Sunday, November 9, 2014

In which there is more grammar stuff

Me: Why did they use that awful photo of Mary Jo in that facebook posting? If she sees that, she won't take any more photos with you.

[Mary Jo is a friend of mine who agreed to be in campaign photos with Primo.}

Primo: I don't know. I am staying out of the facebook photos.

Me: What?

Primo: I'm letting that go. I don't have time for that.

Me: That's a big step for you!

Primo: Yes, but I still have to be involved in the text. [The campaign manager] isn't very good with grammar.

Me: Oh?

Primo: That's what I had to spend all that time on the other day. He had written a sentence in the singular but had used "their."

Me: Yeah, that's a pretty common usage.

Primo: It's wrong. I won't have it on my campaign literature.

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: So I had to rewrite the sentence. The only ways to handle this situation are to use "his or her" or to rewrite in the plural. I refuse to use just "his" because it's sexist and I won't use "her" because it's affected and "his or her" is awkward. So I rewrote it in the plural.

Me: Whew.


  1. Now if I could get Primo to wage a war on "that said" and Oxford commas I would donate to any campaign!!!

    1. bobble, are you for or against Oxford commas?

  2. Wrong. "Their" as a singular pronoun is correct and not new.

    "When pressed on whether “they” could serve as a singular pronoun, my fellow lexicographers and I pointed out that it already has done so for about seven centuries, appearing in the work of writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Jane Austen."

    1. I think Primo would go to the mat with you on that one. :)


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