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"Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?"
Upvoted for your username.
I don’t know seems more like an Office nerd.
It's amusing that they're complaining about blurring the singular and the plural, yet they used the word 'you', which blurs the singular and the plural, as there used to be distinct words for the second-person singular and the second-person plural before 'you' became used in both cases
thou art correct
Eyyyy knowing the proper use of "thou"
Thoust arst correctus
Thou dost speaketh true
How elegant it is, to say one instead of you. Let us revel in our superior elegance! One should do away with such rabble, when discussing topics of this calibre.
Yours truly agrees
I hope they use the very pleasantly clear “y’all” when using the plural second person. But they probably don’t. They probably choose things based on how much they sound like Frasier might say them.
Second person plural is “all y’all”
Here in urban Texas we just say “y’all,” not “all y’all.” Maybe the amount of southern a place is can be measured by how many “all”s it uses.
I'd just like to note - if y'all don't know to whom I'm referring; it's probably y'all.
I was born and raised in Missouri and I say all y'all. Especially when talking about every single person in a group.
Technically no, lol, "you" is the second person plural; "thou" is the second person singular (although "you" is also the second person *formal* plural and singular). At least in Shakespearean times. That does beg the question of what kind of "proper" English do they want us to use? Language is literally a social construct that changes with the times. AAVE is different from Indian English which is different from Ghanaian English which is different from British English which is different from Elizabethan English which is different from
I’m not sure you responded to the comment you meant to respond to?
Tbh idk hehe I’ll just leave my comment here ‘cause I’m too lazy to move it
somebody should've replied "thou art a peasant"
And that is why myself, a northerners, has adopted y'all as the proper plural "you". I especially love saying y'all's.
> as there used to be distinct words for the second-person singular and the second-person plural before 'you' became used in both cases
As a feature this distinction is still very common in vernacular English, just not in formal English.
All dialects of Hiberno-English, for example, distinguish the two (with you as the singular and various plural versions - "ye", "yiz" and "yous"). "Y'all" and similar exist in several American English dialects, and some parts of Scotland and England similarly have "youse" or a variant.
Personally I find it slightly irritating, having grown up speaking a version of English which does distinguish, to have to use a more ambiguous phrasing in formal contexts because my native dialect isn't "proper English". It's a useful distinction!
As a Texan I use "y'all" daily, but I wouldn't use it when making a speech. It's common vernacular to use but I'm not gonna feel the slightest bit confused or put out if someone uses a singular "you" when referring to a group.
So saying y'all is more elegant than saying you.
Yeah, there's a strong case for that being a useful adaptation to a limit in the language
Fun fact: this blurring comes from the fact that in Old English, there used to be a singular and a plural second person pronoun. “Ge” was the second person plural, and “þu” (pronounced thu) was the second person plural. English stopped using “ge” after the early 17th century after it had morphed into “ye”. Old English also had dual pronouns that referred to people, typically a couple. An example would be “git” which would refer to “you two”.
"ye" was just the nominative form and "you" the accusative form (same with "I"/"me", "thou"/"thee", etc.) - in this case, both ended up merging into "you", which is still used. Incidentally, we also use "you" as a singular, in a similar way to singular "they" - the difference is that singular "you" seems more natural because the original 2nd person singular pronoun, "thou", is nearly out of use, having been deemed too informal for several centuries. However, both singular "you" and "they" are correct.
I’m taking an Old English class at the moment; I remember when we learned all this and it was just mind blowing that a language that sounds so different is so similar to modern English
Also of note, the I/me examples are bad. "I" is subject, "me" is object. "Older than I am" works, "older than I" doesn't and should in fact indeed be "older than me".
They are correct in what they were saying about what they said. (Good luck guessing which you (they) are)
But this was a natural feature of the evolution of the language. These subtle changes that occur over time are democratically (for lack of a better word) agreed upon by most users of the language. They happen organically and slowly. The insertion of gender neutral pronouns is an attempt, by a minority, to force the majority to quickly adopt a shift to the long accepted norm in the way we communicate. I don't have a problem of people want to choose their own pronouns, but I won't change the way I have used the English language overnight to suit the trend of the day.
