BATTLE IS LOST: Welcome to “Singular They”!

A sad day for grammar purists: The Washington Post will allow “singular they”!

Puzzled writer
Can I use “they”?


Writing in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, John Pruitt reports on a case study of eight heterosexual students who chose LGBT novels and met to discuss them without a teacher’s intervention. Recording the sessions, Pruitt discovered concerns about “authenticity”; he posits that the need to create authenticity in depicting a culture can encourage essentialized perceptions of that culture, despite the diversity of its members. He feels that insights into what students bring to literature before an instructor’s theoretical framing helps him better understand how to teach literature about difference.

Virginia Anderson's photo.

NEW POST AT COLLEGE COMPOSITION WEEKLY: Leigh Gruwell, on Wikipedia’s Gender-Gap Problem

Writing in Computers and Composition, May 2015, Leigh Gruwell examines Wikipedia’s “gender-gap problem,” the fact that only 13% of its editors are female. Gruwell recounts interviews with three women who regularly contribute to Wikipedia to argue that a number of aspects of the Wikipedia process are not welcoming to women, in particular the positivist epistemology evoked by its “neutral point of view” and “encyclopedic style.” banner 300

New Post at College Composition Weekly: Kimberly Drake, Genderqueering Language

In a special issue of The Writing Instructor, Drake writes about efforts at Scripps College to make language more inclusive, arguing that such efforts still reflect a false “gender binary” that erases students who do not fit into the normative categories. She argues for uses of language that refuse the binary and demand recognition of the complexities of gender. Visit and leave your thoughts on this issue!