• Police refuse to give gender of suspects in transgender brawl - in case they get it wrong
    80 replies, posted
[QUOTE=Trilby Harlow;52827833]To refer to people as plural or to fix otherwise awkward sentences. IE "He had trouble swimming, they should really take some lessons". So it's an acceptable use of the word in the same way "ain't" is a word, but to say that that's it's technical meaning is incorrect. Since it's supposed to be used for a group or collective amount of people, and using it also to refer to singular individuals will erode the word and it's usefulness to distinguish between singular and plural.[/QUOTE] Its almost like language evolves over time or something
I thought using 'they' to refer to a single person was used in a situation where said person is interchangeable and can be either male or female.
people who bitch about singular "they" are a) fucking dumb and b) really often use it without even realising also the woman was punched in the face in self defense, she put someone half her size in a headlock and was, by her own admission, kicking them repeatedly
anyone else find it a bit suspect how nobody has any problem with language or grammar til it involves making trans people comfortable :thinking: [editline]l[/editline] like really i see this complaint a lot about "they" from people that talk in 50% incorrect abbreviations and slang, suddenly when gender comes in to it they just can't bring themselves to violate the language
[QUOTE=DatHarry;52830416]anyone else find it a bit suspect how nobody has any problem with language or grammar til it involves making trans people comfortable :thinking: [editline]l[/editline] like really i see this complaint a lot about "they" from people that talk in 50% incorrect abbreviations and slang, suddenly when gender comes in to it they just can't bring themselves to violate the language[/QUOTE] Because they it challenged them to acknowledge something they don't know. "They" worked when you didn't know their gender, for them, but to acknowledge a person wanting that to be their gender? Well, ain't that silly? Just pick a gender, it's not that hard. But you have a penis, right? So I should call you he. Wait, you say you're a girl? But you're born with a penis? Why not just live as a guy, none of [I]us[/I] have that problem. (posting those sentences as if from a transphobic perspective, those aren't my actual thoughts, obviously)
[QUOTE=DatHarry;52830416]anyone else find it a bit suspect how nobody has any problem with language or grammar til it involves making trans people comfortable :thinking: [editline]l[/editline] like really i see this complaint a lot about "they" from people that talk in 50% incorrect abbreviations and slang, suddenly when gender comes in to it they just can't bring themselves to violate the language[/QUOTE] What are you talking about? Linguistic prescriptivism is fucking everywhere. "stop using literally that way" "selfie isn't a real word" "AAVE isn't real english" etc. Schools literally ban the last one.
[QUOTE=thelurker1234;52831018]What are you talking about? Linguistic prescriptivism is fucking everywhere. "stop using literally that way" "selfie isn't a real word" "AAVE isn't real english" etc. Schools literally ban the last one.[/QUOTE] Pretty much every person who uses any of those arguments is lame anyway tbh! Language changes. Terminology changes. New words are invented. Language isn't a set constant. And to pretend like it is is being silly.
don't you refer to trans as their preferred pronoun what will be he or she tho rather than they? unless you don't know their preferred pronoun... aren't the people that want to be called they something else?
[QUOTE=Pascall;52831107]Pretty much every person who uses any of those arguments is lame anyway tbh! Language changes. Terminology changes. New words are invented. Language isn't a set constant. And to pretend like it is is being silly.[/QUOTE] Beyond lame, really. It can be downright racist and discriminatory in the case of AAVE, hell, many regional dialects are used to judge people as inferior.
They "are" playing basketball. There u go.
[QUOTE=Pascall;52831826]They "are" playing basketball. There u go.[/QUOTE] Wouldn't that be referring to the whole team?
Depends on context. Which I imagine would accompany said statement. Language isn't very black and white. Depends on the situation, environment, context clues, etc.
You can fix that by establishing your antecedents properly or rewriting the sentences. But yeah, it can be a pain. At the very least though, it's far from the only place where you can create ambiguity by using poor sentence structures.
