Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

My Intellectual Ancestor?

While reading Dennis Baron's new book What's Your Pronoun? during lunch today, I was surprised and delighted to find a reference to someone I can only conclude is my intellectual ancestor. The Ladies' Repository in July of 1864 printed a piece called "An Epicene Personal Pronoun Needed" that was attributed to someone called Philologus.

This pseudonym is built from the same Greek roots as my blogging nom de plume, only in the opposite order: philos "loving" and logos "words, speech."

For writers and editors, the conspicuous absence of a nongendered third person singular pronoun has long been recognized. This Philologus proposed ve, vis, and vim — as in "Someone left vis smartphone in the locker room. Ve'll want it back, so I'm trying to find out who owns it so I can get it back to vim."

Obviously, it didn't catch on, like nearly all of the more than 200 proposed pronouns that Dennis Baron chronicles in What's Your Pronoun? I'm nearing the halfway point of this book, but I can already recommend it to anyone interested in nongendered language, grammatical arguments, the intersection of grammar and politics, language history, or gender equity.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

War of Wordcraft

Words can be dangerous, but so can silence. It's up to you to choose which is the better weapon.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Let's Talk about Lex

This week's contributions to the exploration of English are nothing to fneeze at.