Singular "they".

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    No, I was just limited on time. Only got to the first point.

    You are talking about the person defining themselves by their situation.
    I am talking about how others define the person.


    When I went to look for an apartment, the landlord did not not ask whether I had a spouse and how could I afford this place without a guarantor.
    When my wife did (before I came along) they did ask her.

    That's not my wife defining herself as a single parent; that's the landlord doing so.

    And was invisible to me because I am privileged to have people simply assume that - as a male - I have a steady and sufficient income.


    I can present a dozen such cases, over an array of privileges (sex, orientation, gender, colour, age, wealth, etc.) if you want. Suffice to say there is nothing specious about this anecdote.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    Freudian slip...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,703
    Yes I get that. But I was thinking my male gender didn't really need a tag

    If I was bi do you think the admin would have given me a DYMO tag with BI NURSE?

    Don't think so

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    Of course not. Because bi is not a gender - it's a sexual orientation. They are orthogonal traits (ie independent of each other).

    Gender is how you identify.
    Orientation is how you prefer your partners.

    (You're having a lot of difficulty with this, aren't you?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    )
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  8. LaurieAG Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    552
  9. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,409
    ...lol...

    Did you guys plan this?
     
  10. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,703
    You noticed? While was in hospital they put me through 3 cognitive test

    Missed (muddled a couple) but thought I'm OK. On discharge gave me 5 page summary from the staff giving treatment

    My cognitive test I came at 65%. Bit of blow to ego

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    . Off to Bali 8th August, have the girls there treat my sore back and ego

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    . Four weeks 4 ladies each with different skills. One I haven't met yet (long story). They all know about each other, a couple are good friends and another pairing share me on their free days

    And no I haven't with this pair

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Will still have free time for SciForum

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. O. W. Grant Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    185
    Hi,

    "... the verb endings are changed to reflect the pronoun."

    Thank you for bringing that up. It is a common trick.

    Finno-Ugric languages
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finno-Ugric_languages

    = = =

    to know the ropes

    Linguists are politicians.
    Grammars are constitutions.

    = = =

    Germanic, Finno-Ugric, Turkic, Arabic, ...

    slave (n.)
    https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=slave

    ...
     
  12. O. W. Grant Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    185


    You Can't Handle the Truth
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,001
    When I moved to Phoenix for grad school the first few apartment complexes I went to categorically wouldn't rent to me because I didn't have a job. I finally found a place where they would rent to anyone who said they could afford to pay the rent but I was beginning to wonder if this was going to be a big problem.

    I suspect today that it is much more common. With all of the anti-discrimination laws on the books it makes landlords even more careful because it's hard to get rid of anyone and you have to rent to the first person in the door. So now they check much more carefully the few areas where they can be "discriminating".
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    OK, so you acknowledge its true.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,001
    Yes and it's life as well. It's not something that doesn't happen to white males. It also doesn't really add a lot to the conversation.

    It's like saying women don't think I understand motherhood as well as they do. True but so what?
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    OK so you're defending it.

    'Privilege is part of life' is your response.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    OK so you're defending it - "privilege is part of life".

    We just agreed that it does not.

    Being told you can't have a lease because you are a woman is discrimination.

    Being told you can't have a lease because you are jobless is not discrimination.
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,001
    I'm not defending anything. I'm just not being hypersensitive about it.
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,001
    Did they tell your wife that she couldn't have it because she was a woman?
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,132
    They asked where her children's father was, and said they were not confident she could meet her payments.

    Who says anyone is being 'hypersensitive' ? Are you suggesting the woman who can't get a place because she's a woman is being 'hypersensitive'? The black guy in Starbucks being asked his business there is being 'hypersensitive'?
     
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,001
    I couldn't get an apartment either but I wasn't hypersensitive about it. I kept looking.

    When I was a kid we were asked if we were going to buy anything. It happens. It's not right but it's life. It didn't stop me from buying something and it didn't stop me from finding an apartment.

    We don't know it was because she was female and he was black.
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,380
    C C:

    It's not clear to me whether you think this means that gender-neutral pronouns are a bad idea, which seems to be the general thrust of your comments.

    Two questions arise. The first one is whether the problem lies in the non-binary people or in the binary-gendered language. Is it the people who need fixing, in your opinion, or the language?

    The second question is a cart vs horse one: is the less-favourable rating for people described in non-binary terms due to a deficiency in the language, or is it due to existing biases among those who are judging? Again, probably you need to work out whether this is a language problem, or a people problem.

    At the moment, your focus seems to be on "fixing" the (non-binary) people to address the first problem, and assuming that the second problem is best fixed by avoiding non-binary language. In other words, the gist of your argument seems to be that non-binary people need fixing and that if they were eliminated as a problem we wouldn't need to mess with the language.
    Then there's this bit, which is a slippery-slope fallacy.

    It all smacks of intolerance, unfortunately.
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,380
    It's more likely that "they" is used because it is an established gender-neutral term. It has nothing to do with plurality.
     

Share This Page