been my experience that most people don't care if you're at least making an effort.

Regardless of the situation, if you're going out of your way to make someone else feel bad then you're just being an ass.
I won’t go out of my way, but I’m not playing pretend with them. It’s not disrespectful for me to refer to a single person with a single pronoun… if you want to be a he/him or a she/her whatever.. enjoy playing dress up… but they/them for a single person is where I draw the line.
 

kc78

HR MVP
Nov 25, 2002
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We try and claim that people fall neatly into a binary of either Male/Female. But not all do and there's a lot of reasons as why. Other cultures have believed in more than one gender and honored them. Native Americans had several, ancient Japanese did as well. However currently we tell people they're either He or She and so these are people who don't fall neatly into one of those, so without a better gendered option they've chosen "They" as it's ambiguous. So instead of saying "He did that". They'd prefer you say "They did that". Instead of saying "That is Her item" they'd prefer you say "That is their item".
 
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Oh look. Another thread about which pronouns people use. I guess since the price of gas is going down, there was a really good jobs report, and new 1/6 committee testimony is coming soon Fox is in full fledged distraction mode today.
Why are people even talking about this?!?!?!
 

lucas80

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Jan 30, 2008
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Pretty sure I have posted this before, but a year ago we were moving our son from his apartment. My wife tells me to go help “them”, take the rental back to the U-Haul lot. I walk outside and a friend who’d come over to help is there. My son is in my vehicle to meet us at the lot. We stand around for a minute and I say, “Who else is coming”? The friend tells me “They” is preferred. ”I say okay, got into the U-Haul, and we drove to turn in the van. It was just that easy. I believe we conversed about Star Trek on the drive because I knew they enjoy DS9.
 
Apr 22, 2022
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Pretty sure I have posted this before, but a year ago we were moving our son from his apartment. My wife tells me to go help “them”, take the rental back to the U-Haul lot. I walk outside and a friend who’d come over to help is there. My son is in my vehicle to meet us at the lot. We stand around for a minute and I say, “Who else is coming”? The friend tells me “They” is preferred. ”I say okay, got into the U-Haul, and we drove to turn in the van. It was just that easy. I believe we conversed about Star Trek on the drive because I knew they enjoy DS9.
OMG. I never thought about it that way.
 

BioHawk

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Sep 21, 2005
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Pretty sure I have posted this before, but a year ago we were moving our son from his apartment. My wife tells me to go help “them”, take the rental back to the U-Haul lot. I walk outside and a friend who’d come over to help is there. My son is in my vehicle to meet us at the lot. We stand around for a minute and I say, “Who else is coming”? The friend tells me “They” is preferred. ”I say okay, got into the U-Haul, and we drove to turn in the van. It was just that easy. I believe we conversed about Star Trek on the drive because I knew they enjoy DS9.
Oh the horror! You had to use a different word! However did you survive?
 
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