May 23rd, 2011

The fallout of PC grammar: “he/she” vs. “they”

Today’s earlier post presented me with one of my least-favorite grammatical dilemmas: which pronoun to use in concert with a non-gendered word such as “anyone” or “someone.” The sentence in question was, “And anyone who believes his promises deserves what they get: betrayal,” which is grammatically incorrect.

It wasn’t always such a problem. The default position used to be the pronoun “he,” which for centuries had stood in quite nicely for both men and women. But years ago it became a sexist no-no, and that left us with the PC but horribly graceless construction “he/she.”

Those of us who care about words and grammar are faced with a terrible dilemma. Do we go with the old-fashioned “he” or do we choose abominable “he/she,” or do we circumvent both by allowing ourselves the error of using the plural “they,” which does not conform to the singular “anyone,” but at least agrees with it in its lack of gender specificity? Or do we finesse the problem altogether by doing away with the sometimes-useful word “anyone” and go with a plural such as “people,” which allows us to use the gender-neutral “they?” I find myself alternating among the solutions rather randomly, sometimes choosing one and sometimes another, none of them particularly satisfactory.

You may laugh at these archaic little agonies of the grammatically persnickety. But those of us who care are stalwartly manning (that is, manning/womaning) the ramparts against the chaos of a linguistic free-for-all.

[NOTE: As usual when writing about grammar, I have checked and double-checked this post---because it is invariably the case that such essays are fraught with grammatical errors that seem stubbornly uncatchable.]

67 Responses to “The fallout of PC grammar: “he/she” vs. “they””

  1. Good Ole Charlie Says:

    Neo:

    You wrote: “But those of us who care are stalwartly manning (that is, manning/womaning) the ramparts against the chaos of a linguistic free-for-all.”

    How about: “But those of us who care are stalwartly defending the ramparts against the chaos of a linguistic free-for-all.”

    Matter of verb choice…clears up things neatly. And shortens the text.

    Concise in all things, I am, Ma’am,

    Yr Obt’d Servant

    Good Ole Charlie

  2. Mr. Frank Says:

    Bad grammar is something up with which I will not put.

  3. Retardo Says:

    My impression has been that “they” has developed spontaneously in popular usage from the bottom up, so to speak. It’s used because it’s gender-neutral, but it’s rarely perceived as being “politically correct”.

    “They” sounds uneducated, while the sole purpose of being politically correct is to signal membership in the affluent/educated class (or at least deference to it, if you can’t get away with pretending to be a member).

    In fact, I’ll hypothesize that any language which fails to signify affluence and education will fail to be perceived as “politically correct”. Another strike against “they” is that it actually works well as casual spoken language. “S/he” or “she or he” are in your face. Ditto using “she” as the default pronoun rather than “he”, which to me sounds (subjectivity alert!) ostentatiously smug. If you’re focusing the audience’s attention on the subject you’re talking about rather than on your own status and virtue, you’re not being politically correct.

  4. Rohan Says:

    There is a good reason not to use “he” in the particular sentence you quoted. You already used “his” to refer to another male, and tossing in an extra “he” can get confusing as to who exactly you are referencing.

    Personally, I like using the female pronouns as generic. It’s not as silly as “he/she”, and not as awkward as converting everything to plural. I tend to write for an audience that is predominantly male, so male pronouns tend to reference specific individuals, so female pronouns can be generic, and the resulting sentence clearer.

    Plus, there’s a section of the audience that gets really annoyed by using female pronouns as generic instead of male, and I enjoy tweaking their noses.

  5. Foxfier Says:

    The sentence:
    “And anyone who believes his promises deserves what they get: betrayal,”
    looks cruddy if you say “who believes his promises deserves what he gets,” and it’s unclear.

    I’d probably say “those who believe his promises deserve what they get.”

    Now, if it was “And anyone who believes her promises deserves what he gets: betrayal,” I’d probably leave it alone, although the whole phrase is rather clunky.

    Of course, the whole thing starts with “And,” which I was always taught was a bigger no-no than the singular they….

  6. Harry Says:

    Why not just say, “deserves the consequences: betrayal.” and avoid multiple pronouns all together?

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    foxfier: yes, I learned that bit about not starting with “and,” too. I love to start sentences with “and,” and I do it all the time.

    So there.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    And yes, one of the reasons I didn’t go with “he” was because in this particular sentence it would have been confusing.

  9. Elj Says:

    There are at least two other choices:

    1. Use “he or she” (or “she or he”). This is more literary and human than the bureaucratic “he/she” (or–shudder–”s/he”).

    2. Alternate use of “she” and “he,” or attempt to use them randomly.

  10. Tesh Says:

    I’m one of those oddities who intentionally writes in a manner I find understandable, no matter the acceptable communal wisdom. I refuse to conform to AP, Chicago or MLS fluid standards, PC or otherwise. There will always be two spaces after a period or colon, because it looks better to me. I will always put periods belonging to the sentence after a quote at the end, even if it’s “wrong”. That period belongs to the sentence, not the quoted word.

    As for this question of “they”, I’ll use it simply because it sounds better to me. Instead of assigning a gender to a genderless word, I’ll just run with a genderless “they”. Yes, it’s a little unwieldy, but it makes more sense. It’s not even PC, it’s just that assigning a gender may be inaccurate.

    …and yes, gendered words in Spanish still drive me nuts.

  11. vanderleun Says:

    Oh just man up and go with “he.”

  12. texexec Says:

    And I like to start sentences with “And” also. :)

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    Control speech you control thought…

    which is why they just moved to presumption of guilt in colleges where they have the most power… i guess their quotes are telling the truth and only the incredulous are wrong…

    pc speech is sourced from feminism who brought it into our homes, schools, streets, and all over… they are after all Cultural Marxists, and all the women that supported them were supporting not women, but Willi Münzenberg’s “innocents clubs”!!!!!!!!!!!!

    During the 1920′s and most of the 1930′s Münzenberg played a leading role in the Comintern, Lenin’s front for world-wide co-ordination of the left under Russian control.

    Under Münzenberg’s direction, hundreds of groups, committees and publications cynically used and manipulated the devout radicals of the West.

    Most of this army of workers in what Münzenberg called ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ had no idea they were working for Stalin. They were led to believe that they were advancing the cause of a sort of socialist humanism.

    The descendents of the ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ are still hard at work in our universities and colleges. Every year a new cohort of impressionable students join groups like the Anti-Nazi League believing them to be benign opponents of oppression, rather than the Trotskyite fronts they really are. The old tricks certainly are the best!

    you can read the comminterm orders to take over feminism, and other movements… but thats old history… who wants to hear and think old history is relevent now that the CANCER has rampaged and incurable?

    and they got all those ideas from teh soviets, their friends and helpers… hanoi jane did ok, no?

    The Origins of Political Correctness (2000)
    http://www.academia.org/the-origins-of-political-correctness/

    Where does all this stuff that you’ve heard about this morning – the victim feminism, the gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies, the demands, all the rest of it – where does it come from? For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    We call it “Political Correctness.” The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious.

