Grammar: Some Random Thoughts

Grammar is something I’m so-so at. I cannot label all the parts of a sentence and a lot of the finer details fly over my head, but I know enough to get me through writing blog posts without looking like a complete turnip. Although, a lot of my grammar skills come instinctively from reading so much, which probably explains why I can’t do it traditionally by going through millions of rules. (Commence squeaky voice. If this is a verb and that is a subject, then put a semicolon here and here, but not there, because if you put a semicolon there, your will inadvertently blow up the universe.)

But I think that the English language is missing a very important word: a pronoun to go with “person”.

Male is to he

as female is to she

as person is to ?

Often, people will use “their” as the pronoun that goes with “person” to avoid gender bias, but this is technically incorrect because “their” is plural and “person” is not. The correct phrase to use would be “he or she”, but this sounds unnatural and unless you are a very formal person, I doubt you’d use this in everyday language.

Male is to brother

as female is to sister

as person is to sibling

So I am asking you now, dear nonexistent reader, what shall this new word be?