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Non-Binary and "They"

Non-Binary and "They"

Non-Binary and "They"

(OP)
So, I just noticed that an genetically female actor declared that "they" were non-binary, although "they"'re declared "gay" and "their" Wikipedia refers to "them" as "they."

So, does that mean that we now can't use "they" when we're too lazy to determine someone's gender, or don't know, and don't want to use "he/she"?

Or, for that matter, is now rude to refer to someone as "they" if they're not non-binary? And what about actual plural people, can we still call them "they?"

My brain hurts banghead

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

I intend to continue using 'they' when I have either no idea of, or I don't care to focus on, the gender of the person of interest.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

"they" as a word is non gender specific. They refers to a group of people/animals/things.

I would have thought that more people would complain about "he/she" as …
1) laziness,
2) too restrictive,
3) insulting.

maybe we need to publish glossaries with our communications ??

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

I refuse to pander to the delusions of others. If necessary, and in the absence of information, I would call someone by how they appear. If that person is offended, it's that's person's problem, not mine.

Now, I have never actually been in this situation, so my response is strictly hypothetical. All the people I interact with do not have this particular gender delusion.

============
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

when do the delusions of others become the delusion of self ?

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

Never could understand why there has never been a non-gender, singular form of "they." I don't like using "he/she" and "he or she" if I don't know for sure and, apparently, it's not nice to ask).

www.PeirceEngineering.com

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

@fel3,

How would you feel in a society where the choice of pronoun depended on skin colour, or height, or some other attribute of "how they appear". E.g. when ordering a meal:

"Black will have the filet mignon, brown will have a rare eye fillet, and white will have a medium-rare rump."

"Short will have the filet mignon, tall will have a rare eye fillet, and average will have a medium-rare rump."

"Black will have the filet mignon, brown will have a rare eye fillet, and bald will have a medium-rare rump."

I don't know how it feels to be non-binary, and to the best of my knowledge, none of my most common associates, family or friends consider themselves to be non-binary - but I suspect there are a few who do, but haven't brought it to my attention. (I'm told that they don't all wear an identification badge proclaiming their sexuality / gender for the convenience of others.) I certainly don't consider people with non-binary gender to be "delusional", or to need to be "cured".

I'm certainly guilty of applying personal pronouns based on the norms of people's appearance, but I'm happy to do otherwise when I'm aware that it might be an issue. I don't consider trying to apply a little bit of sensitivity in inter-personal relationships to be "pandering".

http://julianh72.blogspot.com

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

@MintJulep:

And yet, there are also many languages which assign gender to genderless objects like tables, chairs and pens.

(Or at least, they seem to be genderless to English speakers - is there something about a table which makes it appear feminine to a French speaker, but masculine to a German speaker? Or conversely, is there something about males which makes them appear table-like in Germany? How do native speakers of such languages learn the gender of all their nouns?)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender

http://julianh72.blogspot.com

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

Quote (PEInc)

Never could understand why there has never been a non-gender, singular form of "they." I don't like using "he/she" and "he or she" if I don't know for sure and, apparently, it's not nice to ask).

There is a perfectly good non-gendered singular pronoun - IT

He/She/It No need to bastardize they.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

I think 'it' fits.

Ted

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

Unfortunately "it" has dehumanizing connotations.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

I cringe when I see "they" used when the singular is required. There are better ways. This has all come about because of academics and activists lobbying to do away with gender specific pronouns, and I am sick of it, but will try to focus on more important things.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

(OP)
That's an artifact of English not having a non-gendered singular pronoun. Even ignoring the non-binaries, when referring to a poster in ET where "their" handle doesn't convey gender, we have to refer to "them" as "they," as in "They said a bunch of BS."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

No, we can just name the offending poster by handle, or by referring to the "OP", as appropriate. Our esteemed leader Dave Murphy was one habitual user of "they", and I once called him on it, but he persisted. So be it. When referring to an entity such as a contractor, I use "he" as a non-gender pronoun, but some folks now take offence, as some do when using "guys" to describe a group of people.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

Language is not keeping pace with culture. It is also not keeping pace with advances in knowledge of what constitutes gender. <Cue curmudgeons>

At this point, there is no "right" answer. But I'll cut anyone slack if they come from a place of well-meaning or respect.

As a near-native German-speaker, I like "they". It's analagous to the German formal "Sie" (always capitalized), which carries an undertone of respect.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

"He" was always the default pronoun in English when gender was unknown or could be either. I was taught that in English class. This began to change rapidly in the 60's with women rights movement. Things change over time. The way we think is affected by language so I can't object, but it is an irritation when there is no "official" alternative.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

In my youth women had the options of Mrs. or Miss for titles.

Ms. was added to provide a new option, free from the necessity to indicate marital status.

We'll just need to invent a new genderless pronoun and get on with life.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

I don't see IT as dehumanizing. If you walk into a room and someone calls out "Who's there?" you are probably going to say "It's me". Now I'm sure you are not referring to yourself as non-human. If I can refer to myself as IT I can refer to someone else as IT. No more jarring to the ear than a singular THEY.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

Nearly every trans person has encountered "it" in a derogatory or dehumanizing fashion.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

This conundrum existed before modern times.
“My doctor advised me how to eat for this condition.”
“What did they tell you?”

When given the choice between grammatically incorrect and politically incorrect, I lean toward grammatically incorrect (as long as it's still understandable). At least I don't get in trouble that way!



=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

electricpete,
I lean the opposite way, but then we knew that. PCnot is my middle name.

RE: Non-Binary and "They"

Haha, yeah I imagine you’re not shy about telling people what you think.

I’ve been beaten into submission by years of marriage. My wife would give me “that look” if I assumed someone was a man just because they’re a doctor. She doesn’t have to say a thing… I know when I’m in trouble.

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

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