[QUOTE=Pascall;52831843]Depends on context. Which I imagine would accompany said statement. Language isn't very black and white. Depends on the situation, environment, context clues, etc.[/QUOTE] Let me just say, first of all, that the whole 'they' thing doesn't bother me at all. If someone wanted to be referred to as 'they' I would do so. With that said, there are some situations where using they, exclusively, as a third person pronoun is going to be confusing. One example is when you're talking about an individual who is within a larger groups. Generally you can use he/she to refer to the individual, and 'they' to refer to the group, at the same time, but if you have to use 'they' in reference to both, then it gets a lot more difficult. The easiest solution is probably to not use pronouns for the group.
[QUOTE=sgman91;52831833]Wouldn't that be referring to the whole team?[/QUOTE] To add to the earlier post, "they" is vague in this matter but you should be using context to determine whether "they" in any given case is singular, plural, or used as such that "they" can refer to both an individual or a group at the same time. "They are playing Basketball. Their friends joined in. I'd say they are pretty good at dribbling!" If this sentence started with, say, "look at that person over there", that would sufficient context for somebody to understand it's a singular "they". On the other hand, "the basketball team is there" should be context that suggests it's a plural "they". However, the subject of context also extends to he and she. In a group consisting of multiple males, who is "he" in the phrase "He is playing basketball"?
[QUOTE=sgman91;52831848]Let me just say, first of all, that the whole 'they' thing doesn't bother me at all. If someone wanted to be referred to as 'they' I would do so. With that said, there are some situations where using they, exclusively, as a third person pronoun is going to be confusing. One example is when you're talking about an individual who is within a larger groups. Generally you can use he/she to refer to the individual, and 'they' to refer to the group, at the same time, but if you have to use 'they' in reference to both, then it gets a lot more difficult. The easiest solution is probably to not use pronouns for the group.[/QUOTE] You could go sans pronouns or use them, but the important thing is that you avoid purposely misgendering just for the sake of using whatever you're comfortable with, or just because it's the "typical" way of referring to someone. Just kinda goes back to just being a polite person.
For example: "He went to hang out with some friends while they were playing basketball. He wasn't very good. They always lost when playing with other kids." If I were to only use 'they' for the singular pronoun, it would become: "They went to hang out with some friends while they were playing basketball. They weren't very good. They always lost when playing with other kids." In that example you lose the fact that the one kid is specifically not very good, and instead think that all the kids aren't very good. To fix this you would have to say: "They went to hang out with some friends while the friends were playing basketball. They weren't very good. The groups of friends always lost when playing with other kids."
Damned if you do, damned if you dont
One of my friend is non binary, everyone in that group calls them "They" or "Them" and nobody has ever had issues with that. There's never a confusion between the multiple uses of "they", because language doesn't exist in a vacuum, there is always context. I've seen so many times the simple situation of someone asking for a pronom to be used, and people just respecting that with no question asked cause it represents almost no effort to them and it makes a big difference for that person. So i'm super skeptical of people who have "grammatical concerns" with it, when it's really that easy to just start saying "how's their day going? I agree with what they said earlier". It's easy to make up out of context sentences and say they sound "weird", but in context it's completely natural to use it. And I've never seen anyone get upset at someone for getting pronoms wrong when they genuinely didn't know or forgot.
[QUOTE=Trilby Harlow;52827874]So has "ain't". Doesn't mean it's correct.[/QUOTE] Why are you trying to argue about something you know nothing about again? [editline]29th October 2017[/editline] Why do you people even care so much about the word "they" like who the fuck even cares.
[QUOTE=sgman91;52831862]For example: "He went to hang out with some friends while they were playing basketball. He wasn't very good. They always lost when playing with other kids." If I were to only use 'they' for the singular pronoun, it would become: "They went to hang out with some friends while they were playing basketball. They weren't very good. They always lost when playing with other kids." In that example you lose the fact that the one kid is specifically not very good, and instead think that all the kids aren't very good. To fix this you would have to say: "They went to hang out with some friends while the friends were playing basketball. They weren't very good. The groups of friends always lost when playing with other kids."[/QUOTE] alternatively you could just refer to the individual by their name...? [editline]29th October 2017[/editline] [QUOTE=Mkt778;52831922]Well now see? You had to [I]add [/I]'are'. I'm trivializing it greatly but like I said it'd be a pain in the ass doing it for a book or some other kind of thing with a lot of words you can't just Ctrl H and replace the words with.[/quote] that's what editors are paid for. they don't just "ctrl h" the whole book lmfao. you're hypothesizing a complete non-issue.
