Re: Gender-free Pronounds (was Re: Libertarian Economics)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 11:58:53 -0700 (PDT)

>> Just an aside, I've always liked this particular set of gender-
>> neutral pronouns (which is why I chose to use them for the
>> Oceania Constitution rather than the awkward ones Eric proposed),
>> but are they well-enough established here to use them without
>> explanation? If not, could ExI or the list admins perhaps put
>> some specific mention of them in the mail list description for
>> newcomers, along with other commonly-used terms here that might
>> require explanation?
> (...referring to my habit of occasionally using "ey", "em",
> "eir", "eirs", and "eirself" as a gender-free pronoun set.)
> Personally I shy away trying to designate an "official" usage
> for any group. I use this set from time to time (not
> consistently) when I think I can get away with it. I'm aware,
> especially on an international mailing list such as this one
> where not all readers are native speakers of English, that I'm
> risking being misunderstood, but I'm willing to take the risk.
> If this usage is ever going to be established as a standard,
> then eventually people are going to have to take the step of
> using them without explanation. I don't want to go around
> beating people over the head with my personal taste in
> gender-free pronouns, so I try to do it only occasionally.

Well I certainly would never be caught dead wanting to make
anything "official" by pronouncement; perhaps these half-dozen
messages will suffice to introduce this set of pronouns to the
group sufficiently for them to catch on without further action.
And BTW, it should be "emself" rather than "eirself" (except
in Mississippi, where "hisself" is normal usage :)

So, by the complete lack of authority vested in me by the
spontaneous order of Extropians, I recommend the continued
use of these gender-free pronouns without gloss. If anyone
is confused by them, let em figure it out.