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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    [a person] continues living [their] life

    survivor noun [C]
    ...
    2 a person who is able to continue living their life successfully despite experiencing difficulties:
    He's one of life's survivors.
    ...
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    Hello!

    The quoted is from Cambridge Dictionary. I think it is wrong to use "their" because the subject is "a person" which is singular.

    But why does the authorative dictionary use it in this way?

    Many thanks!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: [a person] continues living [their] life

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    Hello!

    The quoted is from Cambridge Dictionary. I think it is wrong to use "their" because the subject is "a person" which is singular.

    But why does the authorative dictionary use it in this way?

    Many thanks!
    Hi thedaffodils,
    This is an example of singular "they", which is increasingly being used as a non-sexist pronoun (which I think which we've discussed before).
    However, the second sentence somewhat ruins the effort.

    It was traditional to write "a person continues to live his life", but feminists asked why "him"? Why is a person always assumed to be a male unless otherwise indicated. You never saw a sentence saying "a person continues to live her life" to mean both sexes.

    So someone came up with the variants of "they", and they have become so accepted that an authoritative dictionary can no longer deny that they now occur in (some) standard use.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: [a person] continues living [their] life

    Hello Raymott,

    Thank you for your elucidation.

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