there you have it, my troll-loving followers
For all my fellow troll lovers! Some good news!
Once you go Troll, you never reroll!
Why Gendered Pronouns Are Dumb And Stupid And We Should Kill Them
Okay, a bit more on why I’m so down on gendered pronouns!
WHAT’S A PRONOUN?
(Source is this weird make-your-own-bingo site. I don’t know how you would play this game.)
Pronouns are words like he, she, them, it, etc. They’re words that take the place of people, so we can say “Ryan sauntered into the beachhouse. His pecs were so interesting! He always suspected as much” instead of “Ryan sauntered into the beachhouse. Ryan’s pecs were so interesting! Ryan always suspected as much”.
They are useful when you don’t want to sound like a robot.
WHAT’S A GENDERED PRONOUN?
A pronoun that tells you what the gender of the person is! He and she are two of them. They is genderless, while it suggests (to many people) a lack of humanity, and with it a lack of gender (as distinct from just not having it specified). One person might get mad if you call them “it”. Another person might get mad if you call their pets “it”.
DON’T WE ALREADY HAVE GENDER-FREE PRONOUNS?
Aha, caught me there, didn’t you? I said “One person might get mad if you call them ‘it’”, and them there is a genderless plural pronoun being used on individual, can’t we use them and they and other versions as gender-free pronouns? Couldn’t their pecs be interesting, even if there’s just one person there? Because they probably are.
Interesting, I mean.
(Hugh Jackman’s pecs, found while searching for “cool pecs”) (okay it was a Google Alert for “cool pecs”) (okay it was a Google Alert for “cool pecs +wolverine hopefully??”)
And yeah, we could. But we don’t. A lot of style guides recommend “him/her” (and, to make it more equal, making every second one “her/him” to mix it up). But that’s messy, ugly, hard to say and impossible to say often (“Ryan sauntered into the beachhouse. His or her pecs were so interesting! She or he always suspected as much”) and puts us right back to sounding like robots. Not to mention how it completely breaks down when someone who ISN’T situated in the gender binary has pecs we want to talk about.
I have a book on dog training that randomly chooses “his” or “her” every time a dog pronoun is needed. I get the idea, but the final result is a quantum dog that changes genders during a single trick. It’s distracting. It’s messy. It’s a crude hack using tools (good ol’ gendered pronouns) that were broken in the first place. And so pointless! Nobody cares about these dog’s genders. The book ITSELF doesn’t even care. It just wants to teach me how to make my dog lie down and sit pretty but it can’t do that without getting mired down in imaginary dog gender identities.
We can do better.
We need to kill the gendered pronouns.
GENDERED PRONOUNS ARE BORING AND STUPID AND WE SHOULD MURDER THEM.
(A stock photo of a body outline. I say, could this stock photo be purchased on some manner of online stock photo website? If only this could be clarified somehow??)
Here’s a sentence:
She had no more choices left. Except one. Grinning wildly, she initiated the Omega Device.
Here’s what English says about that sentence:
The most important thing to know about anyone in the world is their gender, and I need to know it the second you tell me about someone.
"She initiated the Omega Device" tells you what I wanted it to (the Omega device has been initiated by someone, and Shit is about to Go Down, Omega-Wise) but it also tells you a woman is doing it. But no big deal, right? Who cares if we have to talk about gender when talking about Omega Devices and The People Who Initiate Them? It adds colour to the scene! Now everyone can imagine a smokin-hot babe with that Omega Device, instead of a smokin-hot hunk, and rest easy knowing their imagination is correct. What’s the problem, right? We’re getting extra information about the scene for free!
But it’s not! There’s an opportunity cost. We could be bake in literally any other fact we can imagine into our languages. We could have pronouns where, instead of someone’s gender, they told you their mood. Their bone density. Heck, we could have pronouns that tell you their HOPES AND DREAMS. We could live in a world of pronouns that indicate a speaker’s certainty that the person being referred to is ACTUALLY that person, and not a robot duplicate, and we could have a different pronoun to suggest that while the person may not be a robot duplicate, we haven’t entirely ruled out illegal clone. These are crazy suggestions, but that’s the point: anything is possible in language! We invented it! And we can reinvent whatever we want!
He’s me, Ryan. Man! Don’t you wish “he” there told you something even marginally more useful than gender identity, like at least my Facebook relationship status? OH WELL, GUESS YOU’LL NEVER KNOW
And yet we’ve settled on gender.
And it is settling. It’s settling for irrelevant, for boring, for pointless. Is gender really so important to us English speakers that it is, quite literally, all we can talk about? Kill it. Kill it, and build a language with pronouns that do better.
