Preferred Pronouns

Preferred Pronouns

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Updated Jun 21, 2016 at 02:08PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jun 06, 2015 at 12:12PM EDT by Don.

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Preferred Pronouns are non-standard pronouns that are not associated with a particular gender. Gender neutral pronouns are often used by members of the LGBT community who find standard gender-specific pronouns unsatisfactory for identifying themselves or problematic for potentially revealing their sexual orientation.


The earliest known English pronoun neologism "thon," a portmanteau of "that one," was presented by United States attorney Charles Crozat Converse in 1884.[1]


In 1970, feminist writer Mary Orovan coined the pronoun "Co" as a gender neutral pronoun. In 1983, the AMS-Tex manual The Joy of TeX by mathematician Michael Spivak was released, which used the preferred pronouns "E," "Em" and "Eir." In May 1991, Spivak's pronouns were included as a gender settings members of the LambdaMOO online community.[2] On July 5th, 2013, YouTuber Tom Scott uploaded a video titled "Gender Neutral Pronouns: They're Here, Get Used to Them," in which he criticizes grammatical gender and explains the lack of gender neutral pronouns in English (shown below, left). On July 14th, 2014, the EmersonOrientation YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Pronouns 101," in which he explained how to use preferred pronouns (shown below, right). On August 30th, the video was submitted to the /r/TumblrInAction[3] subreddit, where many criticized the speaker's arguments.

On February 23rd, 2015, Redditor bees_knees_ submitted a Tumblr post screenshot titled "Ive gotta say.. these crazy pronouns make it hard not to laugh at such an issue" to /r/TumblrInAction.[4] In four months, the post gained over 3,500 votes (95% upvoted) and 640 comments.

homuratrash homuratrash: xerself is alive!!! xer suicide note, and that post that is going Xia PLEASE stop reblogging PLEASE stop reblogging around about xer death, xe is ALIVE. oh yeah and please keep in mind xia is very overwhelmed right now and does not want people to follow xer at the moment. if you followed xer during this incident, please unfollow. Source: homuratrash 4,057 notes

On March 16th, the BuzzFeedYellow YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Why Pronouns Matter For Trans People," in which various transexual people explain how they feel about preferred pronouns. In the first three months, the video gathered upwards of 1.1 million views and 4,800 comments.

Nounself Pronouns

Nounself pronouns are preferred pronouns that adapt any noun into a set of pronouns. The practice is often associated with members of the otherkin community on Tumblr.

Search Interest

External References

[1] – The Word That Failed

[2] Wikipedia – Spivak Pronoun

[3] Reddit – I go to Emerson College

[4] Reddit – Ive gotta say

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He/she/they (it, arguably, is reserved in English for objects) is where I draw my line. You're not Shakespeare, you don't get to make up words (that I can't figure out how to pronounce anyway).


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