Usage Wars: The Singular They, The Singular Themselves, The Generic He

For in-depth discussion of non-binary pronouns, you can discuss that in the Writing Non-binary and Transgender Characters thread. For any concerns you may have with prior moderation, take it up in the The Airing of Grievances thread. Thanks!

Can they be used to refer to a single person? What if it’s referring to a generic person or a person of unknown gender?

Outside of walking into Mordor, in what cases might you use one, instead? Do you prefer it to the singular they?

Or is he the generic pronoun in all (or most) cases?

Is the reflexive themselves ever used to refer to one person? Or would you use the singular themself, which doesn’t appear in most dictionaries? Or would you go with the generic himself?

My opinions are that the singular they is perfectly acceptable in all (or almost all) cases, I rarely use one for anything, either reflexive is fine, and the generic he has always been ridiculous.

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Usage Wars: Singular They, Singular Themselves, Generic He

Wasn’t there already a thread about this? Why did you make another one?

They is a legitimate pronoun. I use it.

Since the original thread was temporarily closed, I’m about to go through and take a look to see what needs to be responded. This issue has spilled into three different threads at this point. I’m going to close this in favor of the original thread, which will be re-opened pending review and potential clean up. I may move comments around as needed, so I’m going to ask for some patience while we get caught up.

My apologies for the time it’s taken me to get back to this. Labor Day weekend has thrown a bit of a wrench in my ability to be online, so I’ll ask for a little patience as I get caught up!