Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My pronouns are...

I recently saw an email, at the end of which was the statement:

"My pronouns are she/her/hers".

When talking about someone, for example, "go and talk to the librarian, and [pronoun] will help you", which pronoun do you use if you don't know the gender of that person?   If you use "he" or "she", that is gender specific and may not match the gender of the person.  "It" doesn't really work to refer to people.   I'd use "they".

But which pronouns would that person want used to refer to themselves?  That is what "my pronouns are..." is about.  Moves towards gender and transgender inclusion bring this issue to the foreground.  

There are resources like this poster from Vanderbilt University , which includes some  alternative pronouns ze/zir/zirs and ze/hir/hirs and advice on how to find out which pronouns a person prefers.    A search for "my pronouns are" from .edu sites brings up a lot more examples.   One, from University of California Davis  points to, which goes into some detail and has "non binary, gender neutral" titles as well.

A search for sites finds a lot of grammar information about pronouns, rather less information about non binary gender neutral pronouns.   There is this from UCL.

But a search for the alternative term "preferred gender pronouns" finds a lot more from UK academic institutions, a lot of it from material about transgender awareness and support.

So, I am Keith and my pronouns are he/him/his, and I am off, linguistics degree (MA Hons 1986) and inclusivity in hand, to find out more.

No comments: