I don’t get the whole ‘trans’ thing. But then, I don’t need to. My attitude toward it is the same as for a lot of other things: Do what you want and live as you choose and leave me out of it, and I’ll do the same. What I do get – más o menos – is the English language and how this group of selfish, imagination-less people have disrespected it and the rest of us.
It is apparent that trans and androgynous people don’t want to be referred to as either ‘he’ or ‘she’. Fine. But the pronouns they have gravitated to, ‘they’ ‘them’ and ‘theirs’, are PLURAL pronouns. Do they consider themselves so very special as to require to be referred to as more than one person? Or are they just being lazy?
The English language already contains a neutral pronoun: ‘it’. That no one wants to be referred to as ‘it’ is understandable, but that’s where the understanding ends. In the entire LGBT+ world has it never occurred to anyone to lean toward something 1) a bit more creative and 2) not in direct opposition to grammatically correct English?
One obvious choice is to use the Spanish neutral pronoun ‘lo’ instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’, ‘los’ for its plural and a made-up ‘loeses’ (pronounced low-says) for the possessive. You could go with a more English-y sounding set of words like ‘te’ that rhymes with he and she, ‘tem’ for the plural and ‘tems’ for the possessive. You could just use the German neutral pronouns ‘ich’, ‘du’, ‘wir’ or ‘uns’. Or you could bastardize Arabic pronouns and come up with something like ‘huma’ for he/she, ‘intuma’ for the plural and ‘humas’ & ‘intumas’ for the possessives. Any of these would take a minute to get used to, but they would not screw up every single document and conversation in English, making them unintelligible – or at the very least, confusing – for no good reason.
Not only do these people feel empowered to corrupt the English language, but they have also given themselves the authority to place on each of us the responsibility and duty to memorize each of their pronoun preferences….
And that’s only the start of the trouble. Not only do these people feel empowered to corrupt the English language, but they have also given themselves the authority to place on each of us the responsibility and duty to memorize each of their pronoun preferences and then unquestioningly join them in the misuse our spoken tongue. Many (and mostly tech) companies even require employees to declare ‘their pronouns’ as a part of their email signatures. How in the hell is that appropriate in a business setting? Are they there to work or be sexual/asexual? How is their sexuality/gender pertinent to a job – any job?
I resent it and I refuse to adhere to it, and it is irritating that less than 2% of the population has managed to screw up a language that has existed for a couple thousand years and that we have enabled them to do so.
‘Woke’ is a term that is thrown around recklessly, difficult to define, and used to describe a broad range of unconventional sensitivities. I’ll define it as “the adherence by a large proportion of society to concocted rubrics made public by a miniscule proportion of society, who with incredible self-indignancy whine and bully the rest of society into that adherence for fear of offending or being out of step.” This pronoun thing is as woke as it gets! It is ridiculous and we the large proportion of society need to stand up to the miniscule proportion and ‘just say NO’ to adulterating and degrading the English language.
If transgender people don’t want to be referred to by the already extant English neutral pronoun ‘it’, then it is their duty to come up with something else that is workable, understandable and that doesn’t make them, and we that go a long with it, sound like illiterate idiots.
Live life! Do you! Be, and love and participate as you see fit. Just please, find a way to do those things that doesn’t require the ruination of English.
It seems like a small thing to ask.
– REENO – A graduate of Portland State University, Steve Kloser is the author of Beginning Band – A Guide to Success. Accomplished teacher, conductor, composer web developer, Packers Fan, and Proud American, Reeno’s usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on old and new. He currently lives on the Portland, OR area.