Anachronism

Apparently, Google is building a huge a showy hub for its corporate aircraft.  Does this strike anyone else as an anachronism, from the folks who bring us Gmail and Google groups?  It's like the Fedex having a Pony Express account.

By the way, if anyone read the fabulous book "Barbarians and the Gate," they** will remember RJR Nabisco's construction of a corporate aircraft palace in Atlanta marked the beginning of the end of that company's fiscal extravagance.

 

** I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I am exhausted with English's lack of a third person singular gender-neutral pronoun and hate saying "he or she."  English is a language built bottom up from actual usage, so lacking any better idea, I support "they" as the solution.

  • http://profiles.google.com/maruadventurer john mcginnis

    "... so lacking any better idea, I support "they" as the solution."
    Deep friend Southerners solve that by the universality of --
    `You'all`
    `We'all`
    `They'all`
    And if the recepient of such vernacular feints confusion we close with -- `Ya ain't from hear' is ya?', or `... is ya Hon?` in the feminine -- then offer them another mint julip on the house.

  • jdgalt

    I propose "s/he".

  • jon

    he is grammatically correct from what I understand. Yes, males are the neutered gender :-/

  • Frank W

    I have read somewhere that the use of 'they' in this way, only became grammatically incorrect in the last 150 years or so. Of course, the generic 'he' has and should be acceptable usage.

  • AnInquirer

    I long for the days when we could use "he" for indefinite third person without being branded a sexist. Or being able to use "man" to designate a member of the human race. Perhaps women wanted to be excluded from the proclamation that "all men have sinned and have come short of the glory of God."

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    They are the neutral in classic English usage, correct, and in contrast to German, which neuters girls: das Mädchen.

  • Stan

    My English professor disagrees. It is increasingly the case that "they" is used as such, but the language gods have so far, not approved.

    By they way, if Warren changed it to "you," I think it would work--although it might not be as formal.

  • AngusS-F

    Agree, rewording takes the problem away, and one doesn't need to change to the less formal "you". One possibility: "Anyone who read "BatG" will remember ...."

  • Alok

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=89.

    This gives support to the use of a singular they. Of course, whenever someone complains I tell them any language is built by its users, and I'm doing my part to make English more concise.

  • http://aguanomics.com/ David Zetland

    They is fine for everyone except grammar nazis. It's language, not math.

  • wmkl99

    "Barbarians and the Gate," ? Or "Barbarians AT the Gate"?

  • http://www.marfdrat.net marfdrat

    Use the Gollum construction: "If it has read the book...it will remember..." That should settle it, Preshious.

  • MingoV

    It is unnecessary to substitute plural pronouns for he/she, him/her, and his/hers. Below are examples I use for teaching.

    Harry ran away. He hated the orphanage. {acceptable}
    Suzie ran away. She hated the orphanage. {acceptable}
    Harry and Suzie ran away. They hated the orphanage. {acceptable}

    A child ran away. They hated the orphanage. {bad grammar}

    A child ran away. He hated the orphanage. {grammatically correct but not politically correct}
    A child ran away. He or she hated the orphanage. {acceptable but awkward}
    A child ran away. The child hated the orphanage {accepable: don't use a pronoun}
    A child, who hated the orphanage, ran away. {perfect: use the genderless "who" in a clause}

    The sentence "If anyone read the book, they will remember..." can be written as: "Anyone who read the book will remember..."

    I have yet to find a sentence improperly using a plural pronoun that could not be rewritten to avoid he/she problems.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Your professor is wrong, if he disagrees with the classical gender neutrality use of “he.”

    E.B. White (of Strunk & White – the definitive guide to writing style) observed the following of the trend switching away from the gender neutral “he” and “his,”

    "Currently, however, many writers find the use of the generic he or his to rename indefinite antecedents limiting or offensive."

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2005/10/eb-white-on-gender-neutral-writing.html

    Agreed that “you” can perform much the same function.

  • nehemiah

    What he said.

  • http://twitter.com/mrc_ian Ian Vaughan

    Appears English lit majors typically either didn't read 'Barbarians at the Gate', or won't admit to it. Happens I did read it, and it was the first thing I thought of when I read the Google story.

  • ladyhawk

    I too yearn for those days, and I am female. Doesn't bother me in the least and I don't feel excluded. "Home sapiens" means "wise man", man being the term to describe our species. I know I'm part of that. I can't speak for geese, however, where the gander may feel excluded by use of the term "goose" to refer to the species as well as the female.

  • obloodyhell

    Late to the party but....

    }}} ** I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I am exhausted with English's lack of a third person singular gender-neutral pronoun and hate saying "he or she." English is a language built bottom up from actual usage, so lacking any better idea, I support "they" as the solution.

    Agreed. I've been doing this for decades.

    Anyone does not like it, THEY can osculate my posterior.... "not on zee left side, not on zee right side, but right in zee middle." (bonus snark points to anyone IDs the movie ref... without using a search engine!)

  • obloodyhell

    I hate people who give vent to their loquacity by extraneous bombastic circumlocution.

    Or, as Chuchill apocryphally put it, "This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put".

  • obloodyhell

    Hey, get em all.

    "S/heit" :-9

  • obloodyhell

    }}} Or being able to use "man" to designate a member of the human race.

    I won't argue too much, but it's not an awful lot of extra work, or a lot of onerous grammatical baggage structure, to replace "man" with "human" in that context, unlike the he/she BS.

  • obloodyhell

    Even easier still to use "they" and just not give a rodent's patootie.

    :-9

  • http://www.hmstypicallydefiant.blogspot.com/ Curtis

    In Detroit it was just, 'weebee'.