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CONLANG  September 2015, Week 1

CONLANG September 2015, Week 1

Subject:

Re: OT: non-standard pronouns mandated at University of Tennessee, Knoxville

From:

MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 4 Sep 2015 10:44:08 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (67 lines)

Another option is to use a person's or object's initials as a pronoun.
"Wilson (W) wants to take W's sister (S) and S's husband (H) to a premiere
(P) for and's (W & S) anniversary (A) celebration (C)."
Each noun can be referred to by its initial if desired. Duplicates can be
disambiguated as always, by specifying more particularly.

stevo

On Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 10:27 AM, And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > On 1 Sep 2015 15:13, "MorphemeAddict" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> I wonder why a person should even have any say in which pronoun is used
> to
> >> refer to him. Since it's 3rd person, he's neither the speaker nor the
> >> audience/listener. He's not part of the conversation.
>
> > But by referring to X as HIM or HER, a gender category is being imposed
> on
> > X that X finds objectionable. The speaker may choose to ignore X's
> > sensibilities or may choose to accommodate them.
> >
> > Our culture in 2015 generally lets individuals decide what names they
> want
> > to be referred to by, not just vocatively. We let the referent have a say
> > in the choice of name. So the same principle could be extended to
> pronouns.
>
> There are some who take this argument to its logical extreme and argue
> that pronouns should be an open class -- that not only should we adopt
> one set of gender-neutral pronouns, but lots of them to suit the
> varied tastes of all non-binary identifying people.  I wish them luck
> but I don't think it will catch on -- it's hard enough to
> delliberately get one loanword or neologism to catch on in an open
> class like nouns or verbs, much harder in a closed class, and as for
> turning a closed class into an open class, I don't know if it's ever
> been done.
>
> There was a discussion about this at Tor.com a few months ago:
>
>
> http://www.tor.com/2014/06/03/post-binary-gender-in-sf-excitotech-and-non-binary-pronouns/
>
> One poster in the thread wrote this:
>
> >>>I think the appropriate reaction to realizing that there are an
> infinite number of variations on gender is thus not to invent an infinite
> number of pronouns, but to give up the one-to-one correspondence between
> pronouns and gender.
>
> which is much more concise and clear than my own post later on.
>
> On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 11:47 AM, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > "It", at least, appears to be a non-starter. Referring to another
> > person as "it" is usually considered derogatory since "it" implies
> > non-sapience. "They" at least has no such implication.
>
> It used to not imply non-sapience.  But yes, it feels strange when I
> read an older book that uses "it" to refer to prepubescent children of
> unspecified gender.
>
> --
> Jim Henry
> http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
> http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
>

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