Singular Their

2005-05-17

Latinizing grammarians and other small-minded pedants claim that no self-respecting lover of the English language can use "their" as a singular pronoun -- as in: "Anyone who loves English will watch their grammar." Well, this page shows that "singular their" has a long history of use as fine English since the 1300s, having been used by illustrious authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw, and George Orwell. And the singular their is so much more graceful than that awful "his or her" business -- ick!


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal