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

millah_22

HR Legend
Jun 15, 2004
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You guys are all picking the easy ones.

Where my mind gets hung up for a second is in sentences like:

What does they want to eat tonight?
What is (or is it are?) they doing next Saturday?
........

What do they want to eat?
What does [name] want to eat?
What do you want to eat?

What are they doing?
What is [name] doing?
What are you doing?

Seems like you're hung up on not understanding grammar.
 

Hawki97

HR Heisman
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Dec 16, 2001
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........

What do they want to eat?
What does [name] want to eat?
What do you want to eat?

What are they doing?
What is [name] doing?
What are you doing?

Seems like you're hung up on not understanding grammar.

I guess so. It just doesn’t naturally come to me to always frame someone as “they” 100% of the time.
 

Thunderlips71

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Oct 29, 2014
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I see you don't have a clue, and don't want to try to understand. So sad. I have a grandchild that identifies as non-binary. I don't completely understand, but I do know that I still love "they" as much as I did before. It really isn't that difficult to accommodate someone who is non-binary, you just have to be willing to do it.
Oh really? Well I identify as a well-hung, self-made, billionaire with royal lineage - none of which is true - yet ye shall refer to me here forth as “Lord Thunderlips”.

You just have to be willing to do it.
 
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kcnole63

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Jan 11, 2021
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Oh really? Well I identify as a well-hung, self-made, billionaire with royal lineage - none of which is true - yet ye shall refer to me here forth as “Lord Thunderlips”.

You just have to be willing to do it.
I would be willing to refer to you as Lord Thunderlips, but since I don't have any respect for you, that would be a no.
 
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kcnole63

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That’s some real hate mongering bigotry and frankly you should be ashamed.
I am not sure how you could interpret "no respect" for "hate mongering bigotry". Let me clarify; I do not have any hate for you, I just don't respect you, and I definitely am not ashamed.
 
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KFsdisciple

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Jul 3, 2003
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I am not sure how you could interpret "no respect" for "hate mongering bigotry". Let me clarify; I do not have any hate for you, I just don't respect you, and I definitely am not ashamed.
And that’s society as a whole with the alphabet mafia community movement… that’s how the 99% of us feel… we don’t “hate” we don’t care about their pride… and we aren’t ashamed of it. We would love to live and let live but pussy hat paraders and drag queen story time hour targeting the kids makes us bow up…
 

Hawki97

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Ok, so one classmate who prefers to go by They and uses three separate names depending on the situation or whatever. Screw that. This person sounds way too high maintenance and is probably just doing it all for the attention.

It’s definitely a tough one. The names are as apple pie and opposite as Jack and Diane.

Oh well, as shitty as I am at saying it correctly every time I’m sure what they’re dealing with is far more difficult.
 

swagsurfer02

HR King
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It’s definitely a tough one. The names are as apple pie and opposite as Jack and Diane.

Oh well, as shitty as I am at saying it correctly every time I’m sure what they’re dealing with is far more difficult.


confused-mark-wahlberg-mark-wahlberg.gif
 
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Hawki97

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It confuses the heck out me and all my friends. I think sticking to the Ze/Zey or similar would have worked better for them.

I agree.

Even this minor discussion involving the they pronoun usage shows it’s not as simple as it seems. Oh well, the next generation will have it nailed down I’m sure.
 

MR BEEBS

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Dec 6, 2004
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How does a non-binary ninja kill people?




They slash them.
Damn… I was positive this joke would have received a few more chuckles. Maybe my sense of humor is too twisted for this board (unlikely).

In all seriousness, I don’t have a problem with preferred pronouns one bit. It is something that doesn’t negatively affect me or my current life at all. I work in public ed, and have a few students on my roster who identify differently than their born gender. Number one goal is for ALL the students to feel safe and cared for. I make sure to pay close attention to potential instances like this. It has been a learning curve for sure, but youth are actually pretty good about letting you know if you slip up with their preference. No harm, no foul type of thing for most. I’m just a dude, who’s always been a dude, who doesn’t put preferred pronouns in email, who tries to help everyone become successful in their endeavors.
 
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kc78

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Nov 25, 2002
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They has always been used for singular when you don't know the gender.

I'm going to my cousin's. Where do they live?

My boss is really young. How old are they?

The list can go on and on. The only time it becomes an issue and seem odd, is when we know the person's gender.
This. People bitching about they are just bitching because they don't like that someone might consider themselves outside of their preferred binary system.

The fact is people don't fit nicely into our system. That's expected in nature. It's not uncommon for people to fall on the edges in any standard curve. And those people being forced to fit into what we define as male or female doesn't work for them. It doesn't hurt me to say they, although I do hope they have some grace if I forget and happily remind me until it sticks. I agree it's hard to remember, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try.
 
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KFsdisciple

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Jul 3, 2003
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This. People bitching about they are just bitching because they don't like that someone might consider themselves outside of their preferred binary system.

The fact is people don't fit nicely into our system. That's expected in nature. It's not uncommon for people to fall on the edges in any standard curve. And those people being forced to fit into what we define as male or female doesn't work for them. It doesn't hurt me to say they, although I do hope they have some grace if I forget and happily remind me until it sticks. I agree it's hard to remember, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try.
do any other species of mammals have non-defined genders?
 

Colonoscopy

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3 types of people that use pronouns:

1) Actual trans people. Might not totally look like what they're going for, but... you get what they're going for and by extension, why the pronoun might be meaningful.

2) Intersexed/deeply gender/sex non-conforming people. (in a *natural* way)

3) Youth/popular culture people. This is where it gets weird. Don't like the gender binary (but look like a woman and date men?) ... go for "they." 14 year olds from liberal enclaves in blue cities? Non-binary is the thing, a bunch of your friends are doing it... go for "they." Kids that don't fit in that might've been "emo", goth or or whatnot in yesteryear? They may be flocking to it too.

Items 1 and 2 I get... item 3 is where it gets screwy and I don't think we need to take them so seriously.

What's happened is that this stuff has been pulled into popular culture and now it's hard to sort of who is serious vs who is just playing with a trend.
 

kc78

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do any other species of mammals have non-defined genders?
You're confusing gender and sex again. Gender is a totally culture defined thing and doesn't really apply to animals. While we have two genders, other cultures have had more than two as they have recognized that people don't fit into only two neatly defined boxes.

Truthfully gender is somewhat of a spectrum. When scientists really start to examine the traits people fall into, we really have more like ten genders if we want to get that detailed. But our society only leaves room for two, and so it leaves people confused as to where they should fall for those who fall outside the primary curves.

As for sex, yes, there are intersex and other versions of sex in the animal world.
 

KFsdisciple

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Jul 3, 2003
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You're confusing gender and sex again. Gender is a totally culture defined thing and doesn't really apply to animals. While we have two genders, other cultures have had more than two as they have recognized that people don't fit into only two neatly defined boxes.

Truthfully gender is somewhat of a spectrum. When scientists really start to examine the traits people fall into, we really have more like ten genders if we want to get that detailed. But our society only leaves room for two, and so it leaves people confused as to where they should fall for those who fall outside the primary curves.

As for sex, yes, there are intersex and other versions of sex in the animal world.
I promise I’m not the one confused here. I have a dog, if I take her to the vet, there’s only two options on the paperwork male or female.

gender is a made up social construct for people who want attention, who’s parents failed to do their jobs.
 
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