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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Hy All,

I wonder how I should interpret the text : passenger so and so thanks you for bringing THEM to the desired planet.

I wonder for a long time why it says THEM when I only bring one passenger to the planet it is not that important:-)

Jorge


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:13 pm 
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English only has one singular gender-neutral third-person pronoun: "it". As this isn't suitable for use when talking about people, it is not uncommon for the various (technically plural) gender-neutral pronouns – "they", "them", "their", etc. – to refer to a singular indefinite noun ...

In other words, "them" is used here because we don't know the passenger's gender and it's less clumsy than saying "he/she". There are those who claim that this is "wrong", but since there's no universally acknowledged objective standard of correct English usage, and since using "they/them" etc. as a singular pronoun has both widespread use in contemporary spoken and written English, combined with lots of venerable examples from literature over hundreds of years, I don't see any validity for this claim. It's just one more peculiarity of English: file it with "chopping a tree down" before you "chop a tree up". ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

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Oofiction: Calliope: a Captain Hesperus adventure | Stranglehold: a Captain Hesperus adventure | Local Midnight in the Vacuum Bar | A Farewell to Arms, Legs, etc.: the Blaze O'Glory Story


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Quote:
English only has one singular gender-neutral third-person pronoun: "it". As this isn't suitable for use when talking about people, it is not uncommon for the various (technically plural) gender-neutral pronouns – "they", "them", "their", etc. – to refer to a singular indefinite noun ...

In other words, "them" is used here because we don't know the passenger's gender and it's less clumsy than saying "he/she". There are those who claim that this is "wrong", but since there's no universally acknowledged objective standard of correct English usage, and since using "they/them" etc. as a singular pronoun has both widespread use in contemporary spoken and written English, combined with lots of venerable examples from literature over hundreds of years, I don't see any validity for this claim. It's just one more peculiarity of English: file it with "chopping a tree down" before you "chop a tree up". ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
Beautifully put Disembodied.

My personal favourites are:

flammable and inflammable

and

Raze a building to the ground...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:20 pm 
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:wink: Thank you for the English lesson one is never to old to learn :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Beautifully put Disembodied.

+1 :)
Quote:
Raze a building to the ground...
:lol: I never knew that one, or the word raze at all. wonderful. :lol:


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