Pronouns

We all remember grammar: pronouns are words that replace nouns. You always have to  have pronoun/noun agreement. For example, instead of saying ‘Jessie Maggio’, I say ‘I’. Instead of saying ‘the chair’ I would have to say ‘it’. Instead of ‘My father’ I say ‘he’. Instead of ‘Tiffany’ I say ‘she’.

Unless Tiffany asks me not to, because they are not a ‘she’, they are a ‘they’.

Because Tiffany is agender and their pronouns will be respected.

“But Jessie! Jessie!” I can hear some of you cry, “The pronoun ‘they’ can only be used for plural nouns! For singular, you would have to use ‘he’, ‘she’, or ‘he or she’.”

“But Tiffany is neither he nor she,” I reply, patiently, “Tiffany is  agender and their pronouns will be respected.”

“But Jessie! Jessie!” You cry, more urgently, “‘They’ is not singular! If you need to use a singular pronoun for something that’s not male or female, you have to use ‘it’.”

“But Tiffany is not an it,” I reply, still patiently, “Tiffany is a human being and the term ‘it’ is dehumanizing. Tiffany can go by ‘they’ because it’s generally understood among the public that ‘they’ is used when the gender of a specific individual is unsure or unspecified.”

“But the Chicago Manuel of Style says-”

I know what the Chicago Manuel of Style says. But language evolves, and that’s why we’re on the 16th edition of the Chicago Manuel of Style. In the 17th edition, we may very well be told that ‘they’ is acceptable for singular usage. Or maybe pronouns like ze/zir will be popularized. Either way, we shouldn’t value arbitrary grammatical limitations over the comfort and wellness of real people.

Because Tiffany is agender and their pronouns will be respected.

-JM

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