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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Him or Them

    1. The blinding flashlight beam lets you disorient the attacker and deprive him of the ability to see.
    2.The blinding flashlight beam lets you disorient the attacker and deprive them of the ability to see.

    Which of the above is correct and why?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Him or Them

    They are both grammatically correct.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Him or Them

    If the attacker has been identified as male, use 'him'.

    If the attacker's gender is unspecified before, use 'them'. You could use'him/her', but we prefer 'them' these days.

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    #4

    Re: Him or Them

    The blinding flashlight beam lets you disorient the attacker and deprive him of the ability to see.

    When you say "blinding", isn't "deprive him of the ability to see" redundant?
    I am not a teacher.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Him or Them

    I suppose you could omit "blinding", but it's fine as it is.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Him or Them

    Many people would use "them" there, but many of us don't prefer the use of the plural pronoun for a a singular. I would use him/her or recast the sentence in the plural to avoid the issue. "The blinding flashlight beam lets you disorient attackers and deprive them of the ability to see."

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Him or Them

    Perhaps:

    The blinding flashlight beam disorients attackers and lets you escape unharmed.

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Him or Them

    That works.

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