    It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is.

    Political Correctness is cultural Marxism.

    It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I.

    If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious.

    well, obvious to people who actually know the facts not the zeigeist feeling based conceptuals.. (made for “public consumptions).

    The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted “victims” groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges – some star-chamber proceeding – and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole.

    yup..

    and guess what you have to do to get rid of it?

    kill feminism the communist movement..

    the women are the vanguard of state slavery!

    from the article:
    Economic Marxism says that all of history is determined by ownership of means of production. Cultural Marxism, or Political Correctness, says that all history is determined by power, by which groups defined in terms of race, sex, etc., have power over which other groups. Nothing else matters. All literature, indeed, is about that. Everything in the past is about that one thing.

    yup… power for powers sake.
    same as the long telegram said
    the whole idea of being more than equal, but equal.
    eugenics is what they created
    social engineering was normalized (negating self determination!!!!)

    merit as a means was destroyed..
    [which is why i was attacked this morning on the subway, cant get raises, promotions and such... for some reason, punishing my immigrant foreign wife by punishing me is not something they care about..]

    by destroying merit, there is no longer any way to mvoe ahead independent of being selected by some power above…

    the halls are filled with women
    but the 170 plus iq male freaks have been kicked out. and now, we are suffering economically as the best stuff came from them… and would still come from them but they cant participate because of merit… but only orientation, age, sex, or color..

    shoa II?

    just as in classical economic Marxism certain groups, i.e. workers and peasants, are a priori good, and other groups, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital owners, are evil. In the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness certain groups are good – feminist women, (only feminist women, non-feminist women are deemed not to exist) blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals. These groups are determined to be “victims,” and therefore automatically good regardless of what any of them do. Similarly, white males are determined automatically to be evil, thereby becoming the equivalent of the bourgeoisie in economic Marxism.

    and the set of jewish males is inside the set of white males. by attacking the greater mass of poor white males, you also attack jews but cant be called on it.

    the people never rose up..
    and
    Marxists knew by definition it couldn’t be the theory. In 1917, they finally got a Marxist coup in Russia and it looked like the theory was working, but it stalled again. It didn’t spread and when attempts were made to spread immediately after the war, with the Spartacist uprising in Berlin, with the Bela Kun government in Hungary, with the Munich Soviet, the workers didn’t support them.

    remember i said to read about bela kun?

    why bother? why bother to learn what you end up talking about?

    Lukacs gets a chance to put his ideas into practice, because when the home grown Bolshevik Bela Kun government is established in Hungary in 1919, he becomes deputy commissar for culture, and the first thing he did was introduce sex education into the Hungarian schools.

    This ensured that the workers would not support the Bela Kun government, because the Hungarian people looked at this aghast, workers as well as everyone else. But he had already made the connection that today many of us are still surprised by, that we would consider the “latest thing.”

    In 1923 in Germany, a think-tank is established that takes on the role of translating Marxism from economic into cultural terms, that creates Political Correctness as we know it today, and essentially it has created the basis for it by the end of the 1930s. This comes about because the very wealthy young son of a millionaire German trader by the name of Felix Weil has become a Marxist and has lots of money to spend. He is disturbed by the divisions among the Marxists, so he sponsors something called the First Marxist Work Week, where he brings Lukacs and many of the key German thinkers together for a week, working on the differences of Marxism.

    And he says, “What we need is a think-tank.” Washington is full of think tanks and we think of them as very modern. In fact they go back quite a ways. He endows an institute, associated with Frankfurt University, established in 1923, that was originally supposed to be known as the Institute for Marxism. But the people behind it decided at the beginning that it was not to their advantage to be openly identified as Marxist. The last thing Political Correctness wants is for people to figure out it’s a form of Marxism. So instead they decide to name it the Institute for Social Research.

    when you read below. i would get nervous. becuase the idea of constant talking and opinions and not doing anything, learning anyting, and so forth, but being more and more disatisfied, has a name too..

    sigh.

    The stuff we’ve been hearing about this morning – the radical feminism, the women’s studies departments, the gay studies departments, the black studies departments – all these things are branches of Critical Theory.

    What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory.

    The term is ingenious because you’re tempted to ask, “What is the theory?” The theory is to criticize.

    The theory is that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it can’t be done, that we can’t imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as we’re living under repression – the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression – we can’t even imagine it.

    What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s.

    and what was modern feminism all about? a endless litany of self feedback messages as to men, why they are bad, amount to anything, etc.

    and through all this we cant even accept what we are, and what weaknesses or strengths we have.

    women are much more gullible than men, which is why they were targeted. they like to criticize about everythign, and not actually do much. they can be easily controlled by vanity.. (your more than equal, right?). and they do not care if they win by a cheat!!!!

    they were targeted because of their natures, then they were told that they had no natures to watch for an attack on weaknesess… go ahead. ask a woman what her weaknesses are..

    also, their mates want to please… so if you get them to debase their mates, what happens to society?

    Other key members who join up around this time are Theodore Adorno, and, most importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce an element which is central to Political Correctness, and that’s the sexual element. And particularly Marcuse, who in his own writings calls for a society of “polymorphous perversity,” that is his definition of the future of the world that they want to create. Marcuse in particular by the 1930s is writing some very extreme stuff on the need for sexual liberation, but this runs through the whole Institute. So do most of the themes we see in Political Correctness, again in the early 30s. In Fromm’s view, masculinity and femininity were not reflections of ‘essential’ sexual differences, as the Romantics had thought. They were derived instead from differences in life functions, which were in part socially determined.” Sex is a construct; sexual differences are a construct.

    and we are now on the verge of our age of horrors and camps again..

    The members of the Frankfurt School are Marxist, they are also, to a man, Jewish. In 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany, and not surprisingly they shut down the Institute for Social Research. And its members fled. They fled to New York City, and the Institute was reestablished there in 1933 with help from Columbia University. And the members of the Institute, gradually through the 1930s, though many of them remained writing in German, shift their focus from Critical Theory about German society, destructive criticism about every aspect of that society, to Critical Theory directed toward American society. There is another very important transition when the war comes. Some of them go to work for the government, including Herbert Marcuse, who became a key figure in the OSS (the predecessor to the CIA), and some, including Horkheimer and Adorno, move to Hollywood.

