Thread: He, She...

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  1. #41
    Moderator aiko-chan's Avatar
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    I'll have to echo other people here with "one", although it seems to be more...situational? "One does not simply walk into Mordor." works but "One went to the store" sounds stupid. "They" is what I would use in that case, because although it usually implies more than one person it doesn't always need to.

    That's why I like Japanese. It tends to be a lot more simple for stuff like that. For referring to he/she ("that person" is a better way of putting it) you have different methods based off of affection or familiarity. "ano kata" is very formal, and you won't hear it often in casual conversation. "ano hito" is more casual and a lot more commonly heard. "yatsu" is informal and comes off as rude. Then there are even more (like koitsu, soitsu and aitsu if you're mean ). I think it's a lot more clean and easier to portray emotion.

  2. #42
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikoyamamato View Post
    I'll have to echo other people here with "one", although it seems to be more...situational? "One does not simply walk into Mordor." works but "One went to the store" sounds stupid. "They" is what I would use in that case, because although it usually implies more than one person it doesn't always need to.
    As said, "one" is a generalist pronoun. One has french fries with steak, one avoids Germany when seeking good food, etc.

    I haven't had lunch yet. :-\
    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.
    - Eugen Weber

  3. #43
    Old God Grizzly Willy'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.
    I have never seen those words used in American English. Are they used in standard English?
    Edit: I see that they're considered "invented pronouns," so it looks like they're not officially recognized.
    Last edited by Grizzly Willy; 2013-01-08 at 10:10 PM.

  4. #44
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grokan View Post
    I have never seen those words used in American English. Are they used in standard English?
    No. It's a slang pronoun; in standard English, he is the correct neuter pronoun.
    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.
    - Eugen Weber

  5. #45
    Pandaren Monk Tokru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    one (who does not know better) avoids Germany when seeking good food, etc.
    Sry, that had to be fixed.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by maxilian View Post
    But isn't ''It" used to talk about object and animals only?
    Yes, he's wrong and there's no word equivalent in english for "hän". It's literally a gender equal he/she.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    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.
    On can also be used as a personal pronoun, and often replaces nous in a colloquial register (e.g. On s'est rencontrées, when referring to 2 or more women).

  8. #48
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylphen View Post
    On can also be used as a personal pronoun, and often replaces nous in a colloquial register (e.g. On s'est rencontrées, when referring to 2 or more women).
    I don't deal in colloquialisms When asking for linguistic advice, I refer to the standard mode of a language.
    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.
    - Eugen Weber

  9. #49
    Old God Grizzly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    No. It's a slang pronoun; in standard English, he is the correct neuter pronoun.
    I always default to "they," "them," "one," or "the __," with the blank filled by the classification of the actor. For example, were I am talking about an interaction in a video game, I would say "the player." I'm not really comfortable using "he" since "they" or "them" makes more sense to me, but I can accept if that's technically wrong. I'm also used to placing commas outside of the quotation marks, which I've been told is technically incorrect according to American English rules, but correct in British English rules.

    Anyways, I wouldn't try using "ze/zhe" on a paper. If it's considered slang then it isn't accepted, and I imagine it would get the same reception as words like "ain't."

  10. #50
    they/them. There are other terms that have been mentioned but those are either only accepted by a minority as real words or are considered insulting (shim, shemale, etc)

  11. #51
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grokan View Post
    I always default to "they," "them," "one," or "the __," with the blank filled by the classification of the actor. For example, were I talking about an interaction in a video game, I would say "the player." I'm not really comfortable using "he" since "they" or "them" makes more sense to me, but I can accept if that's technically wrong. I'm also used to placing commas outside of the quotation marks, which I've been told is technically incorrect according to American English rules, but correct in British English rules.

