Pronoun Usage

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Doug Elliott
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:52 pm

In any case, girltrombonist does exist.
Not everybody signs on when they visit here.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by PosauneCat » Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:58 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:16 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:10 pm


To a reasonable, average English speaker, "You guys" is not an offensive term to address a group of people with.
*to you
Right! My best friend’s wife goes ballistic when someone includes her in “you guys.” At first I thought it was funny and unnecessarily sensitive. Then, I THOUGHT ABOUT IT! Of course it’s inappropriate and offense to many people. I’ve stopped saying it entirely. We cannot dictate what should and should not offend another person. When someone says they’re offended by something you just can’t tell them to “stop being over sensitive.” We’re living in a time where we are being asked to think beyond ourselves and make everyone feel welcomed and let them know their feelings and their being matter. That’s a great thing!
Last edited by PosauneCat on Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Doubler » Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:21 pm

Just for the record, I'm cool with being referred to as "Your Incomparable Superior Sublime Imperial Majesty" or "His Incomparable Superior Sublime Imperial Majesty", as appropriate to the situation.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by SimmonsTrombone » Sun Jul 18, 2021 4:46 am

There’s a reason y’all was conceived. And, it’s always plural.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by timothy42b » Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:49 am

To some extent I live in the same world harrison does, heavily male dominated with an excess of testosterone.

Curiously the "you guys" issue came up this week to mixed responses. Some thought being called out on it was persecution.

I do try to be sensitive to these nuances. At the same time, I would have advocated a middle ground, except for some unfortunate recent events where middle ground is anathema to both sides.

So here's my question. (I think I know the answer.) Is it possible to say that on one hand, we have a responsibility to be sensitive to even the milder discriminations, and when we realize it's just as easy to avoid a gender specific term, to do so? but at the same time think that over reacting is also something to avoid? that we need to avoid snowflakeyness too, where possible?
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:01 am

Hey [beings], I found some of the (now) most offensive videos of all time:





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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Pre59 » Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:45 am

I seem to remember that it was women that started calling each other "guys" back in the day..

But anyway, here's the BBC's way of being inclusive on a magazine format TV show.

https://youtu.be/VEqnoFJF-Bo?t=1
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Matt K » Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:35 am

but at the same time think that over reacting is also something to avoid? that we need to avoid snowflakeyness too, where possible?
The general idea is that there isn't an overreaction per se because in any individual case, there is only a very marginal offense but on the whole, the aggregate of these slight offenses is enough to warrant. So there's a catch-22; on the one hand, "society" or whatever level of granularity you are looking at is shfited towards a particular direction but any one of these "offenses" isn't worth - in and of itself - being reacted to. So "overreaction" in this case is in the eye of the offended because of the pervasiveness of the actions taken against the marginalized group.


On the other hand, if we're at the point where "literally" can also mean "not literally" or "data" can be singular and plural due to shifts in the common vernacular, perhaps it should be okay to use a hitherto masculine to describe people generically.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by timothy42b » Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:41 am

Matt K wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:35 am
So "overreaction" in this case is in the eye of the offended because of the pervasiveness of the actions taken against the marginalized group.
I can see that point.

But do you think maybe there's an interaction with something else? We have a sizable segment of the population, partly along generational lines, that feels entitled to never be confronted with anything uncomfortable. Witness "safe zones" in colleges, where you can retreat to if someone has an opinion or data that is threatening. (I thought that was a myth but recently read iGen that had some actual references to it.)
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by mbarbier » Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:56 am

timothy42b wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:41 am

I can see that point.

But do you think maybe there's an interaction with something else? We have a sizable segment of the population, partly along generational lines, that feels entitled to never be confronted with anything uncomfortable. Witness "safe zones" in colleges, where you can retreat to if someone has an opinion or data that is threatening. (I thought that was a myth but recently read iGen that had some actual references to it.)
my joy at this thread coming back is.... overwhelming, especially seeing a joke appear right off the bat 🙄🤷🏻‍♀️

so that's not what a safe space is- that's what they get described as on places like fox news. It's space for, for example, trans or non-binary people where they can go be together and have a break from having to explain why pronouns matter (like I've done a million times in this thread) or can discuss issues that are specific to their community (like safe ways to bind without having to explain what binding is) without having people enter and make jokes (like the one above about wanting to be identified as "incomparable"). It's a space for a break from that shit cause it, like this thread, is genuinely exhausting. It's the same idea, and likely drawn from, Black only spaces where they are a place to be away from the oppressive and exhausting parts of life. Its not about avoiding things that are uncomfortable, because that isn't possible.