    These origins of Political Correctness would probably not mean too much to us today except for two subsequent events. The first was the student rebellion in the mid-1960s, which was driven largely by resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War. But the student rebels needed theory of some sort. They couldn’t just get out there and say, “Hell no we won’t go,” they had to have some theoretical explanation behind it. Very few of them were interested in wading through Das Kapital. Classical, economic Marxism is not light, and most of the radicals of the 60s were not deep. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for our country today, and not just in the university, Herbert Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to Frankfurt after the war. And whereas Mr. Adorno in Germany is appalled by the student rebellion when it breaks out there – when the student rebels come into Adorno’s classroom, he calls the police and has them arrested – Herbert Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make it the theory of the New Left in the United States.

    so the new left is the communist base from just prior to nazi germany…

    so not only do we have copied laws, relatives of them in power, same ideology, same deconstrution, same rampent perversions and loose morals, and same financial storm coming…

    but way back when i said it was so much the same, no one knew it, believed it, etc.

    thanks to these people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One of Marcuse’s books was the key book. It virtually became the bible of the SDS and the student rebels of the 60s. That book was Eros and Civilization. Marcuse argues that under a capitalistic order (he downplays the Marxism very strongly here, it is subtitled, A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, but the framework is Marxist), repression is the essence of that order and that gives us the person Freud describes – the person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy this existing oppressive order, in which we liberate eros, we liberate libido, in which we have a world of “polymorphous perversity,” in which you can “do you own thing.” And by the way, in that world there will no longer be work, only play. What a wonderful message for the radicals of the mid-60s! They’re students, they’re baby-boomers, and they’ve grown up never having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here is a guy writing in a way they can easily follow. He doesn’t require them to read a lot of heavy Marxism and tells them everything they want to hear which is essentially, “Do your own thing,” “If it feels good do it,” and “You never have to go to work.” By the way, Marcuse is also the man who creates the phrase, “Make love, not war.” Coming back to the situation people face on campus, Marcuse defines “liberating tolerance” as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left. Marcuse joined the Frankfurt School, in 1932 (if I remember right). So, all of this goes back to the 1930s.

    In conclusion, America today is in the throes of the greatest and direst transformation in its history. We are becoming an ideological state, a country with an official state ideology enforced by the power of the state. In “hate crimes” we now have people serving jail sentences for political thoughts. And the Congress is now moving to expand that category ever further. Affirmative action is part of it. The terror against anyone who dissents from Political Correctness on campus is part of it. It’s exactly what we have seen happen in Russia, in Germany, in Italy, in China, and now it’s coming here. And we don’t recognize it because we call it Political Correctness and laugh it off. My message today is that it’s not funny, it’s here, it’s growing and it will eventually destroy, as it seeks to destroy, everything that we have ever defined as our freedom and our culture.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    Do we go with the old-fashioned “he” or do we choose abominable “he/she,” or do we circumvent both by allowing ourselves the error of using the plural “they,” which does not conform to the singular “anyone,”

    We was just talking about this the other day.

  15. Promethea Says:

    I like to make sentences as inclusive as possible. “They” works fine for me. The English language is always changing.

    The idea that “man” and “mankind” always included females is not true. There also used to be many examples of usages such as “Americans and their wives,” etc. Now the word “humanity” works perfectly well as a substitute for “mankind,” and we usually assume “Americans” also includes women.

    Grammatical purists will always suffer because there are too many rules that aren’t followed. What’s the difference between “shall” and “will,” for example?

    And I like to start sentences with “and” and “but.” Whoever made up the rule that one can’t do so is really limiting the language.

    Or is it “whomever”? ;-)

  16. Joe Says:

    The use of singular “they” is quite old. Shakespeare was known to use it, as were Jane Austen and Mark Twain:

    Wikipedia has a good article on singular they.

  17. T Says:

    May I add to the linguistic fray with one of my pet peeves, the interminably incorrect “aren’t I?” as the interrogative form of “I am” (“I are?”). Does anyone really see that as an improvement of the vernacular “ain’t I?” Why not simply, and correctly, “am I not?”

    Yet, we shouldn’t forget that language is dynamic, it is constantly evolving under pressure from various sources. New technology, new discoveries and popular culture are, perhaps, the most powerful drivers of linguistic change.

  18. Promethea Says:

    Artfldger . . .

    Just because Bela Kun or the Frankfurt school had certain ideas in the past doesn’t mean that all us Americans are marching in lockstep as if we were puppets.

    Having modern English include women is a good idea, and I continue to promote it wherever I can.

  19. expat Says:

    vanderleun,

    Can you use “woman up” in that command? I sometimes use “he” too when I don’t feel like being PC, but I really don’t want to undergo a sex change operation to express my cantankerous side.

  20. Curtis Says:

    I receive by email a “Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day.”

    Today’s tip is very related:

    Hypercorrection (2).

    Part C: Number Problems. Sometimes, in the quest for correctness, writers let their sense of grammar override long-established idioms. They may write, for example, “A number of people was there,” when the correct form is “A number of people were there.” Or they will write, “A handful of problems arises from that approach,” instead of “A handful of problems arise from that approach.”

    Part C is an excerpt, but it serves to illustrate the Bryan Garner approach which provides a certain respect for usage against purity.

    For instance, those who argue that a pronoun must agree in number with the noun to which it refers usually were instructed by “purist” teachers. The rule may have been imposed by eighteenth-century grammarians who analysed English according to the structures of Latin. The use of “they” extends back six centuries and includes Chaucer, but the controversy seems only to have been joined in the last two centuries.

    In other words, using something besides “they” might just be a hypercorrection. As an idiom or as good usage, they is fine.

  21. Curtis Says:

    Here’s an interesting article on Bryan Garner.

    http://www.viceland.com/int/v17n12/htdocs/bryan-garner-641.php

  22. gs Says:

    I’m a theyist.

  23. Bryan Says:

    I use “he.” I find the singular/plural disparity more jarring than the masculine/feminine. I know plenty of people who say “they,” though, and I’ve internalized both of them as equally correct in spoken English.

    But I also find it grating when people go out of their way to change wording just to be more “inclusive.” This is for the same reason why I don’t like people Bowdlerizing Mark Twain: I don’t believe in changing what other people wrote to suit my own political opinions.

    T: I definitely use “am I not?” in that context, but to be honest I can’t remember what other people say.

  24. JuliB Says:

    Aren’t I? Probably should be ‘Ain’t I’….

  25. RandomThoughts Says:

    I also find it grating when people go out of their way to change wording just to be more “inclusive.” This is for the same reason why I don’t like people Bowdlerizing Mark Twain: I don’t believe in changing what other people wrote to suit my own political opinions.

    Yes.

    One of my grammatical pet peeves is the use of multiple exclamation points. One exclamation point is all that ought to be used. A string of them only serves to give the impression that the writer wishes he could grab his readers by the shoulders and scream his opinion in their faces. I tend to stop reading altogether when I see multiple exclamation points, for much the same reason I avoid shoulder-grabbing shouters: I have no desire to be assaulted.

  26. kolnai Says:

    I am a “he” man, like Bryan, and I also use the singular “they” copiously when speaking. In academic papers, depending on who my audience is, I will cave occasionally and write “he or she.”

    When “she” is overdone it is very annoying – that, plus I can always hear the thought-police right around the corner, and it seems like I’m in the presence of a scold. I’ve had too many professors carry things far beyond the reasonable for me to think this is just some innocuous effort to stop saying “Americans and their wives.”

    I’m sympathetic to the idea of language organically becoming more inclusive, within reason, and with genuine inclusivity (i.e., I can still say “he” if I want to, so long as people understand what I mean). I’m not sympathetic to its enforcement and weaponization in the hands of the Orwellian Left.

