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Enters the Political Arena
Here’s a hint for all who’ve ever been annoyed by today’s omnipresent “he or she’s” and “his or hers’s.” Since militant feminism killed the old “masculine includes the feminine” rule, here’s how all writers and speakers can avoid putting in a plug for PC when they want to talk about something else.
I’ve heard we need a pronoun that means “a person regardless of gender.” I thought so too until someone switched on the light. We already have one!
DON’T SAY “Will everyone please take his or her seat? Every American should feel a sense of pride, and if he or she doesn’t, then he or she should be ashamed of herself or himself.”
DO SAY “Will everyone please take one’s seat? Every American should feel a sense of pride, and if one doesn’t, then that one should be ashamed of oneself.”
The pronoun is ONE. It’s time for speakers and writers everywhere to start using it.
AN ACTUAL HORRIBLE EXAMPLE
But “one” suggests any old “one” you can think of, while his or her refers to a specific person referred to or implied elsewhere. Often, “that one” (perfectly correct grammatically) would be useful.
I’ll borrow an actual paragraph from a widely sold book on counseling. I’ve changed the nouns and subject matter but have left the sentence structure and pronouns intact:
“You have also listened as your friend has described his or her feelings about how the procrastination has affected his or her co-workers. You helped your friend figure out how to talk with the co-workers about his or her problem.”
I can almost sense that the writer was wincing at “his or her” own paragraph but may have thought the English language offered no better alternative. But let’s imagine “that one” had even begun to be used by some writers:
“You have also listened as your friend has described that one’s feelings about how the procrastination has affected that one’s co-workers. You helped your friend figure out how to talk with the co-workers about that one’s problem.”
I’ll admit all those “that one’s” might sound a trifle odd but that’s partly because the original wasn’t too well written in the first place. At least one of the pronouns might have been replaced with “your friend’s.”
All new language usage sounds a bit odd at first. The almost unpronounceable “Ms” as the alternative to “Miss or Mrs.” sounded odd at first but is now widely accepted, because it simplifies our language. “His or Her,” which complicates our language horribly, sounded odd at first, and I predict, always will.
While browsing through an old poetry book I found this:
The Night-Piece, to Julia
Her eyes may the glow-worm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.
No will-o’-th’-wisp mislight thee;
Nor snake, nor slow-worm bite thee;
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay,
Since ghost there’s none to affright thee.
Let not the dark thee cumber;
What though the moon does slumber;
The stars of the night
Will lend thee thy light,
Like tapers clear without number.
Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
Thus, thus to come unto me;
And when I shall meet
Thy silvery feet,
My soul I’ll pour into thee.
Robert Herrick / 1591 – 1674
Four limericks in a row - probably before that word was even in use.
Not a minor poet, either. We still quote his line from another poem:
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may -" And he wrote many poems (some
kind of shocking) about this "Julia" chick who may have been fictitious since he
remained a bachelor.
I'd love to have otherexamples of limericks of literary quality; if you know of
one (even if written by yourself) e-mail it and I'll give you a page to display it!
Does the Bill of Rights give the U. S. Government the job of protecting our rights? Absolutely not. When you get a chance read what those first 10 ammendments really say -
One: Prohibits the U.S. Congress from taking away our freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and petitioning of the government.
Two: Prohibits the government from infringing the right to keep and bear arms.
Three: Protects our homes from the U.S. Military.
Four: Protects us, our homes, and our belongings from illegal search and seizure by the government.
Five through Eight: Protects us from abuse by the governmental court system.
Nine: Prohibits the government from taking away any rights not specifically mentioned.
Ten: Prohibits the U.S. government from seizing any powers over us not specifically granted to it by the Constitution.
Clearly, the founding fathers believed the American People can run a pretty darn good country as long as the U.S government gets out of our way!