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Re: Being excellent to one another

From: Christopher Allan Webber
Subject: Re: Being excellent to one another
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:09:33 -0500
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.18; emacs 25.1.1

John Darrington writes:

> On Sun, Mar 19, 2017 at 07:57:07PM -0700, address@hidden wrote:
> ... and yes.  If an individual specifically requests to be referred to by
> a partcular set of pronouns I will attempt to do so, but may occasionally
> forget if that person wants feminine pronouns and is 6'4" and has an enormous
> black wiry beard.

This was a needlessly hurtful comment, and if you can't see that, I
worry about it.  John, I respect your technical contributions to the
Guix project, but this isn't okay.

I don't want to keep responding to this thread.  But the fact is, ng0
*did* (very politely) express a request to be refered by a specific set
of pronouns... and not even in reply to you!  But you started a
sub-thread dismissing those from the forefront, which is not at all
respecting that request.  Will you respect it or not?  I hope the answer
is yes, in which case, please don't raise this again.

As to whether "they / them" is acceptable English, quite frankly English
is the most constantly and heavily mutated language of maybe all time,
and it proves adaptable of meeting the needs of whatever.  "Proper
grammar" from 200 years ago would not be considered such today, and vice
versa.  In fact, as I linked previously, "singular they" as a pronoun
choice already has precedence in current english and is used by nearly
everyone when you don't know the grammar of the person (eg, "I've been
told we'll have a special guest tonight, but I don't know their name.").
Extending that to the preferred pronoun of an individual then is not
unreasonable.  Regardless, English adapts to meet the needs of its time,
and this is a need being expressed today, since another commonly
nonbinary pronoun does not exist.  Please don't push back against it.
People are requesting your respect; please just give it to them.

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