Skip to content
sennomulo wrote:As a linguistics major, I can tell you the term you are looking for is not "improper noun". A "proper noun" is a noun that always gets capitalized, like Bob or Thailand or Christianity. The correct term for what you're describing is a gender-neutral pronoun.
Most languages (but not most European languages) do not differentiate between the concepts of "he" and "she", having a single word to cover the two functions. Many even use this word where English uses "it" as well, such as Chinese.
However, it is useless to develop a new gender-neutral pronoun since languages have historically been very hesitant to adopt a new pronoun, due to the fact that they are used in practically every sentence. But this is not even necessary. Colloquial English has already invented a gender-neutral pronoun. Think about it. What pronoun would you use in this sentence, in everyday casual English:
"If somebody comes, make sure ____ can't see us."
He? No, too presumptuous. S/he? Too cumbersome. The answer, of course, is "they".
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests