All Topics / Opinionated! / Personal pronouns – can someone explain?

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  • Benny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,416

    Hi all,

    I recently noted one person who had chosen and written (alongside their name) the pronouns “he / him”.   OK, so I’ve heard about this (and other possibilities besides “she / her” or “he / him”), and believed that this is how that person wishes to be referred to, when not using their name directly.   Fair enough – but wait…..   these are “3rd person” pronouns i.e. the kind we would use when talking to someone else about this “3rd person”.  So, they wouldn’t even be in the room to become offended by the wrong pronoun being used.

    If one were conversing WITH this person, the 2nd person pronoun (common to all) is “you”.   e.g.  Would you like a cup of tea?   Not “would he/she/ze like a cup of tea”.  And the 2nd person pronoun is sexless too – so no need for any alternative 2nd person pronoun – it is all “you” in that situation, isn’t it?  Male, female, boy, girl, young, old – “would YOU like a cup of tea” will do it.

    So, given one wishes to promote their personal pronouns, if they are being spoken about (3rd person) and not to (2nd person), how can they possibly be offended by language they don’t get to hear?   I don’t get it.  What am I missing here?

    Benny

    Profile photo of HeltanHeltan
    Participant
    @heltan
    Join Date: 2022
    Post Count: 0

     

    I think you are missing the opportunity to gag your own and others’ freedom of speech. Sometimes such a fuss arises, that we miss seeing the reality which you have so helpfully pointed out. Freedom of speech is one of the most precious things we possess as a society and any attempt to preserve it deserves acknowledgement. Thank you. Those who wish to use certain pronouns may do so, and those who wish to use different ones may do so, and as language users, we can use our own judgement as to which meanings and usages we wish to maintain. Languages that develop under a coercive force do not produce the best means of communication, in my opinion.

    Helen

    Benny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,416

    Hi Helen,

    You had me worried here for a minute:-

    I think you are missing the opportunity to gag your own and others’ freedom of speech.

    And then I realised this was a response to “What am I missing?” and, realising that, it put a whole different slant on my understanding of your reply.

    Thank you for your response – and that last sentence was SO on point !!   Well said.

    Benny

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

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