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Neologisms

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Sep. 9th, 2001 | 11:57 am

So I was chatting recently about gender neutral pronouns (GNPs) for english. I've been partial to ey em eir emself. Which are the various forms of they with the th removed. However another friend complained that "ey" sounds more like an interjection than a pronoun. Since several other proposed GNPs use a z for their leading character, I found it fitting to extend my favorite version with it as well.

So my proposal is zey zem zeir zemself. It has all the pronoun variants defined, sounds less like an interjection, is pronounceable, and yet actually sounds different from current pronouns. For example does anyone know how to pronounce hir so that it sounds different from her?

Hmm.. I wonder if I should be adding these things to my spell-check dictionary.

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Comments {4}

T e s s

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from: soulsong
date: Sep. 9th, 2001 04:19 pm (UTC)
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In "Woman on the Edge of Time" by Marge Piercy, all the pronouns in the future utopian/feminist community are replaced by "per" which is short for person. This replaces his, her, him, he, she etc. eg "I gave it to per. Per liked it. Per's friend was delighted."

It took a bit of getting used to, but seemed much easier to remember and more importantly, say, than zey or hir or any of those other alternatives.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Sep. 10th, 2001 05:21 pm (UTC)
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Well, okay it does sound easier to remember, but under the current language we have.

she said the letter was for her.

trying some of the alternatives:
per said the letter was for per.
Ey said the letter was for em.
Zey said the letter was for zem.

Alas I don't know the correct names for the differing parts of speach the pronouns can be in, but it does seem we have differences for pronouns that can be nouns, and those that can be in prepositions.

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Monument

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from: marnanel
date: Sep. 10th, 2001 03:57 am (UTC)
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I always pronounced "hir" like "hear". I don't know whether that's wrong-- I don't know anyone who uses the words in spoken discourse.

The quarrel I have with the leading-Z GNPs is that Z is, IMO, an ugly character to begin a word with, so they just don't _look_ like English pronouns, and they jar. (Myself, I use sie/hir, btw, when I use GNPs other than "they".)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Sep. 10th, 2001 05:14 pm (UTC)
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*sigh*, and I thought the 'z' was a feature, not a bug. I was thinking we could make the letter 'z' actually useful to the english language.

The argument for the ey em eir GNP set had the advantage that as being based on the various forms of they, it actually slightly closer to having a precident than some of the other choices, since the current accepted (at least american) english usage is to use they and ignore the fact that it no longer agrees in number.

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