While many of the world’s languages do not, English has historically had gender specificity in certain of their pronouns, particularly in the third person singular (he, she). For many years, a gender-specific, almost always masculine, pronoun was used to express a gender-neutral meaning:
“A candidate should work to the best of his ability, and he must comport himself appropriately.”
A couple solutions that been used to improve on this, include “he/she” (clunky), the word “one” (did not seem to catch on), or the third person plural word “they” (which I hate). Some attempts have been made, by proponents of gender-neutral language, to introduce invented gender-neutral pronouns.
Continue reading “Z is for Ze (or zie)”