Also, as a college teacher, college students don't shy away from data and facts. They just seem to have zero patience for people who are disrespectful, want to debate other people's rights that have no effect on their own lives, or people who use "facts" removed from the context to try a prove points that the context disproves. College kids don't seem to have any issue in hiding from the truth, generally speaking they just don't seem to have a lot of patience for disingenuous debate. Ain't a bad thing.

y'all is super popular in the queer community because of its gender neutral flexibility. as a person raised in the deep south, I'm a fan of seeing it become so popular!
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Matt K » Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:00 pm

timothy42b wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:41 am
Matt K wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:35 am
So "overreaction" in this case is in the eye of the offended because of the pervasiveness of the actions taken against the marginalized group.
I can see that point.

But do you think maybe there's an interaction with something else? We have a sizable segment of the population, partly along generational lines, that feels entitled to never be confronted with anything uncomfortable. Witness "safe zones" in colleges, where you can retreat to if someone has an opinion or data that is threatening. (I thought that was a myth but recently read iGen that had some actual references to it.)
As noted, I don't think its solely a matter of being uncomfortable. In many ways, you could call TBC a "safe space" because we largely eliminate political and other contentious discussions. That was largely done to keep things focused on trombones generally and in my opinion has done a lot to eliminate almost all of the hostility that was encountered against politics, religion, and the great pumpkin that was pervasive on TBC and indeed, many if not most other forums of a similar nature. That isn't because I feel threatened by others political opinions. Its because I want to talk about trombones with trombonists. Similarly in college, I always felt like I wanted to talk about industry, course work, etc. and leave the off-topic stuff out, personally. I have friends who like to talk politics so they call me up and we talk politics. There are endless groups specifically dedicated to talking politics, etc. There are fewer places for certain marginalized communities, though with the internet that is less of a problem, particularly in the west.

The problem with this topic, and indeed the reason I branched off of the original topic from which this originated, is that this has to do with language. Well, there are other aspects of it too but nobody here will be able to fix that. Well beyond my paygrade, that's for sure. But if I can change my language to make people feel not-excluded, I'll certainly try if given the chance. I want more trombonists in the world, regardless of who they happen to be personally. So if that means switching to slightly more inclusive language, that's fine with me. But also indicating when perhaps someone or something is too sensitive because of missing context... after all the whole topic started with someone who was joking about progressive men which is, as far as I can tell, possibly the most dominant group of trombonists in 2021.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Jul 19, 2021 3:34 pm

SimmonsTrombone wrote:
Sun Jul 18, 2021 4:46 am
There’s a reason y’all was conceived. And, it’s always plural.
As someone from MA, "y'all" has always seemed offensive to me. I know I'm wrong, and it's got no base in reality. I know that it's supposed to be a really welcoming thing to say.

It's only mildly annoying and sort of endearing if I'm in a group of people, and we get called "y'all". For example "y'all are welcome here any time!"

If I'm by myself and someone calls me "y'all", I feel distanced, disrespected, and "othered". No idea why. Like "what are y'all doing here?" I feel like a suspect.

I tried saying it once, and felt sick and sort of gagged on the "yyyuh" sound.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Doubler » Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:36 pm

Just a couple of questions:

What's wrong with "guys 'n' gals"?

If safe spaces serve the purpose of respite from unsolicited influences, why are men's clubs outlawed?
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by WilliamLang » Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:48 pm

some people don't identify by either guys or gals. but that's not the worst option.

men's clubs are not outlawed.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Kbiggs » Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:28 pm

There’s a long history of using “they” and “them” in the singular. There are a number of places with brief historical summaries. Here’s just a couple I found through a quick google search:

https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/arc ... ew/619092/

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49754930

English is probably the most changed and changeable language in modern use. This is simply another change.

If the difficulty is due to some inherent bias, then get over it. LGBTQ+ people are out now, and they now have a voice in public discourse.

Frankly, I do not see why some people (including some here on TC) have difficulty using pronouns. If you make a mistake referring to someone—as we all will—then that person will state what their preference is. Wouldn’t you want to be called what you want rather than what someone else calls you? The Golden Rule applies here.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Doubler » Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:02 pm

WilliamLang wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:48 pm

men's clubs are not outlawed.
You are correct. My misunderstanding based upon a time when this was a controversial subject.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Matt K » Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:16 am

If the difficulty is due to some inherent bias, then get over it. LGBTQ+ people are out now, and they now have a voice in public discourse
Yeah, but you understand that isn't an argument right? You could just as easily say:
Get over it, people don't want to change the language and they have a voice in public discourse.

And a lack of understanding why people have difficulty with new language paradigms is little different than the lack of understanding of why someone would want to change language thusly. Really the only difference is that one has enormous historical and cultural backing, so the former is going to be an uphill struggle merely by dint of lack of inertia.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Doubler » Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:07 am

This is more than a strictly linguistic problem. If a "he" wants to be called a "she", and vice versa, isn't it dishonest to acknowledge their preference, since the only true change would involve returning to the moment before conception and exchanging the fertilizing sperm for one with the desired chromosome( an obvious impossibility)? And isn't asking/expecting/demanding others to agree to their self-image (which conflicts with biological reality) offensively presumptuous? People can fantasize all they want about anything they want, and even act their fantasies out to a certain degree, but what's the rationale for imposing them on others and for others to reassure them that their fantasies are real? And isn't that fundamentally harmful to the fantasizer and the enabler(s)? Wouldn't counseling that helps the conflicted person deal with their deviant behavior be helpful and appropriate?
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:16 am

Sort of reminds me of an "adage" we learned in Business Communications: "Do unto others as they would have done to you". I.e., if they want to be called "her" then call "her". Regardless of what is in front of you.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by LeTromboniste » Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:29 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:16 am
Sort of reminds me of an "adage" we learned in Business Communications: "Do unto others as they would have done to you". I.e., if they want to be called "her" then call "her". Regardless of what is in front of you.
Regardless of "what"!?!?!?!


yikes.


Doubler wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:07 am
This is more than a strictly linguistic problem. If a "he" wants to be called a "she", and vice versa, isn't it dishonest to acknowledge their preference, since the only true change would involve returning to the moment before conception and exchanging the fertilizing sperm for one with the desired chromosome( an obvious impossibility)? And isn't asking/expecting/demanding others to agree to their self-image (which conflicts with biological reality) offensively presumptuous? People can fantasize all they want about anything they want, and even act their fantasies out to a certain degree, but what's the rationale for imposing them on others and for others to reassure them that their fantasies are real? And isn't that fundamentally harmful to the fantasizer and the enabler(s)? Wouldn't counseling that helps the conflicted person deal with their deviant behavior be helpful and appropriate?
Wow. Just wow. The ignorance...Maybe go read a book or something.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by mbarbier » Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:43 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:29 am
BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:16 am
Sort of reminds me of an "adage" we learned in Business Communications: "Do unto others as they would have done to you". I.e., if they want to be called "her" then call "her". Regardless of what is in front of you.
Regardless of "what"!?!?!?!


yikes.


Doubler wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:07 am
This is more than a strictly linguistic problem. If a "he" wants to be called a "she", and vice versa, isn't it dishonest to acknowledge their preference, since the only true change would involve returning to the moment before conception and exchanging the fertilizing sperm for one with the desired chromosome( an obvious impossibility)? And isn't asking/expecting/demanding others to agree to their self-image (which conflicts with biological reality) offensively presumptuous? People can fantasize all they want about anything they want, and even act their fantasies out to a certain degree, but what's the rationale for imposing them on others and for others to reassure them that their fantasies are real? And isn't that fundamentally harmful to the fantasizer and the enabler(s)? Wouldn't counseling that helps the conflicted person deal with their deviant behavior be helpful and appropriate?
Wow. Just wow. The ignorance...Maybe go read a book or something.
Hi Bruce, really wish you jumping back on this thread would've been to show you learned anything the last time this was active. Guess not.

As to @Doubler. JFC. really? Thanks for letting me know I'm in a fantasy That's being enabled. That's some seriously fucked up and ignorant shit. There was a lot of time spent on this thread trying to unpack a lot of ignorance, but is any point with a post like the one you made?

This all tracks for the kind of things the two of you have posted to this thread, unfortunately. It might time to lock this before it devolves into further bigotry.

One point for people who are actually trying to learn things, please don't refer to pronouns as "preferred". Someone's pronouns are their pronouns. Preferred implies that another is ok. Unfortunately phrases like that open the door for people like the above to post things like the above.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:30 am

Barbier, I don't know what is making you so prickly. i would call you whatever pronoun you want. I'm old enough that we still use "he" when the gender of the subject is unknown, though. I don't care about sexual preference or sexual identity except as you want it to apply to you. I work fine with gay and lesbian folks and don't let that affect my interactions.

My comment was that the old adage "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is not necessarily the right road. You should do unto others as they want you to do. Right now I don't know what you want me to do.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by mbarbier » Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:46 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:30 am
Barbier, I don't know what is making you so prickly. i would call you whatever pronoun you want. I'm old enough that we still use "he" when the gender of the subject is unknown, though. I don't care about sexual preference or sexual identity except as you want it to apply to you. I work fine with gay and lesbian folks and don't let that affect my interactions.

