|What is a gender-neutral pronoun? Why does English language to have a gender-neutral pronoun? When do we use one?|
A gender-neutral pronoun is used when someone’s gender is unknown or when the individual is neither male nor female is the topic of the sentence. This occur when addressing transgender and gender queer people who don’t feel comfortable being addressed with masculine or feminine pronouns, computers or robots with artificial intelligence, sexless fictional creatures, angels, and the God of many monotheistic religions. “He” “she,” or “it” won’t do, “one” doesn’t work when speaking of a specific person, e.g. “Sam washed one’s dishes,” and in some cases even a singular “they” just won’t work – specifically when a name is used, e.g. “Charlie tied their shoes” or “Sam thought they were late to the party.”
Over hundred of new words, or neologisms, have been proposed, with the vast majority being abandoned by all but their creators. There is some valid argument by linguists that it’d be extremely difficult for the English language to pick up new pronouns at all, but in the Internet age, sometimes your only clue toward someone’s gender is a username, and, like the long-awaited adoption of the honorific “Ms.”, the need for a gender-free pronoun may overcome the barrier of language limits.
One of the problems facing the adoption of a new gender-neutral pronoun is the lack of unity and organization among supporters of the idea. People would propose new pronouns without knowing on how the previous ones work. This write ups will help us compare and contrast the most usable epicene pronouns, and also provide text with the pronouns inserted so we can see the pronouns in action.
Refer to the first few pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This reference is not not because I think Alice should be made gender-neutral, but so that the readers have the opportunity to see for themselves how each pronoun fits into a larger narrative, one many of them may already be familiar with.
There are a lot of gender-neutral pronouns used in the story which would really make you more knowledgeable on how to use one in the future. It will also help you understand the importance of using this kind of pronoun so would already know the appropriate pronouns to use. This is also a way to somehow lessen misunderstanding and could also help the people to be less discriminating especially to the people who belonged to the third sex.
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