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  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #1

    A new preference in personal pronouns

    A couple of websites I own fell victim to hacker attacks yesterday and it caused me an enormous amount of trouble. I spent all day trying to resolve the problem and in so doing at one point ended up watching some video tutorials on Google Webmaster Tools. To cut a long story short, I came across something new, for me at least, and thought it worth mentioning.

    The discourse went along the lines of, "the hacker this" and "the hacker that" and, "she might be trying to...", and "what might be her motivations?" and so on. He, him or his were never mentioned. Have I missed an evolution in the English language?

    I am aware of gender neutrality, although I don't subscribe to it myself, but this is taking things to new heights. Or is it just Californian English?

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    #2

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    When I was doing my Master's at the Institute of Education, London University there were a couple of lecturers who used she for teachers, but this didn't strike me as natural. I haven't come across this for hackers, but I am a Linux user and we tend to be exempt from much of this trouble.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    This has been around since the 80s, at least, but it's not that common. Yes, it's a type of affirmative action. I believe it originated in American universities. A few American text books that I've used in my various studies alternate chapters with the use of the non-specific personal pronouns in this way.
    In some cases, I've noticed that if a profession is traditionally female, eg. nursing, the author will use 'he'.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    I would say that it was someone trying to forcibly feminise something, rather than aiming for equality. Generally, we use "they" for an unspecified gender although many people don't like it.

    "When the hacker does XXX, they might be trying to ..."
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. probus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would say that it was someone trying to forcibly feminise something, rather than aiming for equality. Generally, we use "they" for an unspecified gender although many people don't like it.

    "When the hacker does XXX, they might be trying to ..."
    I agree that's what we say nowadays. I hate it, and it is so easy to render unnecessary, but it is what we say.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    I agree that's what we say nowadays. I hate it, and it is so easy to render unnecessary, but it is what we say.
    OK, I'll bite. How is it so easy to render unnecessary?

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    One can use he/she or rephrase the sentence in the plural.

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    #8

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    One can use he/she or rephrase the sentence in the plural.

    For the singular, I use (s)he, which is shorter. But I don't do any very formal writing so I don't worry about it. "(s)he" also avoids the problem of having to choose which gender to put first; the ladies just are first.
    Last edited by 2006; 04-May-2014 at 20:29. Reason: minor corrections

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    #9

    Re: A new preference in personal pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeroma11 View Post
    This is very useful for me :)
    What is very useful?

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