[QUOTE=Mkt778;52833926][I]Ah yes[/I], it's not something I feel is a limitation of the English language, it's because I have a thin veneer of transphobia left in my brain. [I]You got me[/I]. That was my master ploy this entire time.[/QUOTE] english has buttloads of ambiguity and limitations already considering it's a total bastard language, why should we worry about one measly more if it allows members of a minority group to feel comfortable in their own skin? what's the actual detriment? i don't buy the "book" argument for the reason I listed above. any book professionally produced will have an editor, and any self-publishing author would likely not use ctrl-h as a means of editing their own text unless they weren't that serious in the first place. Proofreading is sort of important for quality purposes. (there's also the obvious point that in a book it is unlikely that every instance of the replaced pronoun will be in reference to the same subject, completely eliminating the hypothetical you're presenting) with respect to an alternative new pronoun, I used to think along the same lines. However, when you consider that one of the top criticisms of trans non-binary people is that they're "special snowflakes", any sort of new pronoun would only serve to exacerbate that. Considering that singular they has extensive use in written and spoken english historically, there's not really a solid reason that I can see to use an alternative pronoun over one that's pretty well established and that makes intuitive sense to natural english speakers. While throwing "hyr" or "xe" into your discussion, you could probably expect some confusion if your listener was unaware of these words. You don't need to explain the definition of the word "they" to someone - context will help them put it together. for perspective, this post uses they/them in both singular and plural contexts, and I'd put down money that it didn't cause significant confusion in your reading of my post.
"They" is fine enough to use when you are unsure of a persons gender (or their gender doesn't really matter in the point at hand) I mean the difference is Reporter: "The victim was in the parking lot when she was confronted by the suspect." or Reporter: "The victim was in the parking lot when they were confronted by the suspect." All the important bits are usually there, if their gender is an important thing to the subject at hand, odds are its going to be impossible to mistake given the circumstances. Heck even in the given report their gender isn't important at all until the police release a full suspect profile and by that point their gender won't be an unknown variable.
[QUOTE=The golden;52833954][I][/I] If a trans person asks you to refer to them as they/them then fucking call them they/them. There is no debate, discussion, argument, or semantics to talk about here. It doesn't matter if they ask you to call them him/her/them/cheeseface or whatever. You call them what they wish to be called. If you start questioning someones choice in pronouns then yes that is transphobia, sorry. But if you're just debating the use of everyday English then that's fine. I specifically said in my post " Flipping out over the [I]usage of the word "they" as a pronoun[/I]"[/QUOTE] Does this mean that if I were to seriously ask you to refer to me as "cheesecake", you would replace all of your pronouns with it when referring to me? I don't think so. [QUOTE=BrickInHead;52833983]english has buttloads of ambiguity and limitations already considering it's a total bastard language, why should we worry about one measly more if it allows members of a minority group to feel comfortable in their own skin? [/QUOTE] Because the people who make up this group are an extremely tiny minority. Probably about 1% of people claim to be they/them, and 1% of that are people who actually qualify as such by virtue of physiologically lacking sexual characteristics. Maybe even less. Why should 99.99% of people alter their language for the 00.01%? That's utter nonsense, and it's an outlier for what constitutes an average person. Do you want pronouns for every person who is paraplegic, or was born with an extra finger, or limb? No, I don't think we should change a fundamental aspect of our language to "allow members of a minority group to feel comfortable in their own skin." You're going to be treated as what you physically are regardless of what pronouns you force people to use. If you feel like you're "gender-neutral", maybe you should prepare yourself for them to treat you like your biological sex in language and society, unless you plan on surgically and chemically removing any trace of sexual characteristics from your body. As for the thread at hand, I honestly can't say I blame them. Let's be honest, you guys will say "Oh well just use they/them", but is the person in question going to be okay with that? What if they want "xe/xir", or "he/her", or some other pronoun and they take the issue just as seriously for you? They took the path of least resistance and decided to forego pronouns altogether, and hell, even now, you guys are taking issue with it. No matter what they do, they're going to be pissing someone off.
[QUOTE=sgman91;52831862]For example: "He went to hang out with some friends while they were playing basketball. He wasn't very good. They always lost when playing with other kids."[/QUOTE] This is only a problem if you insist on trying to shoehorn "they" into the sentence without actually applying other grammatical changes to suit the usage of "they" as a singular. It's much more fluid to use when talking as you aren't thinking about "how do I stick this word into this sentence" as much. English; despite being full of absolutely dumb shit, is still quite flexible and makes it easy to reassemble a sentence on the fly without much thought. You don't even need to make drastic changes to the sentence to make it fit. "they went to hang out with some friends who were playing basketball. they weren't very good, their team always lost when playing with other kids."
[QUOTE=NeuroticNyx;52834058]Because the people who make up this group are an extremely tiny minority. Probably about 1% of people claim to be they/them, and 1% of that are people who actually qualify as such by virtue of physiologically lacking sexual characteristics. Maybe even less. Why should 99.99% of people alter their language for the 00.01%? That's utter nonsense, and it's an outlier for what constitutes an average person. Do you want pronouns for every person who is paraplegic, or was born with an extra finger, or limb? No, I don't think we should change a fundamental aspect of our language to "allow members of a minority group to feel comfortable in their own skin." [/quote] The thing is that this isn't a change to any fundamental aspect of our language, lol. It's already been extensively discussed in this thread that singular they/them is typical for instances in which you are unaware of a subject's gender, and this language has existed and been in use for hundreds of years - longer than he/him as a non-gendered pronoun. [quote]You're going to be treated as what you physically are regardless of what pronouns you force people to use. If you feel like you're "gender-neutral", maybe you should prepare yourself for them to treat you like your biological sex in language and society, unless you plan on surgically and chemically removing any trace of sexual characteristics from your body.[/quote] To your second point, a trans person's identity is explicitly not defined by their genitals. Many trans people elect not to undergo bottom surgery to alter their genitals, keeping the set they were born with - for a variety of reasons. Potential loss of sensation, lack of money, reasoning changes from person to person. However, in all other aspects, those people will live as the opposite gender - dressing as the opposite gender, undergoing hormone therapy causing the shift of various characteristics, etc. You may actually find it apt to describe a person of one gender even if, biologically speaking they could be considered to be the opposite sex (however I am completely unaware of where that line gets drawn). If I look at a MtF trans person who has not undergone bottom surgery, I will still see them as a woman if that's how they're presenting themselves via clothing and other gendered presentation styles. I'm not gonna ask her to lift her dress to show me her genitals to prove she's biologically female in order for me to use her preferred pronouns. The point is that a non-binary person doesn't need to be physically intersex to "qualify" as non-binary, just as a woman doesn't need to be female to qualify as a woman, and a man doesn't need to be male to qualify as a man. If you acknowledge the mere existence of transgender people, you logically cannot refute this, because to do so is to refute the existence of a massive proportion of the trans community. Now if you want to refute the existence of trans people, that's fine - that's up to you. No one can "force" you to use the correct pronouns. But if you come into contact with a trans person and they request that you use a specific pronoun (she/her, he/him, they/them) and you refuse to do so on account of the fact that in your view said individual should be "treat[ed] like your biological sex...unless you plan on removing surgically and chemically any trace of sexual characteristics from your body," you shouldn't be surprised if they think of you as a transphobe and prefer not to be in your presence. Because, in the very least, you're deciding that instead of simply assenting to their request to use the pronoun that makes them feel comfortable, you would rather use something that knowingly makes them [B]uncomfortable[/B]. If you elect to make them feel uncomfortable, that's fine - that's your right. But you should recognize what that means to another person. Empathy is important. [editline]29th October 2017[/editline] [QUOTE=Mkt778;52834062]But that's exactly what I was discussing, the