- Bob Charles
- Columbus, OH
- United States
How do we fix the third person singular indefinite pronoun "he" used in the English language?
No one has fixed this problem in 500 years. Why? We now use a bunch of awkward structures. None come natural. You would think the evolution of the English language, especially in the last 100 years, would have taken care of this. But it hasn't. The problem exists in most other languages. Maybe somewhere the problem is solved and we can borrow the solution.
o use "he/she" or "she/he" .. who gets to go first?
o use "she' one time and "he" the other?
o How about "it" for babies? Or people at the door: "who is it?"
o How about making a statement and only using "she and her"?
o Or inventing a new word like: "shim, sher, .."
o Use the Jane Austen plural. My favorite.
I asked 150 English department staff members from the University of Pittsburgh and UCLA the same question. They replied with many variants of the above.