    The fact that this has been weaponized by the Left and is now a crucial warship in it PC armada puts me in a position where I have to basically agree with Promethea in my head, but not in public (even though I just did).

  27. SteveH Says:

    I’m not sure i understand being a stickler for rules in grammar given the human ease at processing the communication of even the worst offenders. Sort of reminds me of the mindset leftover from days Americans wore suits and ties on airplanes and a forks position at the table really mattered.

  28. njartist49 Says:

    and the set of jewish males is inside the set of white males. by attacking the greater mass of poor white males, you also attack jews but cant be called on it.

    Then, on top of this, the Jews call themselves “white” when it is convenient and non-white when not.

    Let’s up the ante: if the study of the migrations of the Israeli Northern tribes is correct, if the tribes did come to rest in northwest Europe, and if very few of the descendants can identify their true heritage, then the attack on whites can be seen as an attach on the unknowing whites of Israel. This opens up the argument of just how powerful and old are the conspiracists; it also opens up the spiritual dimension of the anti-white program.

  29. Foxfier Says:

    Neo-
    I tend to deep-six grammar for what sounds or looks right unless I’m 1) arguing or 2) not liking how things sound… or, sometimes, if it runs into a peeve of mine. *grin*
    When writing online, I tend to focus on writing the way I’d say it (without the tripping over my tongue, and ignoring that I don’t think I’d come up with stuff this quick); thus the semicolons, the many ellipses, and a lot of asterisk-physical action-asterisk emotes. The folks who know me in person have no trouble recognizing me by my writing “voice.”

    That said, if one’s going to worry about being grammatically correct in the middle of a sentence, should probably worry about it at the start. ;^p

  30. Foxfier Says:

    RandomThoughts -
    ‘Multiple exclamation marks,’ he went on, shaking his head, ‘are a sure sign of a diseased mind.’

  31. Curtis Says:

    The loss of Grammar is another reason why our civilization is returning to barbarism. The article on Garner, which I linked to, tells about the loss of grammar in public schools:

    “There’s a great book by Harry Warfel called Who Killed Grammar? He wrote it in 1951. It was very insightful. He essentially makes a compelling case that it was the National Council of Teachers of English, under the influence of Charles Carpenter Fries, who systematically dismantled our traditional ways of teaching grammar in American schools.”

    Grammar teaches the basics and without it you can’t go on to more advanced writing such as legal opinions or briefs. Consider what William O Douglas said:

    “In the legal community absolute understanding is the measure of perfection. Perfection in the realm of the courts is the just resolution of issues of fact and questions of law. The primary tool for resolving conflicts among civilized people is through communication by written and oral language.”

  32. njartist49 Says:

    Thank you Artfldger for your commentary: you got right to the heart of the matter. And curiously, the other just glibly ignored it in order to prove their erudition: a minor version of critical theory in practice.

  33. ninjafetus Says:

    I’ll forgive grammar errors as long as there’s clarity of thought. As long as we’re using language to communicate, I think we should break any rules which hinder clarity. Otherwise, default to the standard.

  34. Mark in Spokane Says:

    Why not use “she”? That avoids the poor grammar, appeals to the pc mentality by using the feminine pronoun to represent both genders, and avoids the possible confusion by using “he” twice to refer to two different sets of people. Thus:

    “And anyone who believes his promises deserves what she gets: betrayal.”

    If one has to be politically correct, it is best to do so in a way that at least preserves the correct grammar…

  35. ziontruth Says:

    Learn Farsi and teach it to others. Then you get to use the same pronoun for “he” and “she.” (Note: I’m an amateur, not a proficient speaker.) Plus you get the bonus of being able to understand the latest Ahmadinejad rant. (The reason for my interest in that language.)

    My native tongue doesn’t let me get away with gender even if I use the plural: In Hebrew it’s hem for males (or males+females) and hen for females. And though the difference may sound slight, it forces adjective and participle endings that are noticeably different (-im for masculine plural, -ot for feminine plural).

    Fortunately, use of the masculine forms (whether singular or plural) doesn’t raise any eyebrows. So far there are only officious notices at the bottom of school test papers: “This test uses masculine forms but addresses both males and females equally.” PC tax paid.

    By influence of my native language, I rarely use singular “they,” even though I know (as Curtis has mentioned) it’s an authentic usage that dates back to late medieval times.

  36. Promethea Says:

    I love finding ways to use different punctuation marks. I was so happy when someone found a new way to use the symbol @ because this character was always so neglected.

    Normally, I don’t write with a lot of exclamation marks except when commenting on the internet. Then I may go in for a few !!!s just for fun, or even “!!11!!!!eleventy!!” marks, which I learned from Ace of Spades. I also like occasional emoticons. ;-)

    We should all be grateful to the person who created the Mohammed emoticon. Unfortunately, I forgot how to write it but I’m sure I can find it on the net. I know I’ll enjoy using it during the next Mo cartoon hoohah.

    BTW most people reading this thread will have a cow or several cows when they see what texting is doing to the English language. LOL

  37. ELC Says:

    The rule may have been imposed by eighteenth-century grammarians who analysed English according to the structures of Latin. I’m not sure why this is a relevant point, even if true. So, we shouldn’t follow rules just because somebody made them up a long time ago for what they thought were good reasons? Isn’t that the case with… you know… lots and lots and lots of rules?

  38. Parker Says:

    I don’t understand why this is an issue amongst those of us who are native speakers of American English. He and him denotes a male. She and her denotes a female. They (us, we) is gender neutral except within a readily known context such as describing the members of an NFL football team. I am a he or him. My spouse is a she or her. They is all of us except when referring to an NFL team.

    My French is rather limited, and I refuse to remember the gender of nouns. When my french friends attempt to correct me with regard to the gender of a noun I retort: Tu avez entendu exactement ce que je voulais dire. This always produces laughter and a teasing response of: Tu etes un arrogant Americaines!

  39. Curtis Says:

    I think, ELC, the point is that Latin was not the appropriate grammatical system to apply to English. It’s not the length of the rule which makes it suspect, but a faulty origin.

    Two other rules which are myths: never ending a sentence with a preposition and not beginning a sentence with and or but.

  40. Curtis Says:

    Take the diagnostic SNOOT test:

    1. How might we [(a) affect, (b) effect] a reconciliation between these litigious siblings?

    2. How [(a) big of a, (b) big a] lawsuit is it?

    3. Tell me: [(a) has, (b) have] either of our clients arrived yet?

    4. Neither of your answers [(a) are, (b) is] correct.

    5. Neither you nor I [(a) am, (b) are] responsible.

    6. Have you ever [(a) swum, (b) swam] in that pool?

    7. In the end, all the defendants got their just [(a) deserts, (b) desserts].

    Answers at:

    http://www.viceland.com/int/v17n12/htdocs/bryan-garner-641.php?page=3

  41. expat Says:

    I have a slightly different perspective on the importance of grammar. I see it as a world language from the point of view of foreigners trying to communicate in scientific papers. I have no problem with flexibility or change in coversation or informal writing. And in literature and op/ed pieces, I like creative word play. However, I don’t want to see the grammatic framework of our language eroded because we are too lazy to pass it on the the next generation. Next week, I will be having dinner with a group of my husband’s colleagues. The guests will include a Dane, a Chinese, an Egyptian, an American who doesn’t speak German, and, of course, Germans. All depend on English to communicate complicated scientific concepts in their papers and all will be able to converse in English. Our language is a gift to the world, and I think we should handle it with respect without becoming schoolmarms. Somehow English conveys to the world that we are able to laugh at ourselves.

  42. Parker Says:

    Set an American english dictionary on a table, next to it place any dictionary of any other language. Inevitably the American english dictionary contains the most words and thus the most intricate concepts. English is the most vast and nuanced language that has ever existed. We english speakers gracefully co-opt words (and concepts) from other languages without blinking and as a result we have the richest, most intricate language spoken today (and tomorrow and the day after).

    “Our language is a gift to the world, and I think we should handle it with respect without becoming schoolmarms. Somehow English conveys to the world that we are able to laugh at ourselves.”

    That is something to cherish.

  43. Foxfier Says:

    Speaking is an art, and like any other art, one should know and understand the rules before one considers breaking them?

  44. Promethea Says:

    Writing correct English is always a challenge, and I keep several reference manuals handy for when I hit the difficult items, like the ones in Curtis’s test @ 9:29 pm.

    Expat . . . I love your example of the importance of English as an international language. I could tell many stories about how this is so true.

    One thing I wish teachers of English as a second language would emphasize more is pronunciation. It’s sad to hear so many foreign English speakers mispronounce “th” and the short i (as in ship) and the W.

    One of my extended family members has a terrible accent in English even though she’s quite fluent in the language. I wish I could tell her to get a voice coach to smooth out her accent. It would make such a difference in the way she’s perceived.

    I speak as a person who can’t master foreign language accents. I can’t trill my Rs or hear tones in Chinese. Most people need special training in order to mimic sounds in foreign languages. I hope your husband’s colleagues understand that.

  45. expat Says:

    Promethea,

    I have never experienced any problems when I mangle a German pronunciation. I sometimes get umlaut words wrong because my brain simply doesn’t process those two little dots, although I certainly know how they change the way a letter sounds. In the same way, I simply ignore gender. In over 25 years, I have only had one person not try to understand me, and that was because I used the hochdeutsch word for doughnuts (Berliners) instead of the dialect word (Krappfen). No one ever corrects my grammar, but they do try to help if I get stuck for a word.

    On the whole people are pretty understanding here. Then again, they must be. When we lived in southern Germany, we got German-language Swiss TV channels. It was amazing to see them have to use subtitles so that people of one valley could understand those a few mountains away.

  46. Bryan Says:

    Promethea,

    I agree that pronunciation is a priority when teaching English, or any foreign language. Whether we’re trying to or not, we all pick up on shibboleths and make judgments about people based on them. I heard a great lecture on linguistic profiling by a professor named Bert Vaux on this subject: humans are quite good at determining things like age, height, race, place of origin, and sexual orientation from a voice, although people who can fluently speak multiple dialects can confuse us.

    English is problematic as a second language. The formation of the English “r” sound (an alveolar/retroflex approximant) is relatively rare and thus more difficult for non-English speakers to learn. The “th” sounds (dental fricatives: both “th” in “both” and “th” in “clothe”) are difficult as well, because there are not really dental stops to make analogies to. So for example, the “ch” sound in Hebrew is a velar fricative: it has the same relationship to “k” as “s” does to “t,” so you can sort of put your tongue where would to make a “k” and then do the same sort of hissing you do when making an “s.” You can’t do the same with “th.” Fortunately, English has a relatively limited vowel inventory. Vowels, in my opinion, are much more difficult to teach and get right than are consonants.

  47. foxmarks Says:

    It’s a question of audience and of intent. Generally, I’m with vanderleun: man up and use “he”. You will be understood, and your cultural politics will not get in the way of the thought.

    A strong woman or an enlightened man will not read “he” as sexist. Rarely is gender the crux of the idea.

    If writing to persuade a sensitive audience, use “they” or sprinkle in a “she” as in-group signaling.

    And on grammar, if you are writing to an audience of schoolmarms, avoid beginning with a conjunction. But years of testing has shown that such a style sells. So if you’re in the field of commerce or politics, forget Strunk and White. Tell it to Sweeney (the Stuyvesants will understand).

  48. Artfldgr Says:

    Just because Bela Kun or the Frankfurt school had certain ideas in the past doesn’t mean that all us Americans are marching in lockstep as if we were puppets.

    Having modern English include women is a good idea, and I continue to promote it wherever I can.

    really? it doesnt?

    then why did we abandon what worked, and have gone full tilt into some made up idea of life that is based on soviet living?

    A fertility rate of 1.9 for 40 years has resulted in a 90% demographic being changed to a 60% demographic.

    In 40 more years, will the equivalent but slower genocide be noticed then?

    On campuses the idea is guilty until proven innocent as in the soviet union. speech is curtailed, when the whole idea of university was free to discuss ideas.

    Vagina monologues, where a “good rape” is to drug a 13 year old with alcohol and have lesbian sex.

    Leaving your children to be mal-educated, and have their futures predetermined by social engineering is now the norm, while self determination is a bit joke of a lie, since you cant have both at once – the whole idea of antithetical.

    STDs are rampant, and have to be ignored… why?
    Because they are copying Bela Kun!!!

    “the first thing he did was introduce sex education into the Hungarian schools”

    We copied and needed the illigitimate work of Kinsey, who hired pedophiles to abuse babies to get his results (how else did he report on baby orgasms?)… his norm was sex workers and deviates who he had access to in prison… he had a nice fetish for sticking a tooth brush some place…

    then there is Meade… whose work is now known to be a FARCE, and a joke… (as is most of the Boas group, whose history is interesting).

    of course there is the Naomi Goldstein, a hack for the communist dailies, who married a wall street man. she had maids, and all that, and her dislike of it all, along with others ideas, was incorporated into the feminine mystique.

    Dodd who was president of the CPUSA and the NEA admitted to congress in testimony as to things.

    in fact…

    EVERYONE DELUSIONALLY IGNORES THEIR WORDS, GOALS, AND AFFILIATIONS!!!!

    they all are reflexive apologetic who refuse to really look and question the gestalt they are following.. and connecting it to the misery and diseases they suffer!!!

    You can read the history and find out that a liberal used to be what a conservative is today (sort of). a small government, self reliance based, meritocratic, enlightenment based, set of ides.

    now its communism/socialism. and we cant even know that both are the same thing.. or that Hitler was a socialist too… in fact, we think that freedom exists between the totalitarianism of the left (international communism) and the “right”as described by the left (reactionary, national socialism).

    ALL THEIR POLICIES WHEN PUT TOGETHER result i remolding the population through influencing breeding while at the same time denying any such effects are possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that darwin had arbitrarily stopped with our minds and that in a universe where no two things are the same ever in the billions of years of existence, we are the same, but some are more special).

    we have the nazi volk, but you dont see it. the volk are the designated protected classes under social justice. that the good volk in fascism are protected from the evil oppressor volk. which by the way are the same people this time around, just indirectly rather than directly with malice and no ambiguity to hide behind!

    hey… dont you remember the nazi antisemite father Coughlin whose newsletter was named “Social Justice”?

    and our president who has used the term, has done what to Israel? asked it to remove its defenses? what has he done to us too?

    [edited for length by n-n]

  49. Alex Says:

    “They” evolved into this usage because there was a real gap in the language that needed to be filled—there was no gender-neutral pronoun. There are plenty of non-PC reasons to want a gender-neutral pronoun, such as when you don’t know the gender of the person you’re talking about. For instance: “When a new customer arrives you should offer them coffee.” Saying “him” in this context just sounds wrong to me, since it’s likely to be factually incorrect half the time.

    In that way “they” is very similar to “y’all” or “you guys,” which also fill an important gap in the language. In English there is no second-person plural, something most non-English languages have. Old English used to have “ye,” but it became singular in Middle English and we’ve been without an official second-person plural, and making up our own versions, ever since.

  50. Artfldgr Says:

    by the way…
    your assertion that language negated females is a feminist myth that survives only because you don’t take a bigger longer look at things!!!!!!!!!!

    ever read the first written laws?
    Hammurabi? what does he say about women?

    and most languages have male and female forms..
    ie.. conjugation

    and some, which have whole different ways of speaking for men and women!!! (ergo the line in dancing with wolves that he speaks funny.. yes, he learned from a woman, so he is a man who talks like a woman).

    ignorance of language and history makes beliving their bs easy…

    but as with most who accept anything on the left…

    they will defend very much the issue…

    after the fact, their ego and vanity would rather they be cheated and no one notice, than accept they were cheated!!!

    to get out of the bind, you have to admit someting which goes agianst vanity and self images (especially with the self esteem movement inflating without substance)

  51. Artfldgr Says:

    pc speech is a key part of the na zi idea of:

    Gleichschaltung

    as a compound word, is better comprehended by those who speak other languages by listing its predecessory uses in German.

    The word gleich in German means alike, equal, or the same; schaltung means something like switching.

    The word Gleichschaltung had two uses in German for physical, rather than political, meanings:

    1. A locking clutch, as used in some machines for connecting two shafts that would otherwise rotate freely such that they rotate at the same speed when in the locked condition.

    2. A certain means of wiring an alternating current electrical generator, and AC electric motors, so that when the generator is made to turn at a given speed, or even turned a certain angle, each motor connected to it will also turn at that speed, or to the same angle. This is the meaning which is most commonly referred to explain the Nazi use of the word: the political party is considered the generator, and every member of a professional group or society is considered a motor wired to it. See selsyn.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleichschaltung

    Gleichschaltung: meaning “coordination”, “making the same”, “bringing into line”, is a Nazi term for the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control and tight coordination over all aspects of society. The historian Richard J. Evans translated the term as “forcible-coordination” in his most recent work on Nazi Germany.

    Among the goals of this policy were to bring about adherence to a specific doctrine and way of thinking and to control as many aspects of life as possible.

    and most wonder how did they do it? how come the people never saw such..

    well… because Hitler appealed to the women. he SAYS so… and they all got in line that it was improper to speak… (who is into etiquette and social control? men or women?)

    i said years ago to read this term..

    well, the feminists and these special VOLK, who have favors put on them. and are willing to attack the non volk, and justify it with the Nazi invention of disparate impact (to prove Jews were capitalist cheaters), and align the whole state to the new way.

    just because the women are the leaders dont mean it aint fascism/socialism/communism…

    in case you dont know it
    DIVERSITY is the word use to stop poor Jewish males from having businesses. affirmative action says everyone BUT them gets help from the state.

    in germany they did it directly…
    taking away from one group directly

    but also making sure that everyone knew which group to dislike..

    when they learned that good decent people dont stand for such things (like in antibellum south), they had to change the method not the end.

    so, what if they dont take away from one group, but take away from all groups, and then give gifts to everyone but that target scape goat group/s?

    ah… so you can give lots of money to women, minorities and orientation, and that would put out one group…

    The “First Gleichschaltung Law” (Erstes Gleichschaltungsgesetz) (March 31, 1933) gave the governments of the Länder the same legislative powers that the Reich government had received through the Enabling Act.

    except it wasnt called the enabling act…
    if they used its real name, it might sound like some laws or parts of laws today…

    Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Nation

    ie… laws to socially engineer outcomes…
    to replace the outcomes of merit and self determination

    ie, pay off those people who side with the Gleichschaltung, politically correct, party mentality, etc…

  52. Artfldgr Says:

    ever pay attention to “the third way”?

    from the DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
    http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?kaid=128&subid=187&contentid=895

    America and the world have changed dramatically in the closing decades of the 20th century. The industrial order of the 20th century is rapidly yielding to the networked “New Economy” of the 21st century. Our political and governing systems, however, have lagged behind the rest of society in adapting to these seismic shifts. They remain stuck in the left-right debates and the top-down bureaucracies of the industrial past.

    The Democratic Leadership Council, and its affiliated think tank the Progressive Policy Institute, have been catalysts for modernizing politics and government. From their political analysis and policy innovations has emerged a progressive alternative to the worn-out dogmas of traditional liberalism and conservatism. The core principles and ideas of this “Third Way” movement are set forth in The New Progressive Declaration: A Political Philosophy for the Information Age.

    Starting with Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign in 1992, Third Way thinking is reshaping progressive politics throughout the world. Inspired by the example of Clinton and the New Democrats, Tony Blair in Britain led a revitalized New Labour party back to power in 1997. The victory of Gerhard Shroeder and the Social Democrats in Germany the next year confirmed the revival of center-left parties which either control or are part of the governing coalition forming throughout the European Union. From Latin America to Australia and New Zealand, Third Way ideas also are taking hold.

    the third way was FASCISM
    the hybrid child of capitalism and communism

    communism failed… now they are forcing capitalism to fail… whats left? the third way – Fascism

    and hitler showed that the way to fascism was through women, women who were now free of the toil of the past… who had too much time compared to the past, who wanted to be involved, and were as gullible and easily manipulated compared to men who were much more skeptic..

    Third Position
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Position

    Third Position is a revolutionary nationalist political ideology that emphasizes its opposition to both communism and capitalism. Advocates of Third Position politics typically present themselves as “beyond left and right”, instead claiming to syncretize radical ideas from both ends of the political spectrum

    Third Positionists tend to advocate for the ownership of the means of producing goods and services to be distributed as widely as possible among the “productive members of society”, seek alliances with separatists of ethnicity and race other than their own to achieve “separate but equal” ethnic and racial segregation, support national liberation movements in the least developed countries, and have recently embraced environmentalism and reconstructionist paganism

    Political scientists, such as Roger Griffin, dismiss Third Positionist claims of being “beyond left and right” as specious. They argue that Third Positionism is in fact an ideological mutation of the neo-fascist right, which rejects both Marxism and liberalism for an ultranationalism that seeks to achieve a national rebirth by establishing a confederation of ethnically and racially homogeneous communities where ownership of productive property is distributed among all members. The main precursors of Third Position politics are National Bolshevism, a synthesis of nationalism and Bolshevik communism, and Strasserism, a radical, mass-action and worker-based form of Nazism.

    heck..

    i cant get off of do you think that X may not be good?

  53. Promethea Says:

    Alex . . .

    I think what you said about the language gap is excellent. English is a wonderful language, but sometimes a few things need to be corrected. “They” fills the missing gender neutral pronoun, and a few “he or she’s” sprinkled here and there in a longer document keep the mind focused on the neutrality.

    Basically, the usages you, I, and others on this thread support seem to lead toward common sense and politeness, not communism and infertility.

  54. Artfldgr Says:

    “They” evolved into this usage because there was a real gap in the language that needed to be filled—there was no gender-neutral pronoun.

    no.. THEY did not evolve that way..

    thats made up to fill a blank you have no idea of, dont want to look up, and just want to say something better than, i dont know how it became that way…

    the progressive idea that when there is a blank fill it in with whatever you want to make a good story… applied to life, every generality becomes a speaker to your ear with a customized message.

    how else did everyone think that non specific terms of hope and change, were turned into everything that anyone who was SKINNERIAN trained would want. some extreme examples were that Stalin was going to pay for gas and so forth..

    it was specifically mandated when i was a child…

    ie… STATE ISSUED PEDAGOGY…

    and you can be sure that any kid that, like me, had a reading level for leatherstocking and other fenimore cooper books and white wolf, and classics for kids who could read 13th grade english AS THEY USED To… were beaten up by the teachers.

    ESPECIALLY boys who had to fail so that women coudl succeed… the common woman believes in a lifting up of the lower… but the truth is that procrustees just chops some off at the knees and waxes the egos of the others so that they dont look while they are being stroked.

    such things are in progressive education policy papers… mandates… and remember, since dodd testified and nothing was done… the unions are communist..

    ergo their marching with red flags and workers of the WORLD unite, and all that… they no longer need to lie to you.

    regardless of what older people do, the young have already been changed… now you only need healthcare to turn over the population faster to hasten the process.

    hitler would have had a much easier time if he first instilled a self loathing which would cause the people to crawl into the ovens themselves and not care..

    dead is dead… and for some reason, people think that how your genetic line is exterminated matters. whether by the created situation of ovens, or the creates situations of social engineering with institutions like abortion and elder rationing, either way, dead is dead.

    RATE is whats different..

    so lets make a addition to stalins maxim

    One man is a trajedy, many a statistic

    to that we add

    do it fast, and its a crime against humanity, do it slow, and its normalized policy and defended, by the victims as a beloved tradition

    if you can normalize cambodian children to be death machines (As well as gold coast africans), and even human sacrifice and cannibalism can be normalized.. as can state torture.

    what makes the victims think that they are not victims as they watch the things they love go away, complain, and are completely unable to form the thoughts necessary to climb out of the crab bucket.

    if we are all equal, then the one who knows the way, cant lead against the many who dont know any way.

    when you dont know where your going, any direction will take you there…

  55. Artfldgr Says:

    I shoulid add that chinese has no plurals.

    you would think that plurals would be more important to speech than gender…

    so the ideas that gender is important to add or mold a language which molds our thoughts and a few people get to do that, and get supported by the state in that, is kind of freaky nasty, and cold calculating evil

    kind of matches the old aristocracy not educating the masses until the church did… kind of kept them slaves… good thing that womens economy and work is now state property… no?

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    even funnier..

    replace the term progressive, the term we are used to and familiar with and would not react to… and say, use nazi..

    then we can all agree we have a “nazi” school system
    we like “nazi” taxes to redistribute to the volk
    we like social justice, its so progressive, i mean “nazi”

    once you do that you can read the parallels..

    though the term “communist” works better

    hen we can all agree we have a communist” school system

    we like communist” taxes to redistribute to the proletariat

    we like social justice, its so progressive, i mean “communist”

    we have communist” equality
    communist” focus on race and such
    communist” redistibution
    communist” atheism
    communist” schooling thanks to dewey
    communist” central planning
    communist” czars in office and a new one!!!

    The White House has named Jesse Lee to a new position within its communications department titled Director of Progressive Media & Online Response. According to The Huffington Post, Lee will essentially be responsible for building up Obama’s online presence as he prepares for his reelection bid, and squashing any negative stories…

    if progressive is the ideology, then we have the equivalent of nazi or communist flags and words attached to almost everything that the state wants, and we dont see it all.

    its in front of us.. and as joseph zimbardo shows, those in the situation dont realize it!!!!

  57. Promethea Says:

    Artfldgr . . .

    I think you’re overreacting a bit to this language question. Language is a group development. Those of us who are interested can do our little bit to push things in the ways we like. I, for example, like semicolons and dashes.

    Wikipedia has some interesting articles on the differences between British English and American English. English has never been standardized, though various people and groups have tried at different times.

  58. Artfldgr Says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/8532190/Millions-of-female-foetuses-aborted-in-India.html

    Millions of female foetuses aborted in India
    Sex selection of foetuses in India has led to 7.1 million fewer girls than boys up to age six, a gender gap that has widened by more than a million in a decade, according to a study published in The Lancet.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Between 1980 and 2010, they estimate, four to 12 million girls were aborted because of their sex.

    “Selective abortion of female foetuses, usually after a firstborn girl, has increased in India over the past few decades, and has contributed to a widening imbalance in the child sex ratio,” they conclude.

    when its boys as in the US, abortion is great says feminism… but when its girls… then its bad…


    “Increases in selective abortion of girls are probably because of persistent son preference combined with decreases in fertility,” the authors say.

    The mean number of children per Indian woman fell from 3.8 in 1990 to 2.6 in 2008.

    Declines were much greater in mothers who had gone to school for at least ten years than in mothers with no education at all. The same trend held true for wealthier households compared to poorer ones.

    If the first child was a boy, however, there was no drop in the girl-boy ratio for the second child, showing that families – especially those better off and more educated – are far more likely to abort girls if the firstborn is also female.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    ah…

    so when a populations most intelligent mate less, and the least intelligent mate more…

    what is the Darwinian outcome denied..

    the intelligence of the general population goes down

    while the ability of the males to select many more women and be fertile goes up… (and since the women self support, and do most work, they can ‘afford’ to procreate haphazardly to increase their representation in the population)

    the more they educated jewish women, the less jewish children were born.

    so, a many pronged attack against the designated oppressors…

    not just educate the women, but educate them into victimology, that they are not special, that their genes do not transfer ability or talent, that their children are no special than someone elses, etc etc etc.

    which lowers their fecundity…
    and decreases the suitability of traditional mates
    and ultimately lowers the intelligence of any surviving lines not pruned from eternity.

    am i missing something here?

    for every woman that has no children, another woman has to have 5 to maintain a steady population.

    ever see what pc does to a woman that has more than one? maybe two?

    when ovens didnt work, they went to policy
    evne more so when nuclear weapons removed direct takeover by force null and internal betrayal the only game left.