My comment was that the old adage "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is not necessarily the right road. You should do unto others as they want you to do. Right now I don't know what you want me to do.
I'm prickly because as a non binary person it's thread full of people debating a core part of myself as some sort of academic curiousity. I'm prickly cause throughout this thread, and the other, you've come in with some seriously messed up views and really intense microagressions then just completely ignored all critiques. then you return to add this to the discourse which, given that you didn't respond to anything of the mountains of constructive things you were presented with by a lot of people, really seems to show that you added the singular they to your vocabulary, which I appreciate, but not much else.
BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:16 am
I.e., if they want to be called "her" then call "her". Regardless of what is in front of you.
there's some....stuff in that statement, so yeah, I'm prickly.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by mbarbier » Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:53 am

I'm also going to suggest again that it seems like it's time to lock this thread. It had really great and encouraging results last time, but it doesn't quite seem like this iteration is trending in the same way.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by PosauneCat » Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:10 am

mbarbier wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:53 am
I'm also going to suggest again that it seems like it's time to lock this thread. It had really great and encouraging results last time, but it doesn't quite seem like this iteration is trending in the same way.
I’m very disappointed that this thread has gone where it has. Matt, I just want you to know I completely get what you’re saying and agree with you, for what it’s worth. I’m sure many people here understand the issues pretty well. But it is a public forum after all, so everyone has the right to express him/her/themselves. However, I think your right that it’s time to lock this down. It’s way beyond the scope of the forum.

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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by WilliamLang » Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:20 am

+1 to locking
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Kbiggs » Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:35 am

Matt K wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:16 am
If the difficulty is due to some inherent bias, then get over it. LGBTQ+ people are out now, and they now have a voice in public discourse
Yeah, but you understand that isn't an argument right? You could just as easily say:
Get over it, people don't want to change the language and they have a voice in public discourse.

And a lack of understanding why people have difficulty with new language paradigms is little different than the lack of understanding of why someone would want to change language thusly. Really the only difference is that one has enormous historical and cultural backing, so the former is going to be an uphill struggle merely by dint of lack of inertia.
My “get over it” was a short-hand and—I apologize for this—rude way of saying that the “argument” train has left the station, the bell has been rung, the penny has dropped, etc. That is, there is history to support this language; the change has already been made in the English language by a (vocal) minority; and it is up to the rest of the English-speaking world to adopt or not, as the case may be.

There will always be people who resist change, whether it is in language, sex, social relations, race, religion, law, etc.

Another part of my statement implies, “Why not?” This very small change in the use of English harms no one. All it takes is a willingness to acknowledge and accept the presence of people who wish to be called by particular idioms and pronouns in English. (Note that we haven’t even touched on other languages in this thread.)

It’s no different that calling a Native Alaskan or Canadian an “Eskimo” or Esquimaux” or any other variation. Many of these view it is offensive, racist, etc. Some ask to be called Inuit, Aleut, or Yupik, while others ask that they be called by their particular language.

When someone tells me they are offended by something, it means that they are offended by my speech or behavior. The other person cannot change my speech or behavior, but they can ask me to do so. Thus, the change must come from me, the speaker or actor.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by robcat2075 » Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:00 pm

girltrombonist wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:57 pm
robcat2075 wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 9:01 am
Looks clever!

But some hipster is going to get his ponytail caught in there and that will be the end of it.
^female trombonists and nonbinary trombonists exist. I wasn't aware that the length of your hair excluded you from playing trombone.
Why, of course there have been female trombonists! I have seen pictures of female trombonists in 19th Century journals.

Female trombonists were deployed to great effect to to call attention to social upsets and Temperance League meetings.

Image
(image from Will Kimball's Trombone Timeline)

But you're saying there are still female trombonists today? In the 21st Century?

No, I'm sure that's not the case.

Next you'll be trying to tell me they've brought back whalebone corsets and foot-binding!

To the rest of you, I think you have spent way too much time litigating a comment by someone who made up a screen name five minutes before he or she posted and has never never returned to engage on the forum for anything with that name since.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by timothy42b » Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:18 pm

Kbiggs wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:35 am

When someone tells me they are offended by something, it means that they are offended by my speech or behavior. The other person cannot change my speech or behavior, but they can ask me to do so. Thus, the change must come from me, the speaker or actor.
I think there's a nuance there I wouldn't agree with but in general I think you're on track. My view of the term microaggression is maybe not mainstream.

I don't knowingly offend, and if something is pointed out I'm willing to adjust.

Certainly there are people who resist adjusting, or even deliberately use offensive language.
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Re: Pronoun Usage

Post by Matt K » Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:45 pm

Kbiggs, you don't need to apologize to me for sure. I was mostly stating that just as a way of pointing out that it wasn't particularly effective rhetoric, or at least in my opinion. I certainly didn't take offense at it.

At request of many, am closing.
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