A gender-neutral pronoun, by contrast, is a pronoun that is not associated with a particular grammatical or social gender and that does not imply, for instance, male or female. Many English pronouns are gender-neutral, including they (which in certain contexts can also refer to a singular antecedent such as everyone, a person, or the patient).
Many of the world's languages do not have gender-specific pronouns. Others, however – particularly those that have a pervasive system of grammatical gender (or have historically had such a system, as with English) – have gender specificity in certain of their pronouns, particularly third-person personal pronouns.
Problems of usage arise in languages such as English, in contexts where a person of unspecified or unknown sex or social gender is being referred to but commonly available pronouns (he or she) are gender-specific. In such cases a gender-specific, usually masculine, pronoun is sometimes used with intended gender-neutral meaning; such use of he was also common in English until the middle of the twentieth century but is now controversial. Use of singular they is another common alternative. By using "he" or "she" the speaker may make assumptions about gender identity. Some people express their identities more ambiguously and appearances can be deceptive. Some attempts have been made, by proponents of gender-neutral language, to introduce invented gender-neutral pronouns.
OHO duo (Jay Graboski & Ray Jozwiak) live at Johnny's (Ocean City, MD), September 2015
What do you think?
Tell me at
OHO's "Ocean City Ditty," the CD single is now available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/oho4
(and, if you're in town, at Trax On Wax on Frederick Rd. in Catonsville, MD) OHO is Jay Graboski, David Reeve & Ray Jozwiak. Please Visit http://www.ohomusic.com
My latest solo offering, Just More Music by Ray Jozwiak, featuring original, instrumental piano music is now available at - Just More Music by Ray Jozwiak
(To Access all Ray Jozwiak - Gonzo Piano music you can copy-and-paste this URL directly to
your browser: http://http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/RayJozwiak)
Also, be sure to visit: