Sam Smith and They

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
Stevie D
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Stevie D »

pelmut wrote:
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.
Exactly! Well said, Pelmut.
Stevie D
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Dust
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Dust »

pelmut wrote:
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.
The older tradition was to use "he" for anyone you didn't know the gender of, as a sort of default, and to use "they" exclusively for plural. The singular "they" is relatively new.

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moonshadow
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Re: Sam Smith and They

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Dust wrote:The older tradition was to use "he" for anyone you didn't know the gender of, as a sort of default, and to use "they" exclusively for plural. The singular "they" is relatively new.
That's sorta like the expression "you guys" when referring to a group of people, whether there are women in the mix or not.

In fact, growing up (before we got invaded by northerners), that was somewhat of a local joke to tell when someone wasn't "from 'round heeya" :lol: Old school locals say "ya'll".

I try to say it correctly " you all", but sometimes I let my inner redneck out to play.... :mrgreen:

"Ya'll chaps git-own" ou-side, don't make me hafta cutta switch!" :lol:
-Moon Shadow
"Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation." - Benjamin Franklin

Ralph
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Ralph »

moonshadow wrote:"Ya'll chaps git-own" ou-side, don't make me hafta cutta switch!"
There's no shame in saying "y'all." It's a perfectly valid contraction for a perfectly valid phrase, just like "you're." So say it with pride! But please, punctuate it correctly. The apostrophe indicates missing letters, so it should go where the letters were dropped: you all = y'all. There are no letters missing between the "a" and "ll" of "all."

Thank y'all.
Ralph!

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Kirbstone
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Re: Sam Smith and They

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'Y'All' is unmistakably American. 'You chaps' unmistakably Public School English, 'an' Yeuze fekkers' unmistakably North-side Dublin

Tom
Carpe Diem......Seize the Day !

dillon
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by dillon »

Dust wrote:
pelmut wrote:
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.
The older tradition was to use "he" for anyone you didn't know the gender of, as a sort of default, and to use "they" exclusively for plural. The singular "they" is relatively new.
“They” would be appropriate, IMHO, if one referred to an unknown entity, where the actual number of individuals was unknown, such as a business or other organization. If you know you are referring to a single individual, it’s just wrong. I have no issue with adding a new word to the English language, but just can’t handle perverting the use of a traditional pronoun in a way that sounds thoroughly uneducated. If that’s accepted then I’d insist the individual use “we” rather than “I” as a personal pronoun, when speaking of self. If we’re going for newspeak, let’s keep it consistently plural.
As a matter of fact, the sun DOES shine out of my ...

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Fred in Skirts
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Fred in Skirts »

And the Queen said "WE are not amused!!"
Fred :kiltdance:

"The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."


"It is better to be hated for what you are than be loved for what you are not" Andre Gide: 1869 - 1951

pelmut
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by pelmut »

dillon wrote: If you know you are referring to a single individual, it’s just wrong.
"The skirt was stolen by a shoplifter, **** must have taken it when my back was turned."
What is the missing word?
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

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crfriend
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Re: Sam Smith and They

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Fred in Skirts wrote:And the Queen said "WE are not amused!!"
That's the "Royal We" in play and only applies to monarchs (and occasionally oligarchs).
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crfriend
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by crfriend »

pelmut wrote:"The skirt was stolen by a shoplifter, **** must have taken it when my back was turned."
What is the missing word?
The correct missing word is, "they" -- in this particular case so used because the sex of the offender is unknown. When the sex is known and the word "they" gets applied it's Newspeak.

The other application comes about when the sex of the individual is irrelevant -- and this is closer to what's in play with PC today. Technically, this could apply to many, if not most, situations in the modern world as the differences between men and women get erased.

I saw a delightful bumper-sticker the other day: "Make Orwell fiction again".
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!

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Jim
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Jim »

pelmut wrote: "The skirt was stolen by a shoplifter, **** must have taken it when my back was turned."
What is the missing word?
"He" is the missing word. "That one whose sex is unknown or immaterial" according to my Merriam-Webster's Dictionary.

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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by moonshadow »

crfriend wrote:I saw a delightful bumper-sticker the other day: "Make Orwell fiction again".
I want one of those!
-Moon Shadow
"Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation." - Benjamin Franklin

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Fred in Skirts
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Fred in Skirts »

crfriend wrote:I saw a delightful bumper-sticker the other day: "Make Orwell fiction again".
I defiantly want one too!! I normally don't do bumper stickers but this would be an exception for sure.
Fred :kiltdance:

"The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."


"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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Fred in Skirts
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Fred in Skirts »

pelmut wrote:"The skirt was stolen by a shoplifter, **** must have taken it when my back was turned."
What is the missing word?
It could also be "who". Works even better than "he" or "they" when the sex of the person is unknown.
The "a" indicates only one person was shop lifting..

"The skirt was stolen by "a" shoplifter, "who" must have taken it when my back was turned."
Fred :kiltdance:

"The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."


"It is better to be hated for what you are than be loved for what you are not" Andre Gide: 1869 - 1951

Stu
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Re: Sam Smith and They

Post by Stu »

Fred in Skirts wrote:
pelmut wrote:"The skirt was stolen by a shoplifter, **** must have taken it when my back was turned."
What is the missing word?
It could also be "who". Works even better than "he" or "they" when the sex of the person is unknown.
The "a" indicates only one person was shop lifting..

"The skirt was stolen by "a" shoplifter, "who" must have taken it when my back was turned."
In view of the punctuation, "who" is correct, otherwise there is a comma splice. To use "he", "she" or "they", either a semicolon or a new sentence is needed as you can't separate two independent clauses with a comma.

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