OUPblog » Blog Archive » The Gender-Neutral Pronoun: 150 Years Later, Still an Epic Fail

Dennis Baron traces the odd history of futile attempts to concoct a gender-neutral pronoun:

Every once in a while some concerned citizen decides to do something about the fact that English has no gender-neutral pronoun. They either call for such a pronoun to be invented, or they invent one and champion its adoption. Wordsmiths have been coining gender-neutral pronouns for a century and a half, all to no avail. Coiners of these new words insist that the gender-neutral pronoun is indispensable, but users of English stalwartly reject, ridicule, or just ignore their proposals.

via OUPblog » Blog Archive » The Gender-Neutral Pronoun: 150 Years Later, Still an Epic Fail.

1 comment on this post.
  1. Mike:

    Why is this an “epic fail” rather than an “epic failure”? I’ve no disagreement with the point about gender-neutral pronouns, but I do decry the use of “fail” as a noun. “Fail” as a noun is a failure.

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