Also: It might be seen as political correctness, but you'll have to concede that the fact that we use pronouns for genders is pretty damned idiotic in the first place. Strictly speaking, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to even do so. There's some languages that don't even háve male/female pronounce. They make do with 'living' and 'objects.' Works fine, and is much more logical than having to mention a person's genitals every single time you point at them. Because that's what it is, really.
"How do you feel about those pair of ovaries right there?"
"Well; I don't know... I think that pair of testes would do a better job."
"That cock right there has the right idea."
"Yeah but tits over yonder makes a fair point."
Neither of these examples would be regarded as polite, yet, by using gender-specific pronouns, that is exactly what we say. Our conversations are riddled with profanity; we merely choose to ignore it.
To echo what has been said multiple times (and ignored at least as often), "they" is not an acceptable replacement for a singular pronoun. "He" is the appropriate pronoun when the gender is unknown.
Using "they" inappropriately risks having hordes of rabid grammarists arriving at one's doorstep with pitchforks and torches.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=89 discusses the subject... of particular note:
"Avoid singular they if you want to; nobody is making you use it. But don't ever think that it is new (it goes back to early English centuries ago), or that it is illogical (there is no logical conflict between being syntactically singular and semantically plural), or that it is ungrammatical (it is used by the finest writers who ever used English, writers who uncontroversially knew what they were doing)."
Besides, while I believe that rules and grammar are important, I don't believe that they are unchanging. Language evolves over time, and if people use "they" to refer to a single person, eventually it's going to become accepted.
On the topic of grammar, a site I'm fond of, that has a list of common grammar myths, is here, link going to said list of grammar myths:http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com...mar-myths.aspx
She does cover the topic of "they" used to refer to singular people (link: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com...l-pronoun.aspx), but doesn't come down solidly in favor of any particular solution. The one she favors is rewriting the sentence to avoid the pronoun if at all possible, followed by using "he or she" in formal writing, but she also comments that as more and more people use "they" in such situations, the rules of grammar will eventually begin to move in that direction as well.
I avoid playing "Grammar Nazi" partially because the mods of the site don't believe that grammar has any importance or relevance, but partially because rules and usage do change over time (the final reason being that with some people, it's obvious that English is a second language, and I'm not going to correct their usage unless they're asking for help).
Short version: I side with Grammar Girl. In formal writing, I'll re-write sentences to avoid the use of pronouns or use "him/her" or "him or her", but in any other context (including forums, which are most definitely not formal writing), I use "they" as a singular pronoun in situations where gender is unknown.
It(a bit rude to refer to a person as this)
You can use the plural "they" if you don't want to be gender specific, also you can use "somebody" or "someone".
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I ABHOR the use of "they" for ambiguity. "They" is a plural pronoun. "He" and "she" are singular pronouns. You would not swap "Chevrolet" or "Ford" for "cars," you would use "car." For example, someone might say "I like your new Camaro." If a person does not know the model of the car, the person would not say "I like your new cars."
I believe that it is some kind of oversight that occurred in the English language to have no singular pronoun to offer ambiguity, but since this was started as a patriarchal society, I always go with "he" when there is an issue of ambiguity. I will occasionally use "he or she," but that can cause wordiness at times.
In English the least awkward way of talking about someone without using their gender is to use the word "person."
A person opened the door. Its not a pronoun but its gender neutral like the word in the OP.
I Vissefjärda kan man skryta om
att Nils Dacke kom därifrån
Men i Gullabo går inte det
Vi har dock världens största träslev
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I guess most countries dont have that in the own language.
In germany we have "es" but it's like saying "it" in english to a person, its rude and should be used for animals and objects.
But I do like the idea ! if the gender is unknown you could use that to describe the person, thats pretty neat.
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