Death to pronominal anxiety


(click to enlarge, or see the original at Irregular Webcomic!)

There are many good reasons to use they, them, and their as gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns.

This is the best.


Giggles and good sense courtesy of  David Morgan-Mar.


8 Responses to Death to pronominal anxiety

  1. It really does take a pedant of gargantuan, nay pantagruelian (perhaps even Brobdingnagian) proportions; to question the grim reaper’s grammar

  2. Amen. Maybe the grim reaper is also on board for eliminating the who/whom distinction?

  3. Stan says:

    Jams: I’d be wary of doing so even if I were in the right. He seems an impulsive sort, prone to snap judgements and ruthlessness.

    Ben: I think he’s on the case, but he’s treating whom to a slow doom.

  4. Claude says:

    In writing, I would have used him/her, but it’s not very convenient in speaking. I’m glad to know that them is acceptable.

  5. Claude says:

    Just noticed you changed your profile! Why do they call profile gravatar?

  6. Stan says:

    Claude: I see he or she, he/she and s/he quite often. The one without the slash has the edge, I think. All are fine in small doses, but they can become unwieldy when repeated, and can lead to awkward constructions like “If he/she finds himself/herself on his/her own…”. They-forms with singular antecedents are acceptable to many people, but not to everyone, and they won’t work in some situations. There’s a helpful summary here.

    Gravatar comes from globally recognised avatar. Growing up, I encountered avatar only in its pre-digital senses, but the online meaning has since outstripped the others.

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