When 'They' Became 'Him'

We had this discussion on my blog once already.  But anyhow, since it's one of my personal grammar crusades, here's another article on the history of using “they/their/them” as the first-person singular instead of the contemporary but much more awkward “he/she” convention. 

…for most of the existence of the English language, ‘they’ was used
as the accepted singular gender-neutral pronoun. The use of ‘it’ was
reserved for objects, as it is today, but for people the pronoun of
choice was they/their/them.

So how did this all change? Courtesy of the English Parliament.”

Damn Interesting » When They Became Him

Comments 2

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Nice link. I didn't know that about the English Parliament – I'll have to bookmark that page and keep it as reserve ammunition for the next time this subject comes up. 🙂

    Posted 24 Aug 2007 at 12:11 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Why am I not surprised that the male-biased usage was originally a government decision?

    Posted 26 Aug 2007 at 4:10 pm
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