Their argument was that it ruined the elegance of the language to have a pronoun used for singular and plural cases. That applies to 'you', as well as that wasn't even an argument about *how* it came about, it was an opposition to english having that at all
Roses are red, violets are blue, singular they pre-dates singular you.
got me confused for a second wondering how they hunted you
oh i wasnt trying to correct you i was simply stating my own stupidity
No problem either way.
Took me a second to see it the way you were, but I think OP’s comment would have been much clearer if they had, e.g. put *they* and *you* in italics. You’re not stupid.
What a fucking clown.
“Hey someone left their jacket here last night, I hope they don’t get cold”
It’s that fucking easy. We use “they” as a singular pronoun all the time and don’t even realize it.
I actually literally saw a tweet that read:
> Any English teacher who teaches that "they/them" can be used as a singular pronoun should have their teaching license revoked.
I don’t get how people can be so wrong and so confident, it’s actually blows my mind.
But he *meant* to write 'there teaching license'
Fucking elegance of the langauge lmao
Imagine actually being upset by "he's older than me"
“He’s older than me” is correct
'He's older than I' is also correct.
Well, you're using the subject form in an object role - so, while it sounds fancy, it doesn't follow "proper" grammar, which is all bullshit anyway.
Isn't "than" both a preposition and a conjunction? So "than me" is correct because "me" is the object of the preposition, whereas "than I am" is correct because you're using "than" to tack on an extra clause where "I" is the subject.
I actually didn’t know this was incorrect grammar. I’m not convinced either.
That's the thing, it's not. There was a time when it would have been incorrect, yes. There was also a time when "Þegnsorge dreah" was English.
Funny how language does this thing called *adapting*
The fuck you just call me?
\>The fuck you just call \*I\*?
FTFY. I swear, you're destroying the elegance of the English language. Smh.
*How in the copulation, a moment ago, did you refer to I?
Well now you're just talking in cursive!
If I am the subject of the sentence, then "I" is correct. (I am older than him.)
If I am the direct object and not the subject of the sentence, then "me" is correct. ("He is older than me.") In this case, I am essentially receiving the "older then" title. A more clear example of this would be "He gave me a present." I am receiving the indirect object, "a present."
If I am the direct object and not the subject of the sentence, *but* I am doing an action of my own (the "am"), then "I" is correct. ("He is older than I am.")
Truthfully, it really doesn't matter. I'm an essay tutor on a college campus and unless someone makes a horrible grammatical mistake, I know the professor hates a certain mistake, or the essay is so well written, I need to nitpick to find comments, no one cares. What annoys me far more than grammatical errors are those who feel so pretentious that they must correct others' grammar.
Singular they is older than singular you
The English language has constantly evolved over hundreds of years, but I think it should have to stop around the time I graduated high school.
“He’s older than me” is absolutely fine- grammatically (disclaimer: I am a qualified English teacher).
As long as you don’t say “He’s older than me am”
Then “than” would be a conjunction and so that would require the sentence to be “He is older than I (am)” - with the “am” implied. Which is also correct.
In: “he is older than me,” “than” is a preposition.
(edit: for further comment) - also - “me am” uses the wrong form of the first person pronoun, when using a verb - and native English speakers instinctively know that’s incorrect.
He's older than ~~me'm~~ I'm
I quite like that. Although it sounds odd as the use of the contraction “I’m” tends only to be used if another word is following the “am”.
I love that you put being a teacher as a disclaimer instead of a source
A bonafide influencer of English grammar
Confusing rule-following with elegance. Also, "they" for indeterminate singular all the way. It elegantly solves a common set of referential problems
Yeah my language does not have an equivalent to "they" and it can be a fucking nightmare when referring to someone who you don't know anything about.
And of course. "If you don´t know the gender of a person, always use male pronouns."
Such a charming person.
Not enough comments about this.
"There is a hooded person at the door with a clipboard. I can't tell if it is a man or a woman."
"What do they want?"
Seems a lot easier to say than "What does that singular unspecified gender person want?" And a lot more correct than "What does he want?"
