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Grammar nazi time Answered


I wasn't sure if this would be considered a bug or feedback.

"This author has not updated their profile."

"Author" is singular, "their" is plural. It should be something like "This author has not updated his/her profile." The devs could probably make that match the account's gender.

Tags:grammar

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kelseymh (author)2011-06-15

Pwned. Anyone who wants to be an Engligh grammar nazi ought to be intimately familiar with both common misconceptions and so-called "disputed usage" involving the English language.

Oh, and just to be clear -- computer accounts don't have gender. Human beings who create computer accounts do have gender.

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steveastrouk (author)kelseymh2011-06-17

No, human beings have "sox", gender is a term from formal grammar.

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kelseymh (author)steveastrouk2011-06-17

Sorry, Steve, both usages are correct.

Gender is a range of characteristics distinguishing between male/masculinity and female/femininity, particularly in the cases of men and women. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity.
(from Wikipedia, "Gender")
Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be very few that belong to several classes at once.
(from Wikipedia, "Grammatical gender")

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steveastrouk (author)kelseymh2011-06-17

Wikipedia wouldn't be my primary source, neither, for English English, Merriams, the English English reference is the Oxford English Dictionary and possibly Sir Ernest Gower's "Plain Words".

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Merriam-Webster says:

Definition of GENDER

1
a : a subclass within a grammatical class (as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly arbitrary but also partly based on distinguishable characteristics (as shape, social rank, manner of existence, or sex) and that determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms
b : membership of a word or a grammatical form in such a subclass
c : an inflectional form showing membership in such a subclass
2
a : sex <the feminine gender>
b : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex

The Oxford English Dictionary says:

 a. In some (esp. Indo-European) languages, as Latin, French, German, English, etc.: each of the classes (typically masculine, feminine, neuter, common) of nouns and pronouns distinguished by the different inflections which they have and which they require in words syntactically associated with them; similarly applied to adjectives (and in some languages) verbs, to denote the appropriate form for accompanying a noun of such a class. Also: the fact, condition, or property of belonging to such a class; the classification of language in this way.

 3.
Thesaurus »

 a. gen. Males or females viewed as a group; = sex n.1 1. Also: the property or fact of belonging to one of these groups.

(also, I find the double negative ironic in context...).

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caitlinsdad (author)kelseymh2011-06-17

Sorry, old chap, citing Wikipedia as your sources is bad form and never acceptable for such an internet forum topic debate like this.

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kelseymh (author)caitlinsdad2011-06-17

Wikipedia is a secondary source and quite acceptable, in the spirit of a review article. The interested reader can follow the link and check the primary sources cited there, or can go directly to the dictionary if desired.

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caitlinsdad (author)kelseymh2011-06-15

Irregardless, classifying gender based on this or that? And I believe the great NachoMahma likes to think, when you set up your user account, where the box says "sex", just write in "yes".

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Lithium Rain (author)caitlinsdad2011-06-17

Asexuality (indeed, any sexual behavior) is irrelevant to determining sex/gender.

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caitlinsdad (author)Lithium Rain2011-06-17

but may be relevant in identifying with sex/gender.

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2011-06-15

Shhhh, don't tell them about the existence of ze/hir, it might upset them...

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Lithium Rain (author)2011-06-14

As caitlinsdad points out, "their" is a perfectly acceptable and grammatical gender-neutral pronoun.

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CameronSS (author)Lithium Rain2011-06-15

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

Just so I have another excuse to argue with Lira, Imma say that I think the singular they is completely unnacceptable if you want to be taken seriously about anything, and that the Chicago manual of style has no idea what they're talking about. Oh and Spongebob sux.

Hee hee hee troll troll troll

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