Sunday, September 15, 2019

Pronoun Power: The Quest for Singular "They"

When I was writing my book I had my dear step-Mom read a draft and when I asked her for her thoughts she said she loved all but two things: my grammar and my punctuation. My reply was that I was lucky enough to have a brilliant editor who'd fix all my errors so she could rest assured the world would not know how atrocious my actual writing is. 

Most of the time I agreed with the changes that were suggested to me but one particular back-and-forth I do remember having with my editor was how they is a plural and I could not use it in the singular for a sentence I was trying to include. I was annoyed but eventually acquiesced 😒

Fast forward to today when we are trying to be a more inclusive non-gender-biased world and well meaning folks who are guarding the rules of grammar are torn about how to use a plural pronoun in a way that can be adopted by individuals who would prefer not be identified as either he or she

Well, finally my quest for using singular they has risen to include a social component that makes it ripe to be embraced. Still I thought why not avoid the grammar wars and instead forge a new frontier. 

So today I take the bold step of suggesting we create a new pronoun that can stand in singular non-gender form but include all people: thay / thair

Pronounced the same but used to represent "a" singular person instead of a plural.

Pronouns are simply words but when someone is disempowered by having to identify themselves as one that does not fit these words can wound. They can be used by ignorant people as weapons of division. Let's keep the meaning they has held but add thay as a sign of the times and a pronoun that gives power to our communication that we can all back.

Power to the Pronoun! Power to ALL the People: he, she, thay!