Ridiculous Typos & Piss-Poor Proof-Reading

Yithian

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A mother called her obese child a "doughnut", stopped them exercising and fed them takeaways before they died from a heart condition at 13, a report has found.

Full Article
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-49659669

All the way through this article the child--singular--is described using the third-person plural: they / them / their / theirs.

Nowhere is this child's sex given. Is this an attempt to conceal it? If so, it's poorly done.
 

Swifty

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A mother called her obese child a "doughnut", stopped them exercising and fed them takeaways before they died from a heart condition at 13, a report has found.

Full Article
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-49659669

All the way through this article the child--singular--is described using the third-person plural: they / them / their / theirs.

Nowhere is this child's sex given. Is this an attempt to conceal it? If so, it's poorly done.
That is weird that the child's gender has been so deliberately avoided in that report.
 

Shady

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Tripitaka is the monk sent by Guanyin on a quest. Monkey is sent as punishnent to be his servant.
I was getting at the bit which was asterixed,
'there is no such person down among the dead men'
because Tripitaka was a woman' wasn't she? Or did i miss the pun completely???
 

Shady

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Must have got it wrong then, was it played by a female?

OMG that poor kid, he even tried to help himself, that is aweful :(
 

maximus otter

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A mother called her obese child a "doughnut", stopped them exercising and fed them takeaways before they died from a heart condition at 13, a report has found.

Full Article
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-49659669

All the way through this article the child--singular--is described using the third-person plural: they / them / their / theirs.

Nowhere is this child's sex given. Is this an attempt to conceal it? If so, it's poorly done.
It’s BBC PC: “Gender-neutral pronouns”.

See also Sam Smith, singer.

maximus otter
 

Yithian

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It’s BBC PC: “Gender-neutral pronouns”.

See also Sam Smith, singer.

maximus otter
My point is that we have no idea what it is because the article doesn't tell us.

My assumption was a typo of 'child' for 'children' in the opening line, but it turned out to be a singular (and very unfortunate) child throughout.

If somebody is born female and asks me to address/describe him as I would a man, then I'm happy to do so; if somebody is born male and asks me to address/describe her as I would a woman, no problem. People going through gender dysphoria have enough problems already and I have no wish to add to them.

But if this person asks me to address/describe him (more traditional grammar there, so 'or her') as 'they', then I'm going to bugger it up because if we don't get case, gender and number down correctly (i.e. consistently), then there will be numerous times that readers and listeners genuinely do not know the proper noun to which the pronoun refers.

They were chased out of the hotel and forced to abandon their bags. Their friends later justified their decision to leave them behind by claiming that they were cheap and they'd never much liked them anyway.

I'm not even sure what I mean by that and I just wrote it! Yes, there's always redrafting, but can you imagine how the reflexive pronouns are going to play out?

They fell down in the process and hurt themselves badly.
Beyond the realm of multiple personality disorder, this doesn't work.
 

maximus otter

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My point is that we have no idea what it is because the article doesn't tell us.

My assumption was a typo of 'child' for 'children' in the opening line, but it turned out to be a singular (and very unfortunate) child throughout.

If somebody is born female and asks me to address/describe him as I would a man, then I'm happy to do so; if somebody is born man and asks me to address/describe her as a female, no problem. People going through gender dysphoria have enough problems already and I have no wish to add to them.

But if this person asks me to address/describe him (more traditional grammar there, so 'or her') as 'they', then I'm going to bugger it up because if we don't get case, gender and number down correctly (i.e. consistently), then there will be numerous times that readers and listeners genuinely do not know the proper noun to which the pronoun refers.

They were chased out of the hotel and forced to abandon their bags. Their friends later justified their decision to leave them behind by claiming that they were cheap and they'd never much liked them anyway.

I'm not even sure what I mean by that and I just wrote it! Yes, there's always redrafting, but can you imagine how the reflexive pronouns are going to play out?

They fell down in the process and hurt themselves badly.
Beyond the realm of multiple personality disorder, this doesn't work.
Another reason to dislike this nonsense.

maximus otter
 

Mythopoeika

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My point is that we have no idea what it is because the article doesn't tell us.

My assumption was a typo of 'child' for 'children' in the opening line, but it turned out to be a singular (and very unfortunate) child throughout.

If somebody is born female and asks me to address/describe him as I would a man, then I'm happy to do so; if somebody is born male and asks me to address/describe her as a woman, no problem. People going through gender dysphoria have enough problems already and I have no wish to add to them.

But if this person asks me to address/describe him (more traditional grammar there, so 'or her') as 'they', then I'm going to bugger it up because if we don't get case, gender and number down correctly (i.e. consistently), then there will be numerous times that readers and listeners genuinely do not know the proper noun to which the pronoun refers.

They were chased out of the hotel and forced to abandon their bags. Their friends later justified their decision to leave them behind by claiming that they were cheap and they'd never much liked them anyway.

