4 days ago
Read my third writing tip on the importance of punctuation - the link's below. Yes, punctuation. A bit like the dentist - can be painful, but is always necessary!
3 weeks ago
Writing about punctuation (which I’m doing at the moment) has made me think about pronouns.
Gendered pronouns, for example. It makes perfect sense to me that human sexuality and gender are non-binary, and can be fluid. After all, that’s true, I think, of every aspect of being human, be that anatomical, physiological, psychological, cultural or any other ‘-al’ you can name.
My sticking point was, (as my kids could tell you), using a plural pronoun as a singular one – using ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’. Ridiculous, I know. And I’m happy to say I’ve made the shift, because, of course, language is also fluid, and adapts to the society it finds itself in.
Which is why I think we should embrace plurals for ‘you’. Standard English doesn’t have one, so we spend our lives going, ‘No, I meant both of you need to clean your rooms,” and “I mean that all of you need to complete your reports by Monday.” A couple of good colloquial examples of a plural ‘you’ spring to mind – the Southern U.S.A.’s ‘y’all’ and New Zealand’s very own ‘youse.’ If I ruled the world, ‘youse’ would be an accepted part of our vocabulary, in both speaking and writing.
Anyway… back to punctuation! ...
Synonyms and circumlocutions! Youse Clarksons talk so flash
I’m getting used to the singular “they”, too. Possibly at approximately the same pace as you. Regarding “you” plural, I still rely on synonyms and circumlocutions: “ we doctors”, “we clinicians”, “we, as managers”, “we, as human beings”, though never (yet) “you as human beings” (though I have been tempted).
I’m a big fan of ya’ll