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The Washington Post changes its style to allow singular ‘they’

Poynter

On Monday, The New York Times added the gender-neutral honorific “Mx.” Now, The Washington Post is changing its style rules to allow for the singular “they” to refer to “people who identify as neither male nor female.” From the memo to staff: “It is usually possible, and preferable, to recast sentences as plural to avoid both the sexist and antiquated universal default to male pronouns and the awkward use of he or she, him or her and the like. … When such a rewrite is impossible or hopelessly awkward, however, what is known as ‘the singular they’ is permissible: Everyone has their own opinion about the traditional grammar rule. The singular they is also useful in references to people who identify as neither male nor female.”

+ Earlier: The adoption of “they” as a singular pronoun came up several times during this year’s American Copy Editors Society conference

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