please read this excerpt from a linguistics textbook about a rich guy that decided to change the way english was spoken just because he liked it better, then continue to belligerently argue that it is “objectively incorrect” to refer to someone with singular they pronouns
"they isnt singular for a reason" no actually, nothing in language is ever for a reason ever, stop pretending this is in any way a valid or acceptable justification for enforcing gender binary language
also, aave. those excerpts of what english was like before lowth decided he was important enough to govern how a language “should” be spoken are very similar to aave today. those of us that dont speak aave are the ones that changed!
(fromkin and rodman, an introduction to language)
Except that “they” can be used properly as a singular third person pronoun. The excerpt even includes the second person pronoun “you” being both singular and followed with the same subjunctive as “they” would be used for. “They are” and “they were” follow the same rules as “you are” and “you were”.
The argument “‘they’ isn’t singular for a reason” is full of shit from the get-go because it already can be singular even with these rules. Hell, some of these rules don’t even apply anymore. One of the examples from the excerpt this that it should go “Better they than us” and not “Better them than us”, but I’d be hard pressed to find anybody who would use the former. American English is different that the English this guy taught.
I hate it when people try to argue how languages work and that everything is concrete when languages grow and change over time. New words come into use, old words cease being used, rules change. The only thing that’s really important in speaking is that the listener knows what the speaker is saying. New words can come in, often from other languages (usually nouns), for things the speaker literally does not have words for. New rules come into play when enough people stray from what was considered acceptable.
The meanings of words can change. Something that was once considered harmless can become horrible (like “fag”), and others can go from demeaning to simple identifiers (like “black”). What matters is what the words mean now and what you intend for them to mean.
This includes you, tumblr.