they vs their (singular) :

they or their singular

Using the plural pronoun to refer to a single person of unspecifiedgender is an old and honorable pattern in English, not a newfangled bitof degeneracy or a politically correct plot to avoid sexism (though it often serves thelatter purpose). People who insist that “Everyone has brought hisown lunch” is the only correct form do not reflect the usage ofcenturies of fine writers. A good general rule is that only when thesingular noun does not specify an individual can it be replacedplausibly with a plural pronoun: “Everybody” is a goodexample. We know that “everybody” is singular because we say“everybody is here,“ not “everybody are here” yetwe tend to think of “everybody” as a group of individuals, sowe usually say “everybody brought their own grievances to thebargaining table.” “Anybody” is treated similarly. However, in manywritten sentences the use of singular “their” and“they” creates an irritating clash even when it passesunnoticed in speech. It is wise to shun this popular pattern in formalwriting. Often

Facebook Twitter Google +

News & Articles

  • Three oil protesters held, say they scale roof of UK parliament
    By Peter Griffiths LONDON (Reuters) - British police arrested three environmentalists on Thursday after protest organisers said they scaled the roof of parliament during a visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in an embarrassing security breach before Britain hosts a G8 summit. Two men and a woman were held on suspicion of trespassing on a protected site minutes before Harper gave a ...
    June 13, 2013 - Reuters via Yahoo! News
  • They've been working on the railroad
    They've been working on the railroad Times Union Copyright 2013 Times Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 7:25 pm, Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Culverts have been cleaned out and staging areas completed as transportation officials prepare for the start of construction on $200 million in passenger rail improvement projects ...
    June 12, 2013 - Albany Times Union
  • They Keys Are Here
    10-Year Treasury Notes: Trade staying below 129.03 keeps pressure on the market – even if the bulls get trade above there they’ll still need 129.13. Downside, the bears need BOTH the yield AND 128.055 ...
    June 12, 2013 - via Yahoo! Finance