Singular "they".

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    A pity. I didn't mean to curtail such a fascinating topic.
     
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    You can always start a separate thread devoted to otherkin, or even the whole spectrum of possible social justice trends for tomorrow (including robot rights).

    IMO, it's not wholly incorrect -- as the article suggests below -- to refer to a therian as otherkin. The problem is that otherkin isn't specific enough, like referring to the state of New Jersey when one really means a particular city within it, such as Trenton.

    I neglected how much the current ones apparently depend upon virtual representations of their non-human selves, in lieu of the future advances that could physically instantiate trans-species modification.

    John Varley was way ahead of his time, writing decades ago about societies with casual body transitions that were akin to just changing clothes. The short-story about the kid who had the appearance of a dinosaur comes to mind, wherein the actual protagonist was a "Peter Pan" type character whose AI "mother" would not allow him to age or enter adolescence and adulthood.

    Otherkin are the internet’s punchline. They’re also our future
    https://www.dailydot.com/irl/otherkin/

    EXCERPTS: . . . Rhia’s partner brooke has a similar story as a queer, polyamorous, transfem agender, and plural otherkin who kins (or identifies with) horses [...] In brooke’s case, it originally explored identifying with womanhood before exploring its non-human identity. And like Rhia, brooke found acceptance in queer spaces partly because marginalized people share a sense of comradery in experiencing marginalization.

    [...] Rhia, brooke, and other otherkin are unmistakably challenging what it means to have an identity, let alone a body. ... The internet, in particular, fosters weirdqueer spaces by giving otherkin the opportunity to experiment with their virtual physical appearance [...] This, brooke said, coincides with a growing feminist movement called Glitch Feminism that explores how “virtual spaces can help us escape” the rigid norms and rules forced onto physical bodies IRL.

    [...] Today, “otherkin” is treated more like an umbrella term for all kintypes, according to the Gender Wiki, although not every person within the kin community necessarily identifies with the term “otherkin.” Additionally, many outsiders erroneously use “otherkin” when they mean “therian.” The term “therian” refers to those who identify with animal kintypes, such as wolves, foxes, rabbits, and other creatures...

    [...] Kasi Frost is a fox, an elf, an object, and a doll/robot along with “blends” of these identities together who uses nouns instead of pronouns (“we don’t [use pronouns], it doesn’t, the fox doll prefers nouns, as they better illustrates itself, ourselves,” Frost told the Daily Dot over Telegram). Frost, who is a hypnotherapist, is an advocate for “self-work for species dysphoria,” and uses hypnotherapy for “alleviating stress and other challenges” related to species dysphoria and does “speaking, teaching, and advocacy work in professional venues and other informal supportive venues.”
     
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    And now the Boomers have become the dinosaurs.

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    (This hits home with me because my last uncle - of 29 - died this week. Now I AM the "older generation".)

    And yet, words like n****r, which were looked down on by MY generation, have failed to "fall by the wayside".
     
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  7. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    When referring to non-humans, 'it' is singular and 'they' is plural. How about 'ti' for humans?
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    For a while, I used the gender-equitable s/he - which is singular, but it is still binary.

    So as far as I'm concerned the community has spoken, and they prefer 'they'.

    If you want to find your own word that only works for you, I won't be much help.
     
  9. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    We now have gem

    White House mum on education union's proposal to change 'mother' to 'birthing parent,' defends First Lady, VP

    of a headline

    Will dad therefore be designated as non birthing parent?

    Parent, to me indicates a married couple, but of course, there a millions of females who are mother who are not married

    So do we get birthing single or what other crazy labels can be thought of?

    Since this wak-a-doo has been dreamed up by a education union there is no claim that mothers wish to be called this as a united group

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  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    My wife, who teaches in his industry, can certainly confirm this.

    Not all birthing parents are mothers.

    It's 'birth partner', and you can't assume it's 'dad'.

    Why? That does not follow.

    I can tell you that birthing partners who are not fathers feel pretty damned marginalized if all their professionals keep referring to them as 'father' and 'dad'.

    It is the kind of thing that causes them to seek out more inclusive organizations. And that means organizations that adapt to a changing world grow and thrive, instead of dying off like the dinosaurs.


    Here is a small sampling of birth partner combinations actually encountered in real life:

    Female / male
    Female / female
    Male / male
    Female / female / male
    Female / male / female
    Female / female / female
    Non-bin / female / male
    Female / non-bin / male
    Non-bin / female / female
    Female / non-bin / female
    etc.

    Care to tell me how appropriate 'mother', 'mom', 'father' and 'dad' are?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
  11. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    By parent, do you mean those who provided genetic material OR those who are physically raising the child?
     
  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Assistant parent.
     
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    As per DaveC426913 list can be any of multiple combinations

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  14. Dicart Registered Senior Member

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    Where is my dog ?
    If you know the gender of the dog, you use he or she, but if you dont know the gender you use it.


    This should be the same with an individual or a person.
    If you dont "know" (or dont want to know so as to be gender neutral) the gender of a person, you would need to use "it".
    Where is this person ? It is in his car.

    But... this is awful because doing this can be understand that you consider the person to be an object (and it is degrading).
    So you have to use "they" or "them" instead of "it" (you can use "it" for animals, nobody care, curently... but the owner of the dog would appreciate you use something else than "it", be creativ).
     
  15. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    I don't like they, since singular-plural distinction is lost. Also (I gather) the use of 'they' may have political overtones. There are enough other possibilities (ti, tey, etc.) to get a simpler word.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I guess the idea with "they" is that their gender isn't singular and therefore "they" being plural is used. It seems like a situation where you might be better picking your battles and moving on to more important ones like political rights, laws against discrimination, educational platforms that might all be more important battles to fight.

    Jane Fonda became Mrs when she married rather than Ms and when asked why she essentially said it's better to pick your battles.
     
  17. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Individuals are singular, as opposed to plural. The word should NOT be political.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    What makes you think it's political?

    Is you wanting to be called mathman 'political'? How?

    'mathman' means 'men who have a degree in math'. If you don't, you should not be using it.
    Right?
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    For decades men without math degrees who identify as mathmen have been abused by society. If the person who chooses to be referred to as "mathman" so chooses, who are we to say otherwise?

    It's the old fuddy duddies who can't change that have an issue with this. Perhaps you should look into the mirror? Others have noticed this as well or so I've been told.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? "Mathman" is a man who does math. You don't need a degree to do that.
    People are getting quite triggered when they see a signature on an email that says "pronouns: they, them." That triggering falls right down political lines. So yes, it is political, even though it should not be.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Most dog owners I know use "they" as in "what's their name?" Very few dog owners refer to dogs as an "it."

    Actually, more often it is "what's his name?" and then the owner says "she" and then it becomes "OK what's her name?" Just not a big deal.
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    True but what if the dog is gender fluid?
     
  23. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

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    Which of the following is easier to say, easier to write, and offends fewer people?

    1. I will ask each of my coworkers what they think about this topic.
    2. I will ask each of my coworkers what he or she thinks about this topic.
     

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