Sunday, February 14, 2016

Well, if he can do it ...

The him/her/them issue is troubling, isn't it? But look how long we've been using they/them — and particularly themself, the word most currently vexing grammar purists — to obscure the gender of a sentence agent or object. And from no less a canonical authority than Thomas Wyatt.

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Happy gender-mashed Valentine's Day!


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