Non-gender languages

Orion   Sunday, June 27, 2004, 04:48 GMT
Clark -
Actually, the "singular they" is quite common and more accepted than you might think. It isn't something you'd probably ever write. Of course, Shakespeare did. Except for formal writing, it is accepted, and has been for a long, long time. Centuries, in fact.
and, more authoratarian,
Clark   Sunday, June 27, 2004, 11:33 GMT
Orion, did I not say that in my last post?

"Jason, the use of "their" in place of the third person singular is only a colloquial usage, and is gramatically wrong. If one is talking about using "his or her pencil," and uses "their" instead, the grammar used here is wrong from the context given."
Mi5 Mick   Sunday, June 27, 2004, 12:23 GMT
Well how about the grammarians declaring "their" as the neuter to "his" and "her"? That way we have no problems writing it as we do saying it. The linguists on those web links that Orion gave support its use as well as "they".
Damian   Sunday, June 27, 2004, 15:14 GMT
It's the usual thing to say in announcements etc....using "their" to cover both has always sounded awkward to me. BT use it in their call back/1471 etc "You were called today at 14:37 hours...the caller with-held THEIR number". The case is wrong.
Mi5 Mick   Monday, June 28, 2004, 07:30 GMT
So you're saying we need a differently spelt word to avoid confusion with "their"? Suppose "thair"...