Nearly three years ago, I wrote an article for this newsletter titled “The Case for Singular They.” [See our October–November 2012 issue. –Ed.] I took what I felt was a controversial stand, arguing that if a writer wants to use singular they, we should let them. Although it still may be a controversial stand, it seems that we may have reached a tipping point in the argument about gender-neutral pronouns.
Will we start using themself … again? Also in today’s News Roundup: a social media schedule for freelancers, owning multiple dictionaries, pronoun antecedents, and how not to correct your author. Welcome to Wednesday, copyeditors!
Style and usage books abound, but a good, user-friendly grammar—one that does more than define the terms—is hard to find. As editors, not only do we have to fix errors, but we have to explain our corrections to authors in language that does not include words such as “antecedent” or “predicate nominative.”