I could have called this post “Pronoun Confusion”, given what I found at Wikipedia:
I suppose there are other variations, but I quit digging before I became terminally confused. (UPDATE: Here are some new variations hot off the web. Read ’em and weep.)
It used to be that a person didn’t care what he (the generic kind) was called, as long as he wasn’t called late for dinner. That’s a tired joke, of course. People do care what they’re called, but it’s usually when they’re called something demeaning (e.g., “hey, you” to a general, “Harvey” to a doctor you don’t know as a friend) or insulting (e.g., “jerk” and worse).
I guess it’s insulting to (some) persons who have “chosen” a sex other than the one that they were born with (not “assigned at birth”) to be mistaken for persons of that sex. But give me a break. How am I supposed to know that you’re “really” a man if you look like a woman who’s trying to look like a man, or you’re “really” a woman who looks like a man who’s trying to look like a woman?
Sane persons — which is about 98 percent of the population, aside from posturing leftists and the gender-confused — are by definition in touch with reality. The traditional pronouns given in the first part of the Wikipedia table reflect that reality. They cover everything. I therefore reject all that follows, in the name of accuracy, clarity, and simplicity. (I would invoke Occam’s razor, but that might be taken as an endorsement of genital mutilation.)
So here’s the deal. If you don’t want to be called “he” or “she”, or any of their cognates, I will comply politely and use “you”, “your”, “yours”, or “yourself” when speaking or writing to you. When speaking or writing about one of you, I will use “it”, “its”, or “itself”; for more than one of you, I will use “they”, “them”, “their”, “theirs”, or “themselves”.
There’s absolutely nothing insulting about such neutral usages. If you believe that there is, please consider the possibility that you are nuts (whether or not you have any). But don’t insult my intelligence by trying to make me believe that you’ve acquired a gender other than the one you were born with — or none at all.
Gregory Cochran, “Transsexuals“, West Hunter, May 8, 2013
Gregory Cochran, “Internal Contradictions“, West Hunter, December 12, 2015
1963: The Year Zero
The Transgender Fad and Its Consequences
Some Notes about Psychology and Intelligence
One thought on “Pronoun Profusion”
I’ve come ’round to the following position:
Anyone is entitled to their mental disorder, whether it be a form body dysmorphic disorder or such an irrationally compulsive affectation of same in order to follow a trend.
You’re entitled to be nuts. I am not obligated to play along.
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