So, Fuck It, I Just Compiled A Whole Stack Of Literary References To The “Singular They” Pronoun.

26 Apr

For your perusal and pleasure. This is by no means exhaustive (hell, it’s not even a fraction), but hopefully it’s enough to get the pedantic d-bags in your life who wanna claim “grammar” as an excuse to marginalize your identity to shut the hell up. Enjoy.

“According to the number that yee shall prepare, so shall yee doe to euery one, according to THEIR number.” – Numbers 15:12, The King James Bible

“So likewise shall my heauenly Father doe also vnto you, if yee from your hearts forgiue not euery one his brother THEIR trespasses.” – Matthew 18:35, The King James Bible

“And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame, THEY wol come up and offre in Goddes name, And I assoille them “ – Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, The Pardoners Tale

“Yf a psalme scape ony persone, or a lesson, or else yt. THEY omyt one verse or twayne.” – Wynkyn de Worde, The Pilgrims Perfection

“And every one to rest THEMSELVES betake” – Shakespeare, The Rape Of Lucrece

“‘tis meet that some more audience than a mother, since nature makes THEM partial, should o’erhear the speech” – Shakespeare, Hamlet

“Little did I think… to make a… complaint against a Person very dear to you,… but dont let THEM be so proud… as to make THEM not care how THEY affront everybody else” – Samuel Richardson, Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded

“Now, nobody does anything well that THEY cannot help doing.” – John Ruskin, The Crown Of Wild Olive

“a person can’t help THEIR birth” – W.M. Thackeray

“no man goes to battle to be killed. — But THEY do get killed “ – George Bernard Shaw

“Glancing at a lampshade in a store window, I observe it is too hideous for anyone in THEIR senses to buy” – W. H. Auden, Horae Canonicae

“She kept her head and kicked her shoes off, as everybody ought to do who falls into deep water in THEIR clothes.” – C. S. Lewis, Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

If you guys have any other compelling quote suggestions, please leave them in the comments and I will continue to expand this.

6 Responses to “So, Fuck It, I Just Compiled A Whole Stack Of Literary References To The “Singular They” Pronoun.”

  1. Anonymous July 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    You are not entitled to special treatment.

    • destroyedforcomfort July 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      I’m also not entitled to give a shit about your tired ass opinion. Pronouns make an excellent belweather to determine who isn’t even remotely worth my time.

      Sorry the English language is such a struggle for you that using perfectly valid pronouns amounts to “special treatment” tho, bro.

      • Jenny January 13, 2016 at 8:23 am #

        Bearing in mind that every example there is of a pronoun used for an undetermined member of a plural group, rather than as a direct personal pronoun. Using “they” as a pronoun for ‘anyone’ or ‘every one’ is treating those as plural group identifiers, which is why it weirds English to use it as a true singular: “everyone/their” is an easy mental switch; “Vita Sackville-West/their” causes people to look for an additional person or group in the conversation, especially if the speaker instinctively uses the plural form of the verb: “Vita Sackville-West was always at their best in a crowd,” “the editor asked them to write a preface”. Obviously it’s less intrusive to hide one’s difference in a pronoun that signifies a group, rather than to try to get people to adopt a new, gender-neutral pronoun. The rejection of the constructed gender neutral singulars may or may not play out in the long run in changing the structure of the language.

      • destroyedforcomfort January 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

        “every example there is of a pronoun used for an undetermined member of a plural group, rather than as a direct personal pronoun”

        Um no, in each case the subject of the sentence is a singular entity of indeterminate gender. Also “anyone” and “every one” are two different things, only one of which is a plural group identifier.

        I’m genuinely sorry you are so terrible at grammar.

  2. Anonymous November 17, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    Yesssss, thank you

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