Thread: He, She...

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  1. #21
    The Patient
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    'am I stupid for not being able to come up with an example where this would be used?

  2. #22
    Warchief
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    Quote Originally Posted by darenyon View Post
    theres no word. using "they" singularly is considered very bad grammar.
    In the given example, "_____ opened the door with a key," the singular they doesn't work very well. I personally am opposed to the use of a singular they, but it's getting more accepted.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

    Some examples of Singular They:
    "A person should worry about their own problems." vs "A person should worry about his own problems."
    "One student failed their exam." vs "One student failed his exam."

  3. #23
    Epic! Duncanîdaho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    did you read the thread, a few people already posted its ze or zhe.
    Could you use that in a sentence? I've never scene or heard of the word before. I'm just curious. Would it just be like "Zhe went to the grocery store to buy food."?
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  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncanîdaho View Post
    Could you use that in a sentence? I've never scene or heard of the word before. I'm just curious. Would it just be like "Zhe went to the grocery store to buy food."?
    yup, anywhere you would use he or she.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Liagala View Post
    When I was in school I was taught that it is grammatically proper to use the masculine pronoun whenever gender is unknown or irrelevant, but that is becoming less true as time goes on. I've never heard of this "zhe" stuff, so I can't speak to that one way or the other.
    Still is, but unfortunately rules don't mean much in language as languages are always evolving. "He" refers to both genders when used with that intention. An example such as "if someone were to skip my class, he would most certainly fail," in which both males and females could fit this supposed person.
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  6. #26
    The Unstoppable Force Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lysah View Post
    Still is, but unfortunately rules don't mean much in language as languages are always evolving. "He" refers to both genders when used with that intention. An example such as "if someone were to skip my class, he would most certainly fail," in which both males and females could fit this supposed person.
    English isn't the only language that follows this rule as well. In Spanish, 'ellos' can refer to a group of both genders or exclusively male, where 'ellas' refers to a group of exclusively female.
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  7. #27
    Dreadlord
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    A good example for use of a pronoun that could refer to a guy or a girl are the Wow tooltips.

    "Icebound Fortitude - The Death Knight freezes HER blood to become immune to Stun effects and reduces all damage taken by 20% for 12 sec."

    Blizz has it set up to switch between "her" and "his" depending on the player, but if they were somehow unable to do it, a pronoun meaning either his/her would've been appropriate. I've seen many instances where such a pronoun would be useful, and I'm surprised that we don't have an official word for it. I personally use "they" if it's casually used or "one" "one's" if it's in a formal report.
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  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    did you read the thread, a few people already posted its ze or zhe.
    Oh, I thought they were joking, switching out s with z's usually implies parodying a German speaking English.

    How would you pronounce 'zhe' though? I mean, without making it sound like she. Zzzzz-he?
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  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Zeus View Post
    Hello

    Is there some kind of English word that describes a person by its gender but you don't want to say the gender of the person? This may sound confusing, so let me explain it!

    In Sweden we got a word called "Hen", which basiaclly means he or she. It could be either of them, but the writer doesn't want to tell the reader what, maybe because of various reasons (for example that the gender of the person doesn't matter etc, etc...)

    Here's an example that I will write in Swedish then translate it to English.

    "Hen öppnade dörren med en nyckel"
    "... opened the door with a key"

    Also when you search for a job in some companies, they want you to define yourself as an individual with han, hon or hen.

    Han = He
    Hon = She
    Hen = ?

    Tell me if you still don't understand and I'll try to explain it for you
    I'm swedish and I don't know anyone who uses that term. It just feels dumb and unnatural.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    did you read the thread, a few people already posted its ze or zhe.
    Those are not commonly accepted or used.

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  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Bergtau View Post
    Those are not commonly accepted or used.
    Neither is the swedish equivilent, but it is the one we have.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamdwelf View Post
    Neither is the swedish equivilent, but it is the one we have.
    Well I'm not sure of the roots of the Swedish one, but zhe/ze etc. are not even something you could really consider English to have, as they are simply proposed new pronouns being pushed by a group who are trying to supplement modern English with their use but are not being used at all. It's not being printed in dictionaries or books, etc. Attempting to use it in a book would just confuse people.

    Bergtau's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability that somebody will mention Godwin's Law approaches 1.
    Hitler wasn't all bad, I mean, he DID kill Hitler.
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  13. #33
    Epic! Tokru's Avatar
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    Hm, is "one" as in "One does not simply walk into Mordor." too general? That's the only thing I can think of regarding that problem.

  14. #34
    The Lightbringer JfmC's Avatar
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    how about "it" or "the person"
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  15. #35
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    "them" "they" if you can't/won't/don't want to specify a gender.

    bad grammar, maybe. but it works and people do it all the time.
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  16. #36
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    It's pretty common to just say "he/she," or simply say "he." Technically speaking, "he" is supposed to be usable as a gender-neutral pronoun when you want it to, but that usage has been muddled a bit.
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  17. #37
    I am Murloc! Garnier Fructis's Avatar
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    You can use they to refer to a single person without explicitly giving a gender, although according to the last English professor I had the most correct way is to use "he" if the gender is unknown.
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  18. #38
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    He is the default when gender is indeterminate, as in French and most other Indo-European languages.
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  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    He is the default when gender is indeterminate, as in French and most other Indo-European languages.
    On dirait qu'il y a toujours une exception qui confirme la règle.

  20. #40
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylphen View Post
    On dirait qu'il y a toujours une exception qui confirme la règle.
    On is a generalist pronoun, not a strictly third person singular. On mange des frites avec steak would be saying in English One (generally) eats french fries with steak. or People eat french fries with steak.
    Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
    - Thucydides

    There is a modern myth that people have always tended towards democracy, constitutions, electoral rights; but in truth, love of freedom has never been the predominant note of popular politics. At most times, popular demand has been for a strong government.
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