One of English's great shortcomings, from a grammarian's perspective, is its absence of neutral-gender singular pronouns. While most are blissfully unaware that the use of "they" or "their" as a singular reference is entirely incorrect, such use remains a bane for those who are actually schooled in the tongue. It's not really a big deal, really, or shouldn't be, at least. But in this confusing era of the politically correct, the formerly accepted use of "he" to reference people of both genders has led to the revolting proliferation of he/she in writing. Even worse, there are those who use the absolutely puke-inducing s/he. Um... okay.
As a language, English is constantly evolving, and we see new words snake their way into dictionaries pretty much every year. Indeed, some of these new words are so specific and temporal, they beg questions of why they were included in the first place. Strangely, we rarely ever get to see words that have any grammatical usefulness outside of their limited meaning. Case in point: neutral-gender singular pronouns. Damn near every other language has them... but for whatever reason, English did away with them centuries ago.
We have he. We have she. We have it. I suppose that "it" is technically the neutral-gender word so many of us grammar nit-pickers wish for, but most take issue with "it" being used to refer to a person. Why? Who knows? But I don't much like it, either.
So, I'm proposing a new word (a word I've proposed once before): xhe.
Imagine the ability to write the following: When a person wants to refer to a generic person, xhe needs to use a neutral-gender pronoun.
This would be in lieu of: When a person wants to refer to a generic person, he or she needs to use a neutral-gender pronoun.
I'm certain that most of you are reading this and asking yourself what the big deal is, and I'm equally certain that those asking that question don't know the difference between "you're" and "your," but whatever. There is a big deal, and again, you can blame the politically correct for it.
Even though I'm the one proposing it, I'm not a huge fan of the word, but I do recognize its need. Keep in mind that I have no problem with using "mankind" over "humankind," but some people like to whine about such words. Even though those same people probably don't give the words "dog," "cow," "lion," etc., a second thought. There's irony in ignorance, but I'm getting off-topic.
Basically, instead of proliferating absolutely ridiculous words such as "bling," why aren't we coming up with words we actually need? Now, when a person uses such aesthetically inane language, I don't hold it against them (ah ha! see?), but it does bring up certain notions of grammatical incompleteness.
Of course, as I just showed, we also need one for "him and her," but I'll let someone else come up with that one.
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