Saturday, April 09, 2016

Podcast of the week

An excellent podcast on the history of the English language LINK

English lost most of it's grammatical gender markers in the centuries after the Norman conquest.

And he notes that we do not need the weird constrctions like "XE" for he/she: the use of the singular "they" goes back to the days of Chaucer...

and was chosen by the American Dialect society as the word of the year.

The use of singular they builds on centuries of usage, appearing in the work of writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. In 2015, singular theywas embraced by the Washington Post style guide. Bill Walsh, copy editor for the Post, described it as “the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.”

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