Another grammatical barrier has been breached.

In its 26th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted for they used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun as the Word of the Year for 2015. They was recognized by the society for its emerging use as a pronoun to refer to a known person, often as a conscious choice by a person rejecting the traditional gender binary of he and she.

Regardless of their stance on gender issues, many a writer will welcome the increased freedom to use “they” and “their” in place of the clunkier “he/she” or “his/her.” Others will likely uphold the traditional usage, especially if paid by the word.

To read more and see the list of runners-up, read the linked article. (WARNING: Some profanity and laughs to be found therein.)

 

2015 Word of the Year is singular “they”

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