The Continuing Insult To The English Language

skinny

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Given that two of the three posters that come to mind as teachers do know the difference, and that I am the third, this concerns me!

If I am the guilty party, I assure you that I do also know the difference, but I don't always proof-read my posts.
It just makes me like you more.
 

escargot

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Given that two of the three posters that come to mind as teachers do know the difference, and that I am the third, this concerns me!

If I am the guilty party, I assure you that I do also know the difference, but I don't always proof-read my posts.
I must add that an old friend from here and elsewhere who likes to post slightly pompous put-downs also makes this mistake, of always using 'it's' and never 'its'. As I love this person dearly I bite my tongue when I see their posts as it's churlish to pick at grammar. Grrrr.
 

Lb8535

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Irrespective? without the of? Tsk.

I read a board related to specific history where one of the posting rules is that you will be banned for correcting spelling and grammar.
 

Yithian

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Irrespective? without the of? Tsk.

I read a board related to specific history where one of the posting rules is that you will be banned for correcting spelling and grammar.
Are you one of those people who don't like 'Hopefully,...' at the beginning of sentences?

'It is to be hoped...'

I speak Telegraphese when I please.
 

INT21

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Irrespective? without the of? Tsk.

I read a board related to specific history where one of the posting rules is that you will be banned for correcting spelling and grammar.
Back at school I was once canned across the hand (left hand as I was right handed. The teachers always asked) for, I was told, misspelling. I wrote 'sea' and not 'see'. On checking through the piece I discovered that the teacher had taken the sentence out of context, and as I was referring to the sea (ocean) I was actually correct.

But not wishing to feel another lash, I didn't point out her error.

And no, school days were not the best time of my life.

INT21.
 

Lb8535

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Are you one of those people who don't like 'Hopefully,...' at the beginning of sentences?

'It is to be hoped...'

I speak Telegraphese when I please.
Of course but it's not what I like it's what the language is.
 

Lb8535

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I think you mean "irregardless".



It's a perfectly cromulent word...
When I looked up irrespective before I posted, the next search entry pointed out that irregardless is one of those unneccessary words like firstly (the simpler synonym is first). Regardless means exactly the same thing. Competency is another one. Irrespective may have been created out of wanting to sound like irregardless. I love how language reflects our swamplike thought process.
 

Yithian

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Another BBC article using 'they' in place of 'he' or 'she'.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-50638629

Completely not onboard. Repeat the damned name, but agreement in number is important. Yes, there are situations in which it is not observed (agent and hence number unknown, for example), but this is not one.

This person is a woman who doesn't like being a woman. If she says she wants to be treated as a man, I'll call her 'he', but she doesn't get to be more than one person any more than I can be 'everyone' or 'nobody'.
 

escargot

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Another BBC article using 'they' in place of 'he' or 'she'.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-50638629

Completely not onboard. Repeat the damned name, but agreement in number is important. Yes, there are situations in which it is not observed (agent and hence number unknown, for example), but this is not one.

This person is a woman who doesn't like being a woman. If she says she wants to be treated as a man, I'll call her 'he', but she doesn't get to be more than one person any more than I can be 'everyone' or 'nobody'.
Using 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she' is good English. It normally applies where the person's gender is not known or as here, given. In this particular case it does not denote multiple persons so 'agreement in number' as you call it does not apply.

A woman with apples - her apples.
A man with apples - his apples.
Two women or two men or a woman and a man both with apples - their apples.
Someone whose gender is not specified - their apples.
It's not difficult.
 

Yithian

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Using 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she' is good English. It normally applies where the person's gender is not known or as here, given. In this particular case it does not denote multiple persons so 'agreement in number' as you call it does not apply.

A woman with apples - her apples.
A man with apples - his apples.
Two women or two men or a woman and a man both with apples - their apples.
Someone whose gender is not specified - their apples.
It's not difficult.
Your explanation is not specific enough.

In English there are fixed situations in which we do not specify gender:

Agent Unknown:
The thief when caught will receive their punishment (although traditionally this would be 'his' regardless of the possible sex of the offender).

Agent Irrelevant:
Any student who forgets their P.E. kit will have to borrow the grotty one in the changing room.

There are no decontextualised statements of 'their apples'.

In this situation, the person's sex is known--it was a major strand of a high-profile court case; she should be given whichever singular pronoun she prefers or none should be used. Both are workable.

You argue the gender is not 'given' or 'specified'. I say that it should have been in this article as it is known. If people want to have words mean only what they personally intend, then speaking with and about them is going to be as frustrating as Alice found with Humpty Dumpty.
 

Yithian

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was there any loss of meaning in the article due to pronoun ?

(i havent read)
Only once: one paragraph said that 'They had lost their court case', which made me think a pressure group was involved.

Edit: on checking, I find that the BBC have re-edited the whole thing and used a name instead of 'they'!
 
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