April 13, 2024

Grammatical conumdrums

March 20, 2010

Hi there,

The articles in
BioEdge are quite diverse. But this is the first time that we have dabbled in
English grammar. A Sydney newspaper has reported the first
officially androgynous individual
, Norrie. Once legally male, he had a sex
change operation but she apparently tired of that and is now living without a
gender. This poses awkward problems for journalists. Is “it” the
gender-appropriate pronoun? That sounds quite disrespectful. Norrie prefers the
neologism “zie”.

Well, actually, it’s
not actually a neologism, because this is one of a number of possible
gender-neutral pronouns
which have been floated over the years. None of
them have been very successful. If you have any suggestions, please send them

Michael Cook