I Don’t Get … The Plural They

Looks like this new rant category is catching on with readers. Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. I’ll post a new one each month in various content categories.

One of the best workplace writing blogs I regularly read is the ‘Conservation Writing Pro’ by Michelle Baker, PhD – http://conservationwritingpro.com/blog/. She recently posted a piece, ‘In defense of the plural they’, which really resonated with me. I loved it because she has excellent credentails and totally agreed with one of my favorite rants about the ‘he or she’ issue.

One of the few traditional grammar rules I live by is pronouns should agree in number and gender with the nouns they replace. Not a hard rule to remember or use. So, as an alternative to the grammatically and politically correct but clunky ‘The employee should file his or her expenses on time.’, Dr. Baker … and I … recommend ‘Employees should file their expenses on time.

Grammatically correct, no PC issues, more conversational and 11 fewer characters in the Twitter world. Get it?