From the ? Department

From: “My Buddy”

Subject: Pondering pronouns: Are ‘he’ and ‘she’ giving way to ‘they’? –

Oh, labels. The use of “Mx.”, looms?

. . . nonsexist language reform has been markedly successful in making job terms more gender-neutral, noting a not so distant past when there were firemen, stewardesses, policemen and chairmen. Today, we refer to firefighters, flight attendants, police officers and committee chairs without missing a beat.

They could be men. They could be women. They could be theys.


One indication of how quickly change can happen these days came late last year when the Times used a new courtesy title, Mx., when quoting a bookstore employee named Senia Hardwick. It clearly wasn’t the Times’ idea, describing Hardwick as someone “who prefers not to be assigned a gender — and also insists on the gender-neutral Mx. in place of Ms. or Mr.”

I commented back to my Buddy:

If I was reading the Times article out-loud how would I “pronoun”ce that?

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