  59. ziontruth Says:

    “BTW most people reading this thread will have a cow or several cows when they see what texting is doing to the English language. LOL”

    LOL can be intensified as:

    LOOOOOL (Laughing Out Out Out Out Out Loud)

    or as:

    LOLOLOL
    (Laughing Out Laughing Out Laughing Out Loud,
    or Laughing Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud)

    That’s what happens when you buy into reductionism and get analytic about everything. That’s why I’m a programmer: No leeway for these mental gymnastics. It either works or gives you an error message.

  60. Alex Says:

    Artfldgr:

    1. Take three slow, deep breaths.

    2. Step away from the computer.

    3. Go outside.

  61. neuromon Says:

    unrelated to the S/he-they topic, but in the grammar vein, Herman Cain’s campaign announcement contained the following sentence: “(Dad) saw my brother and I graduate from college.”
    of course, that sentence required the object pronoun “me”, not the subject pronoun “I”, since “Dad” is already the subject: (Dad) saw my brother and ME graduate from college.
    i’ve never figured out why coming after the word “and” is so confusing to people. if “my brother and” weren’t in there, would he have said “Dad saw I graduate?”
    hard to vote for someone who can’t speak correctly, even for such an important occasion!

  62. Parker Says:

    neuoromon,

    Were you unable to understand what Cain meant? I would guess you understood perfectly the meaning of this particular statement. If so,what do you want? A person who speaks the ‘king’s english’ correctly or a person who speaks forthrightly from the heart?

  63. boqueronman Says:

    As a resident in a Spanish speaking country, your entire proper pronoun controversy has the ring of a discussion concerning how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Spanish is a “Romance” language with ties to its roots in Latin. As such, all nouns are either masculine or feminine. In essence then a non native speaker is required to memorize the noun with its corresponding article. I sometimes wonder what would happen if “language feminism” infected the region I live in. The PC language police would produce “‘el’ caos y ‘la’ anarquia.”

  64. Alex Says:

    boqueronman:

    I’ve seen this dealt with by using the “@” symbol to mean a/o. Friend would be amig@, etc. Don’t know how you’re supposed to pronounce it though…

  65. Alex Says:

    I should mention I’ve seen this in Portuguese, not Spanish. In Portuguese it works better because the articles are a/o/as/os. In Spanish el/la would be a problem.

  66. Artfldgr Says:

    promethea:
    I think you’re overreacting a bit to this language question.

    not at all, coming from soviet and hitlerian refugee family who watched them cahnge the speech.

    just as people refuse to see the difference between a protest of paid people, bussed in, fed, given preprinted posters.

    and an organic one… astroturf vs real

    well, pc is astroturf… it was designed, implemented, and facitilated.

    why? or how?

    pretty easy as our society has no protectiogns against someone or a group of someones grabbing key points and telling us untruths for gain.

    ie… the invalidity of the news and such since that meeting between the big dudes with money, and buying key information points for control of public influence.

    a KEY and a critical key to all this is that it must appear natural enough that the people will not ignore it or even oppose it meaninfully and push it out.

    it must be a sheep in wolfs clothing

    the fact we are on the verge of a communist slave state, and not an american founding father based constitutional one, should have you thinking that maybe, jyst maybe, one can bias a system enough constantly to make it veer a certain way over time.

    withotu some opposing force allowed, the constant small bias wins out.

    eventually you get things liek sacrifice of humans as in azetecs. where the leaders defined reality and what worked and the people followed and ripped hearts out in the literal sense not in the prom night sense.

    am i really over reaction when we have normalized the practice of joseph mengele and we cant see it?

    i dont know. you tell me

    i went to bronx science, my sister didnt
    i had top grades, my syster didnt

    i had no ability to get cash for school, slept on park benches, and other things to get on equivalent degree. could never get more…

    my sister, is still in school, is 43, working on her 2 phd, and a 4th masters… all school paid for… grants, loans, scholarships.. assistance and such.

    so you explain how that works WITHOUT evoking an answer that is not PC and have people accept it as truth without ignoring the reality and telling you it shouldn’t be said.

    why cant i go to school?
    why cant i get raises or promotions and be treated as a basic human at work?
    why do i get punished for doing the same thing that someone else gets rewarded for?

    why cant i get a loan with SBA help? because SBA gives so much stuff to protected classes, with guarantees, that if your an unprotected designated racist oppressor by sex and skin color.. you cant get anything… i know.. i tried… but SEVERAL nice bank people explained this whole thing very un politically correct, because they pittied me and didnt want to see me waste my life trying when the game was already decided by social engineering.

    same with college..

    how do you get more women and minorities in stem?:

    easy.. NIH offers 90,000 in additional funds if researchers put token women, minorities or orientation people on their team, and drop any unprotected class member (who dont ahve the capital to fight or stand up)

    here is the notice…

    Dear Colleagues:

    Building a diverse and inclusive group of leaders, faculty, post-doctoral fellows, students, and staff at [name removed] and its community of affiliated hospitals, is of great importance to the School’s mission of enhancing the care we provide to our patients and the research that we conduct.

    Applying for Diversity Supplements through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one way for the School to achieve this goal.

    The NIH Diversity Supplement offers investigators a financial incentive, in the form of a supplemental award to an existing NIH grant, to recruit and retain a more diverse research workforce.

    Principal Investigators who hold certain active NIH research grants may apply for administrative supplements to support and recruit individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, or from disadvantaged backgrounds. [women, minorities, and orientation]

    [name removed] investigators who have applied for diversity supplements for fellows and students to date have been awarded as much as $95,000 per year on a single grant.

    so if you were a researcher, would you hire a person not on that list and not try for 95,000 dollars extra?

    my son cant get any work as a honors graduate in genetics… why? because the researchers lose a chance at an extra 95k if they even glance his way.

    self determinatino means what if we ahve normalized socially engineered outcomes as defined by the state looking at a report of numbers and wanting to cahnge them to something THEY find better for THEM

    [will you speak your mind and let them call it hate speech to force the language where THEY want it, since they ahve the power to declare what it is?]

    i have a 175+ IQ…
    i have worked as a degreed professional but without the degrees in applied science. do art, journalism, and tons of stuff…

    but i cant rub to coins together…
    and get punished when i do somethign that would normally be good, and would lift me up from where social engineering wants me.

    if i rise, what happesn to all that “progress’ for women, minorities, and orientation victims of society?

    so… i cant rise… get raises… or even buy a home..

    so you keep telling me its my imagination…
    i will sit in my 82 degree, 47″ x 57″ office (half the size of a handicapped bathroom stall), contemplating how that is equivalent to the desk the entry level non degreed person has in an airconditioned room.

    and say we are treated equally and with respect.

  67. Artfldgr Says:

    oh..
    i am overreacting…
    but the militant women campaigning to ahve all manhole covers changed arent…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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