The woke Left has decided that pronouns are a means of expressing our individual experience and self-identity. I’m blaming the public schools because this is entirely wrong.
Get out those #2 pencils kids, because I’m about to clear this whole mess up for you.
A noun is a person, place, or thing. For example: Starship Captain.
A Proper Noun is the name of a specific person, place or thing, such as Captain Kirk.
A pronoun takes the place of a noun and places the person, place, or thing in a general category based on their objective physical/material characteristics: Male, female, object, or group; He, She, It, or They.
But this is where the problems start.
A Pronoun is Not Intended to Identify an Individual.
A proper noun is meant to identify a specific individual, and that individual is referred to by the pronoun which indicates which category they are part of. This is why we refer to Captain Kirk by the generic he. It identifies him as part of the class of men, or the male half of his species. In order to identify him personally, we have the name Captain James T Kirk. The pronoun is not a unique identifier, the proper noun is.
A pronoun puts a person place or thing into an objective category: Male, female, thing or group. That’s all it is for. A pronoun is NOT a proper noun, but that’s what our confused friends on the Left are trying to do. It’s not only the wrong way to use it, but it invalidates your warrantee.
It does not matter to the use of language how Kirk self-identifies. The pronoun gives us one descriptor of what a person is, not how they identify. A personal name can be used to tell us how they identify. This is why some people refer to him as Captain and other people refer to him as Jim, or sometimes as Kirk. Or rather, “KIIIIIIRK!!!!”
His relationship to different people allows him to express his identity in different ways, but it doesn’t change the substance of what he actually is. That’s why he is a he and not an it or a she or a they.
If you are an inanimate object like a toaster, then you are an it. If you are a group, you are they.
If you are male you are he and if you are female you are she. That’s the way that language works.
Can He Be They?
When I was in school, we were taught the rule that the default for an unknown person was “he,” but we were starting to accept “they” as acceptable in the case of the gender of the person being unknown, or if we didn’t wish to identify the person by identifying their gender. This make sense because we had two options- one of two possible people: He or she. Until identified, the person was one of TWO possible persons, and so the plural THEY made sense. It’s like Schrodinger’s Cat, but for gender identity.
However, once you identified the unique individual or their gender, they collapsed from THEY into He or She. THEY were no longer THEY once they were one unique individual.
When I hear people on TikTok insisting that their pronouns are They/Them I want to slap their high school English teacher, because she CLEARLY failed to teach these poor kids any grammar. They and them are PLURAL pronouns which refer to a group. YOU cannot be a group. YOU are an individual. There is only one of you. And so you are he or she. You CANNOT be a they or a them.
Also, you are he or she depending on your biological, anatomical, and genetic gender. It is based on WHAT YOU ARE. It has NOTHING to do with your self-identity or personal experience. That is why we have nicknames.
Nicknames, Not Pronouns
In college, almost no one I knew or went to class with knew my real name. They knew me as Dr Cheese, and (true story) I was given an award for the fact that everyone knew I was there, but no one knew who I really was. I identified as a Rock Star called Dr Cheese, and so that’s what I told people to call me. And because it was the theater department, people just did it. They never even asked what my real name was. But if I had a teacher who refused and insisted to call me by my real name, I wouldn’t try and get them fired for it.
Being male, I lived on the all boy’s floor of the dorm. People referred to me as “he” because it is accurate. I did not have a different pronoun because, I was not only NOT a real doctor, but I was also not an actual cheese.
If you decide to use the English language incorrectly and try to come up with “personal pronouns” to use as proper nouns or nicknames, you are simply using the language incorrectly. Your inability to use grammar does not give you a position by which to be offended when other people use it correctly. You are the person driving the wrong way on a one-way street. You don’t get to lay on the horn and scream “Get out of the way!” You need to turn around and follow the flow of traffic. If there is a collision, it is your fault. Stop pretending that you’re the victim and just follow the rules of grammar. And if you want to give yourself a nickname, knock yourself out. But I also might not call you by your nickname. I reserve the right to not. And that’s coming from a make believe doctor called “Cheese.”
Brilliantly written and as always you make me smile which is a nice break from the ones that have been making my brain hurt for what seems like forever. I am not surprised at all that young people have no idea how grammar works. I watched a series of videos recently where this guy went out on the streets I believe in several different cities to ask questions these young people should have learned in school. Like how many dimes are in a dollar and no one he asked could tell him and one girl didn’t even know the difference between a nickel and a dime. They had no idea how many continents there are on this planet let alone what they are named. One person mistook New Mexico for Mexico, one didn’t know Hawaii and Alaska are states. Many of them thought Africa is a country which goes back to the continent question. So the fact they have no idea how grammar works doesn’t surprise me at all.