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"giraffe Photographers", by Peter Birt. the Globe and Mail. Toronto, ont.: Sep 9, 1998. Pg.

Autor:   •  August 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  722 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,066 Views

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Warren Clements objects to the use of "they" or "them" to refer back to a singular pronoun, on

the grounds that doing so would lead to ambiguity. He gave as his example, "Since the giraffes

were in plain view, everyone reached for their cameras. How those giraffes got cameras, I'll

never know." But using "his" or "her" instead of "their" in this sort of situation makes the

language no less ambiguous, as exactly the same problem arises with the singular pronoun: Since

the giraffe was in plain view, everyone reached for his or her camera. Now we want to know not

just how the giraffe got a camera, but also what sex the giraffe is.

Excerpt from “Grammar that gr8s on your nerves”, by Warren Clements. The Globe and Mail.

Toronto, Ont.: Dec 19, 2001. pg. R.2

The transformation of the pronoun "everyone" into a singular subject that miraculously doubles

as a plural antecedent continues. Many people resort to this uncomfortable contradiction to get

around the clumsiness of the expression "his or her." Instead of "everyone has his reasons," they

say, "Everyone has their reasons." Saturday Night Live actor Jimmy Fallon was quoted in the

October issue of Talk magazine as saying, "It's like a dorm up there. Everyone has their own

office, their own room." The same applies to "no one": No one is able to believe their luck. It's

an increasingly common escape route, but no less clumsy for that. Better to insert singular

possessive pronouns at random: Everyone has her reasons, everyone is his own boss. Get both

sexes mad at you.

“There are rules for everyone and anyone”, by Warren Clements. The Globe and Mail. Toronto,

Ont.: May 2, 2009. pg. R.18

In the world of everyone and anyone, the score is sensitivity 1, grammatical logic 0. The

standard rules are broken so frequently and so casually that they are being replaced by new rules.

"Everyone" is regularly given a singular verb and a plural pronoun. Everyone has their reasons.

Everyone knows what is expected of them. The motive


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