…will someone still take offence on the social mejias?
I can’t be bothered to post links to the latest pronoun fuckwittery, you can find your own examples anyway. There’s a new one every day, “large organisation mandates pronoun declarations from employees: ridicule ensues”.
A bank in the UK, a civil service department in Sydney. Rinse and repeat.
It’s all red meat for whichever team you support. If you’ve got a libertarian streak, it’s yet another imposition by the wifi password people. If you think the Guardian reports news, it’s a litmus test to flush out the bigots and all the xPhobe Nazis.
The question we never hear asked is, when was the last time you used someone’s pronoun in their presence?
He/him, she/her/ zhe/zim, etc., are words we’d mainly use about someone when they aren’t there.
In fact, many people consider it rude to use pronouns when the subject is in the room. When I was a child, if I said to my father, “she”, about my mother whilst in her presence, she’d angrily ask, “who’s she; the cat’s mother?”.
No, I’ve no idea what that meant either but I bloody well knew I was in trouble.
Now we have the internet I have learned it was/is a very common saying. Basically, use their damn name you rude bugger:
A mild reproof, especially to a child, for impolite use of the pronoun she when a person’s name would have been more well mannered.
I’d like to think I was brought up well. I try to be polite to strangers unless they’ve done something to deserve otherwise.
If you give me your name on a phone call or if it’s on a badge on your jacket, I will try to use it whenever appropriate. Your pronouns seem somewhat irrelevant to me, therefore.
In fact, if I were to talk about you to your colleague in a subsequent interaction, I’d also use your name. If I couldn’t remember it, I’d say “your colleague”.
It feels like a backward and irrelevant step to spend so much time talking about pronouns, given I and many others would be very unlikely to have ever needed them.
What people should remember however, is the same people who were taught these manners are also from the same stock who are the world’s politest people until the precise moment they become the opposite. Maybe keep that in mind when making demands on our language, they.