Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader. Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
Pronouns are suddenly sexy. They're in the air, on the news, all over social media, generating discussion pro and con. Or at least one pronoun is: the third-person singular gender-neutral pronoun. Yes, the pronoun without sex is suddenly sexy.
I think it was when I read this intriguing blurb from the publisher that I decided to look at this book:
The book, based on forty years of empirical research by renowned linguist Dennis Baron, tells a history that delves not only into our current environment but also into past attempts to come up with gender-neutral and nonbinary pronouns -- from generic he to singular they to coined words like ze and hir and hizzer.
Ze? Hizzer? A must read! And I don't think this book will disappoint, because when leafing through it, I discovered the last chapter is called "A Chronology of Gender-Neutral and Nonbinary Pronouns" and it is 60 pages long! The first 1-2/3 pages are text, but the rest is dated short paragraphs with lists of gender-neutral pronouns, starting in 1770.
Oooh, I'm a little bit of a casual linguaphile, so this sounds really interesting! Never much thought about the history behind the changing pronouns. Sounds like it's written in a way that'd be enjoyable to read, too.ReplyDelete
Here's my Friday post.
I like that phrase "casual linguaphile"! That's me, too. I was surprised that there's a good-sized book on this one little topic.Delete
I read a book where the main character wanted to called "they" "them" I couldn't do it. I kept wondering who all was being spoken about. My quotes from Ordinary HazardsReplyDelete
I think it is a hard adjustment to make, but those who grow up with it will find it easier. I guess I am less interested in the practical application and more in the lengthy history of looking for a neutral single pronoun.Delete
Fascinating and kind of funnyReplyDelete
LOL! I agree.Delete