The Atlantic

Letters: ‘Why Not Create a New Word?’

Readers mull the use of they as a third-person singular pronoun.
Source: Associated Press

Call Them What They Wants

English speakers must simply accept the adoption of the singular they as a rejection of the gender binary, John McWhorter argued recently. “Pronouns change, just as we do.”


I admire John McWhorter’s great readiness to embrace changes in language as they happen, and am entertained by his antagonism to pointless grammatical rigors.

English has needed a generic third-person singular pronoun for a long time; wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it appears to be here to stay, and I prefer having an imperfect solution

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