usage of they/them as a pronoun, and what I perceive to be a flaw with it. To me, it kinda felt implied Golden was referring to what I had said. I think the discussion goes hand in hand because I also advocated for a real neutral pronoun, something infinitely more powerful in terms of referencing gender than 'They' is. ... So, I dunno? Perhaps They is not the most optimal word and we can maybe admit that? That's my qualm with it, after all. Am I [I]worried [/I]about it? No. Is it ever going to change? Fuck no and probably not ever in my life time or my childs and so fourth, I'm aware of this quite well. Does it bug me in the rare circumstance of reformatting? A little yeah. (I'll elaborate on a real example). But yes, English in a lot of ways is a horrible mess and I absolutely know a new pronoun being accepting tomorrow is a wetdream. So, alright, the book example? [I]Okay[/I], a professional author or editor would perhaps not have to resort to using CTRL H. My main point is that is bars the proper use of that as a tool. Personally when I was writing scripts for actors in my tafe course, we often changed up the gender of our actors and thus changed the script in response. CTRL H was a very useful tool. There was nothing to check, I knew they were perfect substitute words. The one character in the story however that we decided didn't really have a gender meant I had to manually re-read the entire script to fix it. Furthermore, it's producing the requirement of proofreading and editing in the first place in my hypothetical about having to change the gender of a character to neutral. Reading, saying, thinking in terms of they, their etc [I]is easy.[/I] Trying to ham fist it in ways that doesn't work or accidentally among its group version is a buttpain. Like I said, this is incredibly trivial semantics, but a fun debate topic regardless I think. [I]I don't think it makes me transphobic though. [/I][/QUOTE] it doesn't make you transphobic to simply discuss this element of language, and I hope that my posts don't imply that I think you're a transphobe, because I don't. That said, if a trans person approaches you, requests that you use they/them in reference to them, and you subsequently refuse, you're electing to run the risk of being perceived as transphobic by them and by other allies, because you're saying "I know what pronoun you should use more than you." I don't think I need to enumerate the ways in which misgendering causes pain to trans people. You can either elect to do as they ask or take the stand for your view of what language should be - that's entirely your decision, and entirely your consequences to bear. I disagree with they/them not being the most optimal word. I think it is. It's a word already in existence in the english lexicon that is used to describe individuals of an unspecified gender. Just because it creates mild ambiguity in certain contexts is irrelevant, don't forget that normal pronouns do that to. "Kevin and John went to the store. He picked up a baguette." Pronouns inherently create ambiguity. People inherently use context to fill in the spaces. You can create all of the hypothetical sentences that you want, at the end of the day using they/them in singular or plural contexts creates just about as much ambiguity as anything else in the english language. and while it may be a "fun debate topic" you should also recognize that it's a serious one. while for your average joe it may just be a side conversation, this is daily life for a lot of trans people. Fighting for your right to be recognized for who you are is draining.
[QUOTE=BrickInHead;52833493]alternatively you could just refer to the individual by their name...? [editline]29th October 2017[/editline] that's what editors are paid for. they don't just "ctrl h" the whole book lmfao. you're hypothesizing a complete non-issue.[/QUOTE] Pronouns exist because they work a lot better than names in a lot of contexts.
[QUOTE=wraithcat;52834370]Pronouns exist because they work a lot better than names in a lot of contexts.[/QUOTE] ya but these are official statements so the level of specificity and formality wouldn't be unwarranted
[QUOTE=wraithcat;52834370]Pronouns exist because they work a lot better than names in a lot of contexts.[/QUOTE] so what? in some contexts using a name works better, it doesn't matter whether the pronoun is they/them or he/him. As I said: [Quote]"Kevin and John went to the store. He picked up a baguette."[/quote]
[QUOTE=BrickInHead;52834437]so what? in some contexts using a name works better, it doesn't matter whether the pronoun is they/them or he/him. As I said:[/QUOTE] That's true, but one of those contexts isn't when we're specifically dealing with trans people. The contexts are based on the situation, not the people involved
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