To They or Not To They

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

My sharing of this video, created by the Baltimore Sun’s John McIntyre, is simply an attempt to gauge how many English teachers and grammarians read this blog. I know you’re out there, and once you watch this you simply won’t be able to keep your fingers from typing in the comment box.

The video was originally shared on the Baltimore Sun’s Facebook page, so you’ll have to click here to view it.


Alrighty then, the gloves are off! Share your rants and raves in the comments.

8 thoughts on “To They or Not To They

    • John, I gotta tell you, you’re video came out at just the right time for me. I was doing some editing work for a friend, and was pulling my hair out trying to correct all of his singular “they”s without a bunch of awkward “he or she”s. Then he shared this video in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, and I was immediately converted.

      It’s funny, because when I’m teaching my English courses, I have this reoccurring segment called “Lies your middle school English teacher taught you”, but for some reason I never came around on the singular they until now.

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  1. The English language needs gender-neutral pronouns for a long list of reasons. There are also many people who are transgender or gender-variant whose preferred personal pronouns are “they/their/them.” I’m personally a big fan of using “they” instead of the cumbersome “he or she.”

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  2. As much as it pains me to say it, I have been converted and am now for the gender-neural, singular “they.” I’ve been against it for some time now because I am a purist and traditionalist. I mean, I still use adverbs! But when presented with the “you” argument, I have to concede. You got me, Ish. They it is.
    Now, about that Oxford comma…

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