Sunday, January 12, 2020

“The Decade’s Over When I Say It’s Over.”

Remember the kerfuffle about the end of the decade?

Image result for the decade ends when I tell you it endsHopefully 2020, regardless of which decade you think it’s in, will see the end of this meme

In an election year it’s always nice to have something irrelevant to argue about, which is why I don’t intend to re-litigate the case between the decade originalists and the living-decade crowd. But if the decade isn’t pragmatically over how could the American Dialect Society  (ADS)  have already selected their “word of the decade,” hmmm?

The personal singular pronoun “they” has been crowned the “word of the decade” by the American Dialect Societysingular “they” was recognized for its growing use to refer to a known person whose gender identity is nonbinary**.

I’ve got news for the ADS, the conscious use of “they” as a singular pronoun is hardly new, it’s been used that way for 50 years. Journalists, corporate supervisors, advertising copywriters and managers have agonized over how to handle this dilemma ever since radical Feminists in the 60s dictated the end of the “sexist” use of male pronouns to generically refer to both men and women. Should they pepper communications addressed to both men and women with multiple repetitions of the awkward “his/her,” he/she” construct or blatantly choose to employ improper grammar by using the plural pronoun “they” when referring to a singular person of either sex? Most eventually chose the latter, the cowards way out.

So the gender-related, decades old intentional misuse of the singular “they” turned out to be a slippery slope. The new gender-related intentional misuse of the singular pronoun “they” also entails the intentional misuse of the previously non-gender-related  term “nonbinary.”

Image result for nonbinary

And on that note I’d just like to remind you that the decade’s over when I say it’s over. And I say it’s over; it’s definitely time to start over, this time with PDJT at the helm.

**Non-binary, or genderqueer, is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍—‌identities that are outside the gender binary.