OT: Re: gender-neutral English usage

Margo keegiveel at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 17:07:11 CET 2010

2010/1/19  <omcomali.rhn at porcupinefactory.org>:
> I know for sure that Estonian language has a gender-neutral pronoun. In exchange, it doesn't have any gender-specific pronouns, what I find strange, being used to Polish, in which you can't virtually say anything without being gender-specific.

I am Estonian and yes we use the same word for both he and she. I
think the same is in other finno-ugric languages too. And I can't see
the need for gender-specific pronouns at all.

2010/1/15 Neil Jerram <neiljerram at googlemail.com>:
> Historically, yes, "they" and "their" are plural.  But in real current
> (UK) English, they are being used more and more also as
> gender-independent singular.
> That might sound surprising, but it is the case.
> Regards,
>        Neil

So if someone says something about one certain person and you don't
know who is he/she talking about and if that person is male or female,
then you can ask "who are they?"?

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