I'm not even sure what I mean by that and I just wrote it! Yes, there's always redrafting, but can you imagine how the reflexive pronouns are going to play out?

They fell down in the process and hurt themselves badly.
Beyond the realm of multiple personality disorder, this doesn't work.
It's bloody ridiculous and will lead to exactly the problems you describe.
 

Frideswide

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My point is that we have no idea what it is because the article doesn't tell us.
Going by what happens in Scotland, I think that the BBC doesn't know and/or that there is an attempt to stop identification - there are probably innocent parties including children involved.

it may be glistering but I don't think it's gold!
 

escargot

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A mother called her obese child a "doughnut", stopped them exercising and fed them takeaways before they died from a heart condition at 13, a report has found.

Full Article
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-49659669

All the way through this article the child--singular--is described using the third-person plural: they / them / their / theirs.

Nowhere is this child's sex given. Is this an attempt to conceal it? If so, it's poorly done.
While the use of 'them/their' etc does read clunkily it fulfils the purpose of helping to conceal the child's identity. This is important because there might be other children in the family. It's a small price to pay for their dignity.
 

Yithian

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While the use of 'them/their' etc does read clunkily it fulfils the purpose of helping to conceal the child's identity. This is important because there might be other children in the family. It's a small price to pay for their dignity.
I agree with the aim, but it would be good if they added a brief footnote to explain this.
 

EnolaGaia

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Ogdred Weary

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My point is that we have no idea what it is because the article doesn't tell us.

My assumption was a typo of 'child' for 'children' in the opening line, but it turned out to be a singular (and very unfortunate) child throughout.

If somebody is born female and asks me to address/describe him as I would a man, then I'm happy to do so; if somebody is born male and asks me to address/describe her as I would a woman, no problem. People going through gender dysphoria have enough problems already and I have no wish to add to them.

But if this person asks me to address/describe him (more traditional grammar there, so 'or her') as 'they', then I'm going to bugger it up because if we don't get case, gender and number down correctly (i.e. consistently), then there will be numerous times that readers and listeners genuinely do not know the proper noun to which the pronoun refers.

They were chased out of the hotel and forced to abandon their bags. Their friends later justified their decision to leave them behind by claiming that they were cheap and they'd never much liked them anyway.

I'm not even sure what I mean by that and I just wrote it! Yes, there's always redrafting, but can you imagine how the reflexive pronouns are going to play out?

They fell down in the process and hurt themselves badly.
Beyond the realm of multiple personality disorder, this doesn't work.
When writing about an entirely hypothetical human in the third person, I've often used they/them/their. If the gender is irrelevant then why write he, she or worse he/she? I suppose one could be really outré and write (s)he or he/r etc. People frequently use them/they/their in speech and linguists often point out the primacy of spoken rather than written language.
 

ChasFink

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The use of they/them/their as gender neutral singular pronouns has never been generally accepted as correct by the experts, whoever they (plural) are. It sounds strange now (except in limited hypothetical situations) but we may get used to it. Personally, I think there should be some separate gender neutral singular pronouns created (or popularized, as some have been created) to avoid the confusion that using plurals can cause.

In the meantime I like what Transparent creator Jill Soloway (who prefers the "they") said in a recent interview: "'She' is fine and 'they' is like frosting." If only everyone could be so relaxed about these things.
 

Frideswide

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In the meantime I like what Transparent creator Jill Soloway (who prefers the "they") said in a recent interview: "'She' is fine and 'they' is like frosting." If only everyone could be so relaxed about these things.
Most people I know who prefer a non-traditional label /are/ this relaxed :) It's largely other people who get in a froth about it!
 

Shady

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Are these people called virtue signallers? There are so many new things i cant remember what is for what
 

EnolaGaia

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Are these people called virtue signallers? There are so many new things i cant remember what is for what
"Virtue signaller" has devolved over the years from (a) an occasional accusation that someone is saying the "right" or "proper" thing just to look good or gain approval to (b) a general purpose pejorative label implying someone's opinion is facile / shallow, motivated solely by maintaining appearances.

See, for example ...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/20/virtue-signalling-putdown-passed-sell-by-date
 

Ogdred Weary

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Personally, I think there should be some separate gender neutral singular pronouns created (or popularized, as some have been created) to avoid the confusion that using plurals can cause.
Languages constantly evolve and many cultures have traditionally had a third gender, sometimes more. I'm sure I read a review of a book in FT about the history of the ladyboy phenomenon in Thailand, that said it was a corruption of traditional practices that possibly predated colonialism and that there were seven(!) genders. This was review was a long time, ago, probably in the 90s.
 

Yithian

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I thought this sort of thing was a joke, but Simon Mayo on the radio last week was told a thread he started on Twitter about Mary Poppins contained offensive language. He was surprised, considering the subject matter - on investigation, the problem was the name Dick Van Dyke.

So yeah, so much for technology making us smarter.
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