Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary

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susan rose  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:02
Member (2011)
German to English
Yeay for the Swedes! Jul 31, 2014

In this day and age of transgender, transsexual, transsurgical, unisex, metrosex... it's about time! And it's not as awkward as s/he. What could we do in English?


Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:02
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I first encountered it in the 80's Jul 31, 2014

in a university textbook on sociolinguistics in Swedish. So it's taken about the average amount of time for it to become a dictionary term.
(though, compared with "selfie" - an enormity)


Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:02
Hebrew to English
Singular "They" Aug 2, 2014

susan rose wrote:
What could we do in English?

Singular 'they' is perfectly natural English, but people have an irrational aversion to it.


Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:02
Japanese to English
+ ...
The problem with natural Aug 2, 2014

Ty Kendall wrote:

susan rose wrote:
What could we do in English?

Singular 'they' is perfectly natural English, but people have an irrational aversion to it.

It's also perfectly natural to say something like, "Me and her went to the store," but I wouldn't necessarily want to write it in a translation.

As long as there is one person left out there who thinks that the singular use of "they" is grammatically incorrect, it seems dangerous to use it in your writing if you don't know exactly who your audience will be. Although I can't imagine a client bringing it up as an issue, unless they provided you with a style guide that forbade it. Oops.


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Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary

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