Grammar, and the part I’m Disregarding

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I am a grammar freak.  Well, you’ve probably never spoken to me in person, but the second you say “Me and X” I will jump on your case (to the annoyance of my friends).  I’ll probably also ask what X’s parents are named (reasonably, there are 25 other possibilities).  Anyway, I need to clear something up.

First of all, as I recently learned in English (note: school does sometimes teach real-world knowledge) whenever you say something such as, “Then the person jumped, and they landed on their head, spilling their brains out all over their floor,” you’re supposed to say: “Then the person jumped, and he or she landed on his or her head, spilling his or her brains out all over his or her floor”.  This raises a number of problems:

  • First of all, it prolongs the sentence, further raising the reader’s stress levels, because he or she doesn’t know if the person will survive until the end of the sentence (for those of you who still don’t know, generally, once your brains are showing, you’re a goner).
  • Secondly, you are confused.  Is the narrator unsure of the subject’s gender? Does the subject keep rapidly switching genders? Is it a he or a she?
  • Lastly, it is more work for the typer, especially one who can’t use the right shift key.

But don’t worry, I’ve got solutions. I hate the kind of people who always bring up a problem and don’t propose a solution (such as, “Oh, wow, the oven is on fire.  Someone should figure out how to fix that”).  They include:

  • Making his or her, or he or she, one word: hisorher, or heorshe; or even abbreviating: HOH, HOS
  • Never writing about someone unless you for sure know what gender HOS is
  • Writing a petition, getting five hundred passionate signatures, and sending it to the all-knowing being who controls the grammar of the world (I imagine it lives on a cloud above Mt. Everest)
  • Ignoring the rule
  • Starting your own language
  • Moving to Czechoslovakia, because no one speaks English there anyway, and I am sure anyone who does speaks it thickly enough that ‘he or she’ sounds close to ‘they’.

However, for the sake typing quickly and you readers, I am going to completely ignore this rule.  It is too formal for this blog.  I realize that this will probably drive me to insanity (because a blaring alarm goes off in my head every time I ignore this rule), and it will also prevent me from ever climbing Mt. Everest (or climbing, but not surviving), but those are sacrifices I am willing to make.

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