I wish to make something clear from the start. I don’t care what people want to call themselves. It is a matter of personal choice, even if some of us think these choices are strange. ‘Siouxsie’ Wiles is a good example. She obviously wants to be different – and her choice of hair colour supports that view – but honestly, while I am not impressed by her, it is not because of her name. It is because of her thinly disguised politics, and the way she tries to use the pandemic to force people to do what the government wants. No wonder she was frequently asked if she was going to run at the last election. She would have been a shoo-in for a role in Jacinda’s government.

I don’t even care when transgender people want to drop the masculine and feminine pronouns. That is up to them. Most of them seem to want to adopt pronouns such as ‘they’ or ‘them’ when people refer to themselves, even when speaking in the singular. Like I said, I don’t care. So far, I haven’t come across anyone in real life who insists on such a thing, although I did meet a transgender person a few years ago who was clearly a man in a dress. I just called him/her by the chosen name. No dramas.

You will note though that they never want to be referred to as ‘it’. That would make the most sense, but is never given as an option.

The trouble is that the tendency to use the wrong pronouns is going to cause problems with grammar and consequently problems with comprehension. Take a look at this:

Okay. Under normal circumstances, this would be assumed to be the usual poor standard of journalism from Stuff. Their website is littered with errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation. But in the crazy world of 99 genders, this may not be an error at all. This may, in fact, be deliberate.

And I think you can see the problems it is going to cause to general comprehension.

One person cannot be ‘they’. That word is a plural. Nor can the word ‘them’ be applied to one person. That is a plural too. It is okay, I suppose, to refer to oneself as ‘they’ in a private conversation, but on a general news website it is ridiculous, incorrect and confusing.

In the above quote from Stuff, it is unclear if there was one person, or more than one, involved in the incident but, in the world we live in, it is most likely a case of Stuff trying to be woke. But the potential for ambiguity and confusion – not to mention sheer nonsense – is enormous. This practice will render most published articles either nonsensical or completely incomprehensible. Or both. Almost certainly both.

Let’s try it out by changing the pronouns in these extracts, shall we?

The family of a murdered teenage girl say it’s “hard to accept” the person responsible won’t see out their sentence after they apparently killed themselves in prison.

Venod Skantha, 33, died in a suspected suicide behind bars on Wednesday, the same day they learned an appeal against their conviction had been rejected.

Stuff.

Seems silly, but perhaps not silly enough. Let’s try something different.

Meghan Markle reportedly would’ve been at Prince Philip’s funeral this weekend were it not for their pregnancy, regardless of any lingering tension between them and the rest of the royal family.

“Meghan wishes they could have flown to the U.K. to support their husband but has been advised not to due to their pregnancy,” a source close to the Duchess of Sussex told E! News. Meghan’s doctors advised them against travelling as they are due early this summer. “They would have put all the family tension aside to be there with Harry,” the source added. But while they and Prince Harry both want to be there in person to give their condolences, the insider explained they “are still not on amazing terms with the family,” following their explosive interview with Oprah last month during which they accused the royals of racism and a general lack of support.

Vanity Fair

It seemed appropriate to use a paragraph about the ‘princess of woke’, Meghan Markle, as it is no doubt the sort of thing she will be saying soon, and she will not be using the royal ‘we’. The paragraph makes no sense at all. You cannot tell if they are talking about Ms Markle (singular) or the Duke and Duchess (plural) or the royal family (both singular and plural).

In other words, if you are already struggling with the poor spelling and grammar in the mainstream media, it is about to get a lot worse. They will deliberately use plurals when they should use singular pronouns because it is the ‘woke’ thing to do. Comprehension comes a distant second in importance to wokery with the modern media.

I suspect we will all be reading less and less of it. Many of us are pulling away now, because of a mixture of bias, inaccuracies and wokedom. Imagine trying to watch the TV1 News with this nonsense going on.

Still, you know what they say. Get woke, go broke.

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A Grammatical Problem
Christie

Ex-pat from the north of England, living in NZ since the 1980s, I consider myself a Kiwi through and through, but sometimes, particularly at the moment with Brexit, I hear the call from home. I believe...