    Anyways, I wouldn't try using "ze/zhe" on a paper. If it's considered slang then it isn't accepted, and I imagine it would get the same reception as words like "ain't."
    Of course, I tend to use "they" or "He or she" in common speech. But in Standard English, both American and British, "He" is the correct form.
    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.
    - Eugen Weber

  12. #52
    "Hen" is just gender-neutral bullshit by those who think gender is merely a social construct
    Nyoro~n? (´・ω・`)
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    One year, 62kg/136lb lost. Only a little bit left...

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    his/her

    Otherwise you can try using 'they'.
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    NO-

    Okay, let's regain at least a little composure, shall we? A few months ago before I took this Honors World Literature class, I would have seen the sentence "If a student doesn't study, they will fail." and see nothing wrong with it. But man, I can't even type that now without getting the heeby jeebies.

    You can fix it by saying
    1. "If students don't study, they will fail." or
    2. "If a student doesn't study, he or she will fail."

    They're both fine, but number two can be wordy. Just shorten it to he (some say it's sexist, but even my pro-woman teacher says just to say he).

    Please don't use zhe or other stupid words like that. I usually try to be tolerant of others on these forums and avoid words like "stupid", but I won't hesitate in this place.

    Also, don't use one. "If a student doesn't study, one will fail." That doesn't work. Don't use "it" either; it's not a very human word.

    Finally, everyone on this thread is telling you to use "they". akjsdhfajksherlhakdjshkrhserjhasliuHrelkiawEslaahfslidhfadhlihrjfhsldhfajk

    "They" is wrong. "They" is used for more than one person. However, people are silly and sooner or later "they" will become acceptable. I play LoL and WoW more than most people should, and I see this problem so many times. AGH.

    So yeah, there isn't a word that you're looking for. I'm not sure why, English is funny. If you're writing something, remake the sentence. If you're talking, don't worry if you accidently slip in a "they", it's much less formal.
    Last edited by lopk; 2013-01-08 at 10:25 PM.

  14. #54
    Old God Grizzly Willy's Avatar
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    "He or she" does sound better, but I don't see why "they" needs to remain strictly plural. I also agree that "it" should never be used when the subject is a person.

    Do you think "the person" would also suffice?

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by lopk View Post
    Finally, everyone on this thread is telling you to use "they"....
    They is useable for single people I'm rpetty sure. Could check dictionary.com or something, but wiktionary says it's okay.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    "Hen" is just gender-neutral bullshit by those who think gender is merely a social construct
    Exactly right..existential nonsense. It's really silly how all this Simone de Beauvoir crap is being dug up and made to in this case change language... To whom is it sexist to have a word for your gender..really.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Monolith of Mazes View Post
    They is useable for single people I'm rpetty sure. Could check dictionary.com or something, but wiktionary says it's okay.
    It's gramatically wrong. There's absolutely no way that one can make an argument for it otherwise.

    However, it's a mistake that is made so damn much that it's often overlooked, and most people (people unlike myself who aren't grammar freaks) just accept it. It isn't grammatically correct - but give it a good 100 years - it eventually will be.

    Edit: Grokan- unless I read something terribly wrong, the definition only talks about plurals, not singulars.
    Last edited by lopk; 2013-01-08 at 10:32 PM.

  18. #58
    All this zhe/ze talk has "fire ze missiles" repeating in my head.

  19. #59
    Old God Grizzly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lopk View Post
    It's gramatically wrong. There's absolutely no way that one can make an argument for it otherwise.

    However, it's a mistake that is made so damn much that it's often overlooked, and most people (people unlike myself who aren't grammar freaks) just accept it. It isn't grammatically correct - but give it a good 100 years - it eventually will be.
    Guess I'm not just as much of a grammar freak as you.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiny212 View Post
    Exactly right..existential nonsense. It's really silly how all this Simone de Beauvoir crap is being dug up and made to in this case change language... To whom is it sexist to have a word for your gender..really.
    We on the east side of swedish border are lolling how much controversy simple "hen" can cause while Finland has never had any gender specific word for it and has always stuck with gender neutral "hän"

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