gender-neutral "they"

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gender-neutral "they"

Postby stelle on Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:32 am

How does CC feel about the gender-neutral "they"? I'm writing a parenting article, and my head is starting to spin with the "he or she"s and "his or her"s. I know that it's grammatically-correct, but it just doesn't seem very online content friendly. I'm considering switching them all to "they", "them" and "their" - which is gaining more and more traction in common usage - but I'd hate to have my article rejected because of it.


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Re: gender-neutral "they"

Postby BarryDavidson on Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:48 am

Good question. I use a conversational tone when writing a lot of my articles. I'll tell you from the PC side of the road...

It's okay to use "she" for anything. I'm partial to "he/she" if absolutely needed but newer editors will probably kick it back.

I use "you" most of the time... When shooting the messenger you should always aim for the center of the chest.
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Re: gender-neutral "they"

Postby stelle on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:15 am

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I usually use "you". It's just that - since it was a parenting article - it had stuff like:

When your child does X, he or she should Y.

The "he or she"s were tripping me up. Orally, I would say "they", but it just doesn't look right in writing.

I ended up going with "he or she"s and being approved. Still not sure that was the best choice.

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Re: gender-neutral "they"

Postby Celeste Stewart on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:15 am

One way to avoid this is use the plural version so it matches "they." For example:
When your children do x, they should Y.

Some find it acceptable to mix the genders up with examples throughout the article. Use she in one example, he in another.
Celeste Stewart
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