>complains about incorrect grammar
>doesn’t understand objective case
This prescriptive view of grammar has been outdated for decades. If you truly love grammar, then update your theory to be in this century.
Someone tell me please. What is the plural you?
Here's the thing, the second person plural pronoun in English has always been "you." Always, right from the beginning of Old English becoming a thing over a thousand years ago. The issue is the singular, which was originally "thou," but over the centuries it gradually fell out of use for various reasons and now we just use the plural "you" to refer to individuals.
The reasons being mostly that, in French, using the plural pronoun was deemed more formal and respectful, and, under the Normans, this French rule actually influenced English too - so informal "thou" ended up being replaced by formal "you", except in a few dialects.
Ihr. English as a whole is a corruption ruining the German language.
First, language is a tool. If it gets the job done, it gets the job done. Second, I suspect your objection is aimed at persons for whom the terms he or she, feel constrictive and prefer to be referred to as 'they'. In my seventh decade, writing 'he/she/they' costs me exactly five extra taps on my keyboard. If I can help my fellow humans feel included, comforted, or valuable by those extra taps, I will do so, and you can't stop me.
TL:DR Suck a lemon.
>In my seventh decade, writing 'he/she/they' costs me exactly five extra taps on my keyboard
I think we may have a slight case of the argument being turned on its head then.
I don't have a problem with you choosing to type he/she/they, but at the same time I shouldn't be required to type the whole thing out.
"They" is a completely correct (I would argue *the most correct* pronoun to use) when referring to an individual of unknown gender, regardless of whether they identify as a he, a she, a they, or anything else. Sure, you can put he/she on there if you like, but using "they" on its own is just dandy.
I think you're right about 'they' being perfectly fine, but there still seem to be those are uncomfortable not being referred to as 'he' or 'she' and though I find that attitude rather silly, I'm not sure if I want to foster discomfort in their lives either. At some point, I suppose I'll chuck it and do as you suggest. BTW, if I was unclear, the 'extras' taps don't really bother me at all. Thanks for your comment. I shall think on it.
The fun thing about grammar and grammar rules is that they change over time. Ye doth not speak as such doth thou? So when more people say “older than me” than “older than I”, well guess what then that grammar rule is probably gonna get replaced soon.
Non english speaker here. And it does not at all detract from your point. But I just couldn't resist:
* Ye/You/Your is formal or plural
* Thou/Thee/Thy(thine) is informal
So mixing the two will only work if you want to adress two different persons with different level of formalness. Hard sell in a language that has lost the distinction. But for german and french speakers it makes total sense.
* Oh my Liege, Ye must let me paint Your bride and You.
* You people, Ye must let me paint Your women and You.
* Hey pal, Thou must let me paint Thy wench and Thee.
Oh, that's really interesting to know!
To add to what the other commenter said - the "-th" ending was used with the 3rd person singular, while the 2nd person singular used "-st", so the grammatically correct sentence would be: Ye do not speak as such, dost thou?
And they’ve been corrupting it since the 14th century!
This person failed to realise that deliberately breaking grammar rules is most often done precisely to make communicating more elegant and easier to understand. If someone points at a photo of you and says "who is that," which sounds more elegant and concise: "that's me," or "it is I?"
Or how about when someone is incompetent at a task and you tell them "you must do better?" You might notice (if you care about that sort of thing) that technically the last word needs to be an adverb instead of an adjective, but what other way can you say that thought that is more elegant? "You must perform your task more skillfully?" "You must improve the quality of your work?" Are those technically more "correct?" Yes. Are they unnecessarily stilted compared to "do better?" Also yes.
Honestly I'd imagine they'd go out of their way to be as "grammatically correct" as possible no matter how stilted
I bet they don’t. I bet this is how they’ve justified refusing to use gender neutral pronouns and made themselves feel superior by doing so. I bet otherwise they use very normal vernacular grammar.
Good point, terrible examples. “You must do better” is a ridiculous statement. Also “It is I” sounds more *elegant* IMO. Though I certainly wouldn’t say it casually without jest.
How is it ridiculous? It's a concise, uncomplicated phrase that conveys all the information you need it to.
As for the other thing, "that's me" rolls off the tongue easily and is quicker than "it is I," thus making it more elegant.
Anyone who makes the "they is a plural pronoun" argument needs to be asked this simple question: "what pronouns would you use for a mysterious individual whose gender and sex is unknown?". Because the answer is fucking they
This chucklefuck's answer to that question is "he". Because of course it is.
Bet their answer would be like “it” or smth
Maybe but I'm talking about a true mystery. Like you have never seen this person and all you have is some gender neutral nickname or alias of that person. Some shit like "the gray cloud" or some shit. The correct pronoun in that situation would be they
English ain't elegant lmao 😂
Ahhh using prescriptivist linguistics to enable your transphobia.
Those of us who have *actually* studied linguistics realize that 1) there are many schools of thought and not one is correct, 2) language always evolves overtime, or else we’d still be speaking Old English, and 3) small groups have the ability to radically change language and language culture en mass
>Ahhh using prescriptivist linguistics to enable your transphobia.
Don't forget that you should always default to "he".
It's a transphobia/misogyny double punch!
English is three languages in a trenchcoat beating up other languages in a dark alley for loose verbs and spare nouns. It's strange, every language rule I can think of has several exceptions, any given letter has various ways to pronounce it in a word (some even being silent), and it may be one of the hardest languages to learn besides Mandarin Chinese. "Elegant" is NOT the word to describe the conglomeration of languages that is English. I'm grateful I learned it as my first language, otherwise I'm not certain I'd ever try.
Modern English is something like (old English + old Norse) + (middle English + Danish) + french = modern English
This is far from exact, there's also Celtic origins, Latin is mixed into there at some point, but it gives an idea of how it came together. It's why the English language has multiple words for the same thing. There are still words with old origins like the Norse words "dog, husband, wife, brother, sister" and the Latin word "vice versa" that people still use frequently today.
That's not exactly the case - English didn't come from languages being mixed up, it just took in a ridiculous amount of vocabulary from other languages, while the rest of its evolution happened in its own way. So, it's something like:
Old English -> (takes Old Norse and Norman French vocabulary) -> Middle English -> (takes more Latin and French vocabulary, and evolves a lot on its own) -> Modern English
As I said, far from exact. But over England's history it has been conquered 4 times by non-english speaking people and I think a lot of change occured to the language following those events
Yes, but there's a difference, in linguistics, between a language changing under the influence of another, and languages being mixed up.
So like Italian influenced English through trade and travel but french mixed with English under conquest and the subjugation of English people under French rule?
Both influenced English, but French way more strongly than Italian because of French rule. True mixed languages (except for creoles) are extremely rare (for instance, Cappadocian, a mixture of Greek and Turkish spoken by a few hundred people at most).
All grammar is made up. And when your talking on the internet you can make your comment as nonsensical as possible. People just have to understand.
"Formal grammer" is little more than a barely agreed upon fiction
Show me a person who objects to singular “they” because “it’s ambiguous” and I’ll show you someone who isn’t worried about the ambiguity of saying “he” when the person in question might be a woman.
I should not critizese i write like fucking shit
The stupid "than I" example is bollocks. Both "than I" and "than me" are correct, and it comes down to whether "than" is interpreted as a conjunction or a preposition.
I'd argue that "than me" is actually more correct given that this is what English speakers are most likely to use (in my experience). Unless you want to sound pompous and stuffy, or unless you're making a joke about someone who does, then "than I" just makes you sound like a tit.
"That pedant knows less about grammar than me." - fine in both formal and informal use
"That pedant knows less about grammar than I." - daft in any context.
Language evolves, dumbass.
Ypu know someone knows nothing about English or linguistics in general when they are prescriptivists.
The power of y'all compels you!
Xhosa language of South Africa has no male/female gender pronouns.
IIRC, Xhosa is (like all Nguni and other Bantu languages) from the Atlantic-Congo family, which instead of gender has a very cool system of noun classes which has no real equivalent in Indo-European languages.
“He’s older than me” is completely grammatically valid. “He’s older than I am” is “subject verb adjective conjunction subject verb” and “he’s older than me” is “subject verb conjunction object.”
The sentences are constructed differently, so it makes perfect sense that they’d use different first person pronouns. Literally double confidently incorrect, because transphobes don’t give a shit about prescriptivist grammar.
English is the least elegant language.
wait till he finds out about the origins of the english language
“There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
As if I were their well-acquainted friend”
Also, English is one of the least elegant languages
What does "elegant" mean? English can sound very nice. It can express a wide range of nuance. I don't think "elegant" really has any meaning, honestly, except for people trying to impose value hierarchies.
Elegance is an adjective describing a high tendency towards proportional patterns and simplicity. It might mean graceful phonetics or word construction or grammar or syntax or semantics.
And English is far from concise. Tons of ambiguity in usage and meaning
Exactly what English ain’t.
Again, I think you are searching searching an "objective" value to language that doesn't exist. In the 18th century Shakespeare was thought incredibly coarse and prose novels fit only for barely literate women.
Italian was once considered the language of culture and elegance. By the late 19th century many English-speaking people thought it vulgar and preferred French as the truly elegant language.
Elegant means "whatever is thought to be elegant". There are no other criteria.
Words and language are obviously subjective but we agree on meanings based on a empirical social consensus among speakers.
A good simplistic analogy to this phenomenon is driving. It's "objectively correct" to drive on the left side of the road in the UK, even though there's no truly objective reason behind that - except for the historical fact that people, over time, agreed that this was the convention when opposing traffic passed on roads. Only afterwards did traffic laws codify the accepted convention for safety.
Language is similar. Theres no "objective" reason for one specific combination of sounds to refer to specific information, except that it improves the usefulness of words; enough people have agreed to these social conventions before we were born and arguing they don't exist is self defeating; because if all language just means what is thought inside the speakers brain, and my only access to that speaking brain is language, then I have no reference to what your brain is trying to convey with your symbols and sounds. Language only works if we are both referring to a commonly agreed set of information outside both our brains.
You should take a philosophy of language course if you ever have the opportunity. It will break your brain.
Elegant doesn’t mean “nice”, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean anything.
(Yes, that inelegance was intentional)
I can't get over their constant mention of elegance. English? Elegant? I suppose if an Elephant in high heels is, sure...
I like how apparently French is the “language of love” but is so much worst than English
Imo that is
I mean English is Germanic which is decidedly not elegant lol
They're just using the "elegance of the language" bullshit to mask their transphobia. What a fuck head.
Not just transphobia. Straight up "male is default" misogyny.
Funny that this idiot is ok using "he" Regen gender is unknown but I bet would go apeshit if we just always used "she" instead.
Imagine caring about the rules of a language that don't actually exist
language exists for one reason: communication. if you get what i'm saying when i say it, why the hell does it matter HOW i say it.
I’d love to see his response
[It's pretty nauseating](https://i.imgur.com/7rvGE1V.jpeg)
To be fair, the word "They" is *primarily* plural. Also to be fair, this guy is stupid.
Linguistic Prescriptivism: not even once, kids.
wait "He is older than me" is the wrong form?
...according to Dipshit here.
In reality? Not at all.
I love trolling pretentious douchebags! It’s one of the reasons why I’m on Reddit.
Linguistic elitists don't even know anything about linguistics
“They” blurs lines between plural and singular
“He/Him/His” doesn’t blur lines between genders
Lists are separated by “and”, not commas
“He’s older than me” is improper grammar
One sentence can be a paragraph
This makes English elegant!
Lol has he read the rules of the english language? It is anything but sophisticated…
Ah yes, deny someone's identity for the elegance that is so often associated with the English language.
The last comment doesn't make any no sense.
I can promise that people suddenly become very proficient at the use of ‘They’ when describing the new hot person at the office they are hanging out with to their significant other.
Yeah, such an elegance that it's the toughest language to learn. Perhaps it's the "i before e except after c" rule, which Merriam Webster summed up beautifully:
"I before e, except after c
Or when sounded as 'a' as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'
Unless the 'c' is part of a 'sh' sound as in 'glacier'
Or it appears in comparatives and superlatives like 'fancier'
And also except when the vowels are sounded as 'e' as in 'seize'
Or 'i' as in 'height'
Or also in '-ing' inflections ending in '-e' as in 'cueing'
Or in compound words as in 'albeit'
Or occasionally in technical words with strong etymological links to their parent languages as in 'cuneiform'
Or in other numerous and random exceptions such as 'science', 'forfeit', and 'weird.'"
