The CardBoard

Author Topic: OT: Say it isn't so  (Read 961 times)

Offline Boston Card

  • Supreme Court Justice
  • ********
  • Posts: 11255
  • Reputation: 196
  • Go Stanford!
OT: Say it isn't so
« on: April 04, 2017, 07:46:33 pm »
https://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21719768-praise-singular-they-english-has-traditional-solution-gender-neutral-pronouns

Quote
at a recent meeting of the American Copy Editors Society, the “Chicago Manual of Style” and the Associated Press (AP) stylebook, both widely followed, announced a change that sent waves through the audience. In AP’s wording, “They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy.”

Somewhere I think Kathy is suffering a heart attack.  But don't despair, there is good news...

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/apr/03/banksy-of-punctuation-puts-full-stop-bad-grammar-bristol?ex_cid=SigDig

Quote
When it was put to him that what he was doing was probably illegal, his defence was staunch. “I’m sticking on a bit of sticky-back plastic. It’s more of a crime to have the apostrophes wrong.”

What are the chances that the "grammar vigilante" is one of our own?

And lastly...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/05/ecuador-graffiti-accion-ortografica-quito-grammar



You just have to love someone who corrects grammar on graffiti:

Quote
“I couldn’t believe that in just two sentences there were more than 10 grammatical errors,” he said over a cappuccino spiked with amaretto. So he grabbed a discarded pizza box, cut it into a stencil, called on a friend to help and then got to work on the garbled text.

Definitely sounds like someone who posts on this board.

BC

Offline 82 Card

  • Dolly
  • ****
  • Posts: 871
  • Reputation: 6
  • Go Stanford!
Re: OT: Say it isn't so
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 02:46:59 am »
I really don't get the consternation. Singular "they" was considered proper English 50 years ago, at least in the NJ public schools I attended. According to the Economist article, it has been used for hundreds of years. As a native speaker of a language in which non-gendered pronouns are normally used even when the gender is known, the insistence on gendered pronouns strikes me as strange. I put it in the same category as insistence on using "one" in stead of indefinite "you" in casual conversation, an affectation I had not come across before arriving at Stanford for law school.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 03:09:38 am by 82 Card »

Offline stupac2

  • Tech mogul
  • *******
  • Posts: 5407
  • Reputation: 22
  • Go Stanford!
Re: OT: Say it isn't so
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 08:53:52 am »
I really don't get the consternation. Singular "they" was considered proper English 50 years ago, at least in the NJ public schools I attended. According to the Economist article, it has been used for hundreds of years. As a native speaker of a language in which non-gendered pronouns are normally used even when the gender is known, the insistence on gendered pronouns strikes me as strange. I put it in the same category as insistence on using "one" in stead of indefinite "you" in casual conversation, an affectation I had not come across before arriving at Stanford for law school.

Check out the peeves section on Language Log, most peeves are actually perfectly acceptable English that was used by celebrated authors for hundreds of years, but some dude somewhere decided was bad so now people blindly follow. It's all really silly.

Offline cctop

  • Stanford man or woman
  • **
  • Posts: 113
  • Reputation: 12
Re: OT: Say it isn't so
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 08:58:49 am »
I really don't get the consternation. Singular "they" was considered proper English 50 years ago, at least in the NJ public schools I attended.

It wasn't considered proper in my California public school, but I put it in the same category as split infinitives or not ending a sentence with a preposition.

Some grammarians are more concerned with rules than with natural English speech.

But in the case of "they", it's actually useful because English has no good solution for when the gender of the subject is unknown.  "He or she" is awkwards, "zie" is artificial.

Offline Nan3cy

  • Tree
  • *****
  • Posts: 2040
  • Reputation: 36
Re: OT: Say it isn't so
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 09:15:40 am »
One of the (many) great scenes from The Life of Brian, where a Jewish protester writes "Romans Go Home" on a wall and spends an excruciating night having his grammar corrected by a Roman soldier (John Cleese of course -- who was the graffiti artist?). And then having to write the corrected one over and over again on the wall.

Offline Mick

  • Tech mogul
  • *******
  • Posts: 5283
  • Reputation: 41
  • Have been kissed on Kennedy Mall...
    • Client Science
Re: OT: Say it isn't so
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2017, 03:06:51 pm »
One of the (many) great scenes from The Life of Brian, where a Jewish protester writes "Romans Go Home" on a wall and spends an excruciating night having his grammar corrected by a Roman soldier (John Cleese of course -- who was the graffiti artist?). And then having to write the corrected one over and over again on the wall.


It was a great scene.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8
Audaces fortuna iuvat

Offline fullmetal

  • Supreme Court Justice
  • ********
  • Posts: 12723
  • Reputation: 67
  • Make room in the cupboard for one more Cup.
Re: OT: Say it isn't so
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 03:09:43 pm »
It made my six years of Latin all worth it :)