Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Grammar Apocalypse

ravi_iitian
Community Guru
Ravindra B Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
81 of 121

In my writing, I never use the singular they, them, their, etc.

 

While copyediting others’ writing, I sometimes allow it.

 

For academic (scholarly) articles/thesis, I disallow the use of singular they, them, their, etc.

 

For all other work, I let the client decide.

"Certa bonum certamen"
reinierb
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
82 of 121

@Nichola L wrote:

Pronouns:

 

I have just read an article in the SfEP magazine, by an editor who would like to make a case for "they" as a single pronoun.

 

I do agree with him. I get so bored with having to put he/she or worse s/he!, every time I write about a person whose gender is unknown to me.  Some writers alternate gender from page to page -  a device that, for some reason, seems particularly popular with people working in the social services - but which I find utterly confusing!

 

"They" is useful!

 

For example, "Tell your client that they must fund escrow before you start work" - seems to be so much neater than "Tell your client that he or she must fund escrow before you start work."

 

 

 

 

 

 


Might be easier to avoid the issue altogether. Just say "Tell your client to fund escrow before you'll start work".

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
83 of 121

I use singular they all the time. I think it's ridiculous to insist its wrong (although I understand that certain academic writing situations or similar may refuse it). It's been in use since the 14th century and only fell out of favour in the 19th century when those overly enthusiastic grammarians also started cracking down on split infinitives and ending a sentence with a preposition.

jmlaidlaw
Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
84 of 121

@Jennifer D wrote:

I use singular they all the time. 


 So they is right about the singular "they" ? Man LOL

reinierb
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
85 of 121

 


@Janean L wrote:

@Jennifer D wrote:

I use singular they all the time. 


 So they is right about the singular "they" ? Man LOL


 Who knows? Perhaps them are right about the grammar apocalypse being nigh.

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
86 of 121

By the way, I forgot a more famous example than Jane Austen's single (I think) use of a sentence-ending preposition:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
that Flesh is heir to?

mircalla
Ace Contributor
Sonja K Member Since: Jan 10, 2017
87 of 121

I only have the basics for now, and they go like this:

 

I wrote - They have sticks in their hands

He edited - They has sticks in their hands

I wrote - They were tired, but happy

He edited - They tired, but happy

 

I ended up editing his mistakes, and he gave me 3 points for skills Smiley Very Happy

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
88 of 121

 


@Sonja K wrote:

I only have the basics for now, and they go like this:

 

I wrote - They have sticks in their hands

He edited - They has sticks in their hands

I wrote - They were tired, but happy

He edited - They tired, but happy

 

I ended up editing his mistakes, and he gave me 3 points for skills Smiley Very Happy


 Depending on the context and the type of book - "They tired but happy", may not need editing.

 

If a book is written in a certain idiom, an editor could kill it by formalizing the grammar. 

mircalla
Ace Contributor
Sonja K Member Since: Jan 10, 2017
89 of 121

I understand and agree, but that wasn't the case.

He accepted my editing and then gave my 3 credits anyway.

perry-ann
Active Member
Ann P Member Since: Feb 22, 2017
90 of 121

Hi... Just curious to know whether in your variety of English to 'do'

grammar mistakes is the same meaning as in my variety, where we

say to 'make' grammar mistakes?  

It's always a good idea to check the variety of English you are editing

- even if it's 'standard' formal for academic purposes etc.....

Various Indian English writers use the progressive participle (...ing)

in the 'mental' verbs for which there are no standard English progressive

participles (E.g 'I am knowing a good restaurant' (Indian intermediate level English)

or 'Are you believing in ghosts?'

So variety = cultural difference is a good way around the 'this is my rule'

response when you correct the grammar....

Thanks for flagging this area of 'dispute' !

Perry-ann

 

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS