Monday, 17 August 2009

Using 'They' As A Singular Pronoun

Some criticize those of us who use 'they' as a singular pronoun because it is allegedly grammatically incorrect. I have to admit not really minding if it is grammatically incorrect because it is for a far greater cause (rather than using 'he' all the time when reading the Bible for example). It seems, however, that using 'they' as a singular pronoun isn't without its precedents.


  1. Yes, I read the examples too, but unlike you, I'm not convinced, if only for the reason that I don't believe that precedent is a sufficient argument to establish the correctness of the conclusion. I wonder how that sort of argument would carry over in theology. I can just see it now: there is precedent for saying that the Son is younger than the Father - Arius did. Ergo....Hmmm.

  2. True, although I think in this case precedent adds some weight because those who would argue against the use of 'they' would do so in part from, what is by inference, an argument relying on precedent, wouldn't they?