And while we’re at it, let’s not forget to build in a full set of neutral pronouns, pronouns that say “this person or animal or object’s gender/age/android status is irrelevant here, so WHO FRIGGIN’ CARES”. Because there will be times, I promise, when we won’t want to talk about androids, the same way there are times now where we don’t want to talk about gender, but we’re forced to because that’s the language we’ve settled on. Settled for.
And then, finally and at last, we could all stop obsessing about what genders real and imaginary people are like it’s the most important thing in the world. Because it’s really not.
Especially when there could be illegal cloning going on, and the Omega Device has just been initiated.
In some ways, languages can be fast to adapt to change, but it in many areas it is very slow. Grammatical gender is an ancient and mostly useless feature of Old English, which got the idea from Proto-Germanic, which in turn got it from Proto-Indo-European.(s) And it’s impossible to guess why those prehistoric people thought it was a good idea a few millennia ago. Modern English has almost entirely disposed of it, except for a few vestigial remnants, e.g. those pronouns. It’s easy to say that we would like to see them go away, but much harder to actually make them go away. They have an awful lot of inertia behind them that practically guarantees their continued use for a long time. We won’t be able to logically convince everyone who uses a language to change the way they’ve been talking for their entire lives all at once.
But gradually, the way we are talking is changing.
Robin Thicke is unapologetic about how rapey ‘Blurred Lines’ is, meanwhile the dude who parodied it issues a public apology for one word.
And that is just one reason why I love Weird Al.It’s great that he’s addressed this but are we really supposed to believe that NO ONE during the extremely lengthy processes of writing a song, recording it, mastering it and animating the music video wouldn’t have brought it up?
Excuse me but how the hell is spastic even remotely insulting?
So I just recently learned that in the UK calling someone spastic means the same thing as calling someone retarded, only much worse.
If it makes people in the UK feel any better, people in the US literally do not know this (like literally no one I have ever met and/or know). Here being spastic is usually meant to mean something along the lines of acting like a hyper-active child (like running around in circles yelling just because they feel like it please be quiet for just 2 minutes type of child). NOBODY here uses it as a slur.
Since Weird Al is a US musician and the US music industry is pretty non-international, yeah actually I think its entirely possible that none of the people who worked on this song actually knew that spastic was considered an awful slur in some parts of the world.
And I’m like 99.9999% sure that Weird Al is genuinely very sorry that he was accidentally offensive.
I know that the word is offensive in the UK, but only because I’ve heard so before from British people. I cringed when I heard Weird Al sing it, but I assumed that he didn’t know. Glad I was right, and glad he apologized. He seems like a stand-up dude. I wouldn’t be surprised if he changes the lyric in future performances.
i’m bored while doing my latin homework i am this close to translating the opening monologue to star trek into classical latin someone stop me quick
caelum. finito terminalis. is cursus est de commissi navistella. sui legatio quintus-annus - munduses ignotus novus exploro. lux nova et cultus novus sequor. cedo audacius quatenus homonis aput iit.
I have a serious problem.
Sic, lingua latina altissima est. Right, hoopyhobo?
I read the Latin first and immediately knew what it was before I read the first post that actually says what it is. I especially liked the (I assume invented) word “navistella”.
Let’s make Dean in gym shorts the most reblogged picture on Tumblr.
“Challenge accepted!” —SPN fandom.
omg this is still going
IT’S A RULE TO REBLOG EVERY TIME IT SHOWS UP ON YOUR DASH.
Third time reblogging it today, and I regret nothing
Broke 5 Million!
WE HAVE TO KEEP GOING
it still ain’t broken what the hell tumblr
This Anna Kendrick Little Mermaid SNL sketch is impossible to find (NBC ran into some legal issues with Disney)… watch while you can!
"Why would I need your hair? Mine is GORGEOUS! I mean it’s white, slicked straight up, & buzzed on the sides."
Hahahahhaa! Love it!!!
She sang Iggy Azealia. I DIE
that Iggy verse lmao
“legal issues with Disney” is not true at all. Disney DGAF. Music licensing is dumb and it’s cheaper to just get it for just TV instead of both TV and online, and NBC cheaps out rather than paying for online licensing. ALL music related sketches are cut from every online version of SNL.
By far the stupidest criticism of the new Thor is ‘no where in Norse mythology is Thor a woman, stop messing with mythology.’
Right, because Norse mythology is just fucking filled with stories about Thor hanging out with Iron Man and Captain America at the Avengers Tower.
Does anyone else remember the part of Norse mythology where anyone who is worthy of wielding Mjölnir gets the power of Thor? Because I sure don’t.