National Review’s Jim Geraghty wrote last week about a Florida school teacher who issued a demand that her fifth grade students address her with grammatically incorrect pronouns. Geraghty called it a “war on grammar” which it is. For cockamamie political reasons, the teacher wishes to be addressed using plural pronouns because they are believed to be gender neutral.
Using a plural pronoun when referring to a singular noun is grammatically incorrect, as editors remind me on a frustratingly regular basis. You can’t just decide that in one classroom, the grammatical rules are one way, and in another classroom, they’re different. Grammar isn’t sexist, patriarchal, hetero-normative, racist, or somehow otherwise sinister; it’s just grammar.
You do have a right to ask others to call you by the name you prefer. You don’t have the right to demand schoolchildren use incorrect grammar just because you feel like it. The rules of grammar are not set by personal preferences.
Another rule of grammar is that the masculine pronoun is used to refer to a person of unknown sex. He, him, and his ARE the gender neutral pronouns, just as “man” is used generically to refer to mankind. The only people who see this as a gender equality issue are people who have far too much time on their hands and very few real problems to deal with in their lives. They are a “first world problems” meme personified and don’t deserve to be taken seriously.
The war is not just on grammar though. It’s a war on language itself, and any other basic standards human beings use to communicate ideas. Communicating ideas helps to bring about order and solutions to problems but the Left prefers chaos to order and wedge issues to solutions. Flimflam artists pretending to be professors of higher education keep the language in flux so that there will always be a generation gap. Communication breaks down between people who learned the actual meaning of words and those who have been conned into the invented meanings which lead to ridiculous statements like “black people can’t be racist.”
Back in the olden days—before public education had yet become an intensive 12-year boot camp aimed at boosting self esteem and protecting feelings—Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired a sketch featuring Michael Palin and Graham Chapman as a talk show interviewer and guest respectively.
Interviewer: Good evening. I have with me in the studio tonight one of the country’s leading skin specialists – Raymond Luxury Yacht.
Raymond: That’s not my name.
Interviewer: I’m sorry – Raymond Luxury Yach-t.
Raymond: No, no, no – it’s spelt Raymond Luxury Yach-t, but it’s pronounced ‘Throatwobbler Mangrove’.
Interviewer: You’re a very silly man and I’m not going to interview you.
Raymond: Ah, anti-semitism!
Interviewer: Not at all. It’s not even a proper nose. (takes it off) It’s polystyrene.
Raymond: Give me my nose back.
Interviewer: You can collect it at reception. Now go away.
Raymond: I want to be on the television.
Interviewer: Well you can’t.
At the time it was, like most Python material, utterly absurd by design. Absurdity was basis for the troupe’s comedy. Yet today, it doesn’t really seem all that absurd.
Python could have produced a bit about filling out a form with 38 different options for gender and it would have been uproariously funny because of the absurdity of the concept, yet today that’s the perceived reality in which some people actually live. Making fun of it would justify your persecution.
And the people who expect the world to change the facts of biology, the rules of grammar, and the very definitions of words have the audacity to tell others to “check their privilege.”
In real life, a contemporary talk show host telling someone, “You’re a very silly man and I’m not going to interview you,” runs the risk of being accused of discrimination and attacked for assuming someone’s gender identity.
You know what? You’re not special enough to deserve your own pronoun let alone make demands that other people play along with your gender confusion.
I wonder if newly hatched college graduates are putting their preferred pronouns on their resumes when looking for a job. That would be the perfect time to use Palin’s line. “You’re a very silly person and I’m not going to interview you.”