Sam Smith and They

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:58 am

For those of you who are throwing grammar around as a reason to not use they/them/theirs as the proper pronoun for people who make that request, I know I am repeating myself, but I feel compelled:

it's a matter of simple courtesy and respect. If we want to receive those considerations, we need to first extend them to others.

In my book, being kind and considerate is far more important than being punctilious about grammar. And, it's amazing how readily good practices spread and come back to us.
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer

Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Stevie D » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:51 pm

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:....it's a matter of simple courtesy and respect. If we want to receive those considerations, we need to first extend them to others.

In my book, being kind and considerate is far more important than being punctilious about grammar. And, it's amazing how readily good practices spread and come back to us.


Absolutely spot on, David. I totally agree with everything you have written here.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby moonshadow » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:05 pm

Stevie D wrote:
Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:....it's a matter of simple courtesy and respect. If we want to receive those considerations, we need to first extend them to others.

In my book, being kind and considerate is far more important than being punctilious about grammar. And, it's amazing how readily good practices spread and come back to us.


Absolutely spot on, David. I totally agree with everything you have written here.


I'll throw my +1 into this ring too.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Fred in Skirts » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:39 pm

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:For those of you who are throwing grammar around as a reason to not use they/them/theirs as the proper pronoun for people who make that request, I know I am repeating myself, but I feel compelled:
it's a matter of simple courtesy and respect. If we want to receive those considerations, we need to first extend them to others.
In my book, being kind and considerate is far more important than being punctilious about grammar. And, it's amazing how readily good practices spread and come back to us.


Being who I am I have to agree with your statements above. :D
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby FranTastic444 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:15 pm

I have noticed that the Beeb is making use of 'they' in areas not related to gender matters - most recently on reporting about the White House whistleblower where they are using 'they' do describe an as yet unidentified person whose sex they do not know. Maybe their style guide was always thus, but I've only just noticed it.

Here's an interesting story about one persons non-binary journey.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby crfriend » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:34 pm

FranTastic444 wrote:I have noticed that the Beeb is making use of 'they' in areas not related to gender matters - most recently on reporting about the White House whistleblower where they are using 'they' do describe an as yet unidentified person whose sex they do not know. Maybe their style guide was always thus, but I've only just noticed it.

It is considered appropriate to use "they" (and its derivatives, e.g. "their") "when describing possession by an individual who's sex is either unknown or irrelevant. I do not believe that the current PC usage is correct, but know that I'm fighting a rear-guard action there and eventually I'll have to give it up as a lost cause.

Perhaps in another 50 years what English becomes will be about as intelligible as what English was 300 years ago.
Last edited by Uncle Al on Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected formatting type-o
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Stu » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:56 am

crfriend wrote:It is considered appropriate to use "they" (and its derivatives, e.g. "their") "when describing possession by an individual who's sex is either unknown or irrelevant. I do not believe that the current PC usage is correct, but know that I'm fighting a rear-guard action there and eventually I'll have to give it up as a lost cause.

Perhaps in another 50 years what English becomes will be about as intelligible as what English was 300 years ago.


My view exactly. To me, there are several entwined issues here. One is that 2nd person pronouns, unlike names, are part of the grammar of the language and there are no proprietory rights in respect to them. If we allow this to go unchallenged, then we are effectively saying that when Person A is discussing something with person B, then person C has rights about which grammatical function words are used when referring to him/her/them/it. Aside from being a complete nonsense, it is an attack on our freedom to use our own languages we see fit. Of course, Person C is free to express a preference on that as on anything else, but there is no obligation, moral or otherwise, to comply with such a preference. Some who advocate for this kind of linguistic regulation, i.e. whereby a referent gets to decide which pronouns others may use in reference to them, seek to sanction non-compliant speakers either through use of the law, as was attempted in Canada, or internal rules related to employment, or through shaming. Calling someone a bigot and intolerant for exercising their right to refer to someone by the pronoun which in their perception accords with reality is, of itself, bigotry and intolerance.

Let each individual make up their own minds on what pronouns they use. If they simply want to respect the wishes or feelings of the referent person and comply with their preferred pronouns, that's fine. However, if they perceive using pronouns which do not accord to their perception of reality to be intellectually dishonest - because they have a higher responsibility to communicate the truths they see it, then their preferences should also be respected.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Dust » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:13 pm

Stu wrote:... 2nd person pronouns...

I think you mean 3rd person...

1st person: I/me/my
2nd person: you/your
3rd person: he/she/they

Stu wrote:Let each individual make up their own minds on what pronouns they use. If they simply want to respect the wishes or feelings of the referent person and comply with their preferred pronouns, that's fine. However, if they perceive using pronouns which do not accord to their perception of reality to be intellectually dishonest - because they have a higher responsibility to communicate the truths they see it, then their preferences should also be respected.

I agree.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby moonshadow » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:18 pm

Ya'll pay attention, this stuff will be on the final exam!

Gheeze Louise! :wink:
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Fred in Skirts » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:06 pm

I will call you what you want me to call you if you "ask" just don't demand that I call you or anyone else by what is to me idiocy.
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"It is better to be hated for what you are than be loved for what you are not" Andre Gide: 1869 - 1951
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Stu » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:21 am

Dust wrote: I think you mean 3rd person...


Did I say 2nd person? Must have been a "mature moment" :shock:

Of course I meant 3rd person - thanks for pointing it out. :wink:
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby new2skirts » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:41 am

FranTastic444 wrote:I have noticed that the Beeb is making use of 'they' in areas not related to gender matters - most recently on reporting about the White House whistleblower where they are using 'they' do describe an as yet unidentified person whose sex they do not know. Maybe their style guide was always thus, but I've only just noticed it.

Here's an interesting story about one persons non-binary journey.

I like their cute pink skirt :wink:
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby dillon » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:15 am

I wouldn’t object to a person using “them/they” as a personal pronoun if it didn’t already have a distinctly different meaning and enumeration. So I’d rather have them - and I use the word here appropriately- come up with a new word altogether. Or use “it.” Or just decide how female or male you might feel on a particular day and just go with the pronoun applicable to the winning gender and wear something symbolic, like a signal flag, so we can tell what you are for the day. Anyway, I/me votes NO on the use of they/them when it’s just one person being referenced.
As a matter of fact, the sun DOES shine out of my ...
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby Sinned » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:47 am

I go with dillon on this one. Our language is getting distorted enough as it is.
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Postby pelmut » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:40 am

Sinned wrote:I go with dillon on this one. Our language is getting distorted enough as it is.

Restricting the use of the word "they" to plural-only is the distortion, traditionally the word has been both singular and plural. 

It still used as a singular in circumstances which don't seem to cause any misunderstanding, so why should we object to its use in one particular instance when there doesn't even seem to be an acceptable alternative that we can agree upon.
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