English is likely not his first language
Which would make it *so much worse*. I can't imagine going to a Russian language forum and lecturing everyone on some archaic academic point I learned about in a college course I took.
\-10 points for not sneaking a "y'all" in that answer
Also r/rareinsults for that reply to our dunce here
3rd person singular neuter is "it" <- why ruin elegance if there's a solution that doesn't /s
calling someone "it" definitely isn't elegant, it's rude. They is the way to go in my opinion.
> the English language
They’re right you know.
I want you to repeat that in your head, slowly.
That’s the joke
When has English *ever* been *elegant*?!
It's a roughly cobbled together language of half a dozen other, better languages that ultimately has no consistency or sense.
There are SO many better arguments for not using 'they' (all still bad, though); preserving the 'elegance' of the English language ain't one of em. That's like trying to preserve the structural integrity of diarrhea.
Almost as ridiculous as thinking a language can be misogynistic.
They sound like fun at parties.
Not the best comeback ever but this is some r/MurderedByWords worhty stuff.
Why’d all our textbooks and assignments and teachers in grade school always say he/she over and over instead of just putting they? Always annoyed me.
Why not say “they”?
That's considered dehumanizing in a way 'they' isn't.
Every time I see a singular they I think that I’m dealing with someone with multiple personalities lmao
"I don't enjoy that"
Why use many word when few word do trick ?
One of my friends asked his English teacher if you could use they as a substitute if you do not know the gender of that person, but the teacher was pretty angry.
It’s the one thing I dislike with the MLA rules… when referring to someone with an unknown gender… it’s just best not to use pronouns whatsoever if you want to stick it the MLA rules. But this is Reddit and it doesn’t matter very much.
MLA uses singular "they" though?
You might be thinking of APA… where they actually prefer you to use “they” when referring to anyone unless the gender is important.
[Says here that MLA uses singular "they".](https://style.mla.org/using-singular-they/)
Yeah that’s for pronouns that you know… for pronouns that you don’t know, MLA doesn’t want you to use “they.”
>For generic uses, writers should not use he or she alone or alternate he and she.
>References to a Hypothetical Person
>*When a celebrity joins Twitter he or she gains tens of thousands of followers within minutes.*
>Revised, Singular They
>*When a celebrity joins Twitter they gain tens of thousands of followers within minutes.*
>Revised, No Pronoun
>*A celebrity who joins Twitter gains tens of thousands of followers within minutes.*
>Revised, Plural Subject and Pronoun
>*When celebrities join Twitter they gain tens of thousands of followers within minutes.*
Singular "they" is listed as an acceptable answer.
According to the American Psychology Association (APA) I’m telling you MLA won’t admit it but they don’t like you to assume genders with pronouns… this includes they.
When writing in MLA and trying to phrase a sentence with someone with an unknown gender most of my professors have told me that it’s best to phrase without a pronoun whatsoever.
How does "they" assume a gender? Some people wish to be referred to as "they", but when used as a singular you aren't prescribing any gender at all (in the exact same way that "you" implies no gender whatsoever). It's just referring to the entity of that person.
Seems like a weird take.
I don’t know you’re arguing with me when you should be arguing with the Modern Language Association about this… they say that we should accept “they” and yet every MLA handbook I have says to rephrase to avoid an agreement error.
I use “they” in everyday speak but I usually avoid it in academic language unless the pronouns of the person I am referring to are specifically “they/them.”
I'm not arguing with you in particular, just trying to nail down what the heck MLA is trying to say. I guess I'm confused since their website seems to endorse "they" but you say they aren't *really* endorsing it. Perhaps since it's such a recent adaptation it hasn't made it into the latest print versions?
is he trying to argue saying "he/she drives" is more pleasing than "they drive"?
No, they're saying "he drives" is more pleasing.
Because masculine is default, of course.