Gender Pronouns And The History Of 'They'
The use of the word “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is gaining wider acceptance, even among copy editors. But linguist and Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Zimmer says the use of the universal pronoun ‘they’ is nothing new.
Zimmer tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that writers including Chaucer and Shakespeare have used “they” instead of he or she. But will modern-day English speakers adapt their style to incorporate “they”?
- Ben Zimmer, linguist, lexicographer and executive editor at Vocabulary.com and author of the weekly Wall Street Journal column “Word on the Street.” He tweets @bgzimmer.
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