Generic Antecedents
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Generic Antecedents
Generic antecedents are representatives of classes, referred to in ordinary language by another word (most often a pronoun), in a situation in which gender is typically unknown or irrelevant. These mostly arise in generalizations and are particularly common in abstract, theoretical or strategic discourse. Examples (with the antecedent in boldface and the referring pronoun in italics) include "readers of Wikipedia appreciate ''their'' encyclopedia," "the customer ''who'' spends in this market." The question of appropriate style for using pronouns to refer to such generic antecedents in the English language became politicized in the 1970s, and remains a matter of substantial dispute. Treatment in various languages Many languages share the following issue with English: the generic antecedent is a representative individual of a class, whose gender is unknown or irrelevant, but pronouns are gender-specific. In languages such as English that distinguish natural gender in pronouns ...
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Language
Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means by which humans communicate, and may be conveyed through a variety of methods, including spoken, sign, and written language. Many languages, including the most widely-spoken ones, have writing systems that enable sounds or signs to be recorded for later reactivation. Human language is highly variable between cultures and across time. Human languages have the properties of productivity and displacement, and rely on social convention and learning. Estimates of the number of human languages in the world vary between and . Precise estimates depend on an arbitrary distinction (dichotomy) established between languages and dialects. Natural languages are spoken, signed, or both; however, any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, writing, whi ...
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Gender Role
A gender role, also known as a sex role, is a social role encompassing a range of behaviors and attitudes that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on that person's sex. Gender roles are usually centered on conceptions of masculinity and femininity, although there are exceptions and variations. The specifics regarding these gendered expectations may vary among cultures, while other characteristics may be common throughout a range of cultures. In addition, gender roles (and perceived gender roles) vary based on a person's race or ethnicity. Gender roles influence a wide range of human behavior, often including the clothing a person chooses to wear, the profession a person pursues, the personal relationships a person enters, and how they behave within those relationships. Although gender roles have evolved and expanded, they traditionally keep women in the "private" sphere, and men in the "public" sphere. Various groups, most notab ...
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William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray (; 18 July 1811 – 24 December 1863) was a British novelist, author and illustrator. He is known for his satirical works, particularly his 1848 novel '' Vanity Fair'', a panoramic portrait of British society, and the 1844 novel ''The Luck of Barry Lyndon'', which was adapted for a 1975 film by Stanley Kubrick. Biography Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta, British India, where his father, Richmond Thackeray (1 September 1781 – 13 September 1815), was secretary to the Board of Revenue in the East India Company. His mother, Anne Becher (1792–1864), was the second daughter of Harriet Becher and John Harman Becher, who was also a secretary (writer) for the East India Company. His father was a grandson of Thomas Thackeray (1693–1760), headmaster of Harrow School."THACKE ...
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Gender-neutral Pronoun
A third-person pronoun is a pronoun that refers to an entity other than the speaker or listener. Some languages with gender-specific pronouns have them as part of a grammatical gender system, a system of agreement where most or all nouns have a value for this grammatical category. A few languages with gender-specific pronouns, such as English, Afrikaans, Defaka, Khmu, Malayalam, Tamil, and Yazgulyam, lack grammatical gender; in such languages, gender usually adheres to "natural gender", which is often based on biological gender. Other languages, including most Austronesian languages, lack gender distinctions in personal pronouns entirely, as well as any system of grammatical gender. In languages with pronominal gender, problems of usage may arise in contexts where a person of unspecified or unknown social gender is being referred to but commonly available pronouns are gender-specific. Different solutions to this issue have been proposed and used in various languages. Overview ...
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Spivak Pronoun
The Spivak pronouns are a set of gender-neutral pronouns in English promulgated on the virtual community ''LambdaMOO'' based on pronouns used in a book by American mathematician Michael Spivak. Though not in widespread use, they have been employed in writing for gender-neutral language by those who wish to avoid the standard terms "he/she" or singular they. Three variants of the Spivak pronouns are in use, Rogers (1890), Elverson (1975), and LambdaMOO (1991), highlighted in the declension table below. The original ''ey'' has been argued to be preferable to ''e'', because the latter would be pronounced the same as ''he'' in those contexts where ''he, him, his'' loses its h sound. History The precise history of the Spivak pronouns is unclear, since they appear to have been independently created multiple times, each time likely without knowledge of the previous. The first recorded use of the pronouns was in a January 1890 editorial by one James Rogers, who derives ''e'', ''es'' ...
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Singular They
Singular ''they'', along with its inflected or derivative forms, ''them'', ''their'', ''theirs'' and ''themselves'' (or ''themself''), is a gender-neutral third-person pronoun. It typically occurs with an unspecified antecedent, in sentences such as: :"''Somebody'' left ''their'' umbrella in the office. Could you please let ''them'' know where ''they'' can get it?" :"''The patient'' should be told at the outset how much ''they'' will be required to pay." :"But ''a journalist'' should not be forced to reveal ''their'' sources." This use of singular ''they'' had emerged by the 14th century, about a century after the plural ''they''. It has been commonly employed in everyday English ever since and has gained currency in official contexts. Singular ''they'' has been criticised since the mid-18th century by prescriptive commentators who consider it an error. Its continued use in modern standard English has become more common and formally accepted with the move toward gender-neu ...
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Massachusetts
Massachusetts (Massachusett language, Massachusett: ''Muhsachuweesut [Massachusett writing systems, məhswatʃəwiːsət],'' English: , ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Maine to the east, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York (state), New York to the west. The state's capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city, as well as its cultural and financial center, is Boston. Massachusetts is also home to the urban area, urban core of Greater Boston, the largest metropolitan area in New England and a region profoundly influential upon American History of the United States, history, academia, and the Economy of the United States, research economy. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing, and trade. Massachusetts was transformed into a manuf ...
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