Overly personal pronouns?
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12-09-2015, 11:20 AM
Overly personal pronouns?
A friend who's a college professor just met his newest crop of students. One of them emailed him after the first class with the request that he not use any gender-specific pronouns when referring to her (I'll call her Student X) in class, but instead refer to X using "they," "their," etc. Pronouns other than "you" are likely to come up because it's a performance class, where students will be playing for one another and the professor's job is to demonstrate, critique things like hand position, and ask the class things like, "what did you think of her, or his, interpretation?"

Of course, it's possible to use "the" or Student X's given name instead of her or his, which is probably what my friend will wind up doing.

I understand and agree with referring to people with the gender pronouns they prefer (no problem with Caitlyn Jenner as she, for example), but I haven't come across this before. Is it a new thing? Have any of you in academia encountered it?
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12-09-2015, 11:26 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
Seems a bit overly sensitive to me, but I may be older than I think I am.
Maybe he could just refer to them all as as "it"?
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12-09-2015, 11:32 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
(12-09-2015 11:26 AM)pablo Wrote:  Seems a bit overly sensitive to me, but I may be older than I think I am.
Maybe he could just refer to them all as as "it"?

Back to sensitivity training for you! Angry

I remember reading about an agenda to create gender neutral pronouns... hey, I found a link. But trying to come up with agreement and usage is herding cats.

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12-09-2015, 11:33 AM (This post was last modified: 12-09-2015 12:09 PM by julep.)
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
(12-09-2015 11:26 AM)pablo Wrote:  Seems a bit overly sensitive to me, but I may be older than I think I am.
Maybe he could just refer to them all as as "it"?

"It" was my first thought…probably would make my friend sound too much like Gollum, though.

The student seems to have anticipated and dismissed that option by requesting the plural forms. My gut feeling is that it's a bit of a power play by the student, but it might be some kind of trend.
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12-09-2015, 11:34 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
(12-09-2015 11:32 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(12-09-2015 11:26 AM)pablo Wrote:  Seems a bit overly sensitive to me, but I may be older than I think I am.
Maybe he could just refer to them all as as "it"?

Back to sensitivity training for you! Angry

I remember reading about an agenda to create gender neutral pronouns... hey, I found a link. But trying to come up with agreement and usage is herding cats.

Thanks for the link! Before today I had not heard of this.
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12-09-2015, 11:41 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
Yay! I was useful! Can I post a Gwynnie now? Heart

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12-09-2015, 11:46 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
I wouldn't mind using the singular they or some other gender-neutral pronoun. I've just never had an opportunity to actually use them.

Some people will only let you to refer to them by a pronoun that they made up.

"I'm not male, I'm demi-delicious. Get it right!"
"Whatever dude, I think you're spending too much time on Tumblr."

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12-09-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
(12-09-2015 11:41 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Yay! I was useful! Can I post a Gwynnie now? Heart

Why not post three (the Holy Gwynnitry)?
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12-09-2015, 11:49 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
I suppose x and y are out. Big Grin
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12-09-2015, 11:50 AM
RE: Overly personal pronouns?
Jeez, that's pretty silly.
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