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What should we use as gender-neutral pronouns for non-binary people? Show more Show less
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Many have debated about what gender-neutral pronouns should be used. Is it up to personal identity, or should a specific set be officially incorporated into the English language?

We should use the already-familiar "they/them" as a gender-neutral pronoun for non-binary persons Show more Show less

They/them has been used as a gender-neutral pronoun for ages, but many English teachers will call it out as improper grammar. They/them as gender-neutral pronouns should be officially recognized as proper grammar because millions are already familiar with using them in this way.
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Many already accept they/they as proper grammar

In today's society where the LGBTQ community is starting to receive recognition, many English teachers have already adapted and allowed their students to use they/them as gender-neutral pronouns.
English Gender Identity LGBTQ

The Argument

A majority of today's teachers and grammarians are beginning to accept the use of singular "they/them" for persons of unknown gender and for non-binary persons.[1] Not only are teachers beginning to embrace their students' use of the singular "they/them" as gender-neutral pronouns for non-binary persons, but many are also beginning to use these pronouns for themselves. In today's society where more and more people are coming out as non-binary, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of teachers who have done so as well. In addition to using singular "they/them," some non-binary teachers are also adopting the honorific "Mx" to replace the gendered "Mr, Ms, and Mrs."[2] Teachers and students are also being trained in the modern use of singular "they/them" through well-renowned scholarly websites such as Purdue Owl, which has an entire article explaining its usage as "gender-inclusive language," and highlights the reasons why students should be using gender-inclusive language in their writing.[3] Even more notable is that the American Psychological Association (APA) has accepted singular "they/them" as proper gender-neutral pronouns.[4]

Counter arguments

Many teachers are still adamant that "they/them" is strictly plural, and that its use as a singular pronoun for any reason is improper grammar.[5]

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Many teachers already accept "they/them" as proper gender-neutral pronouns.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Many teachers do not agree that using singular "they/them" as gender-neutral pronouns should be accepted as proper grammar.

References

  1. https://qz.com/923238/even-the-staunchest-grammarians-are-now-accepting-the-singular-gender-neutral-they/
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/ms-mr-or-mx-nonbinary-teachers-embrace-gender-neutral-honorific-n960456
  3. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/grammar/pronouns/gendered_pronouns_and_singular_they.html
  4. https://blogs.illinois.edu/view/25/803761
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/singular-nonbinary-they

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This page was last edited on Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 10:29 UTC

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