The Epicene Pronoun
An article by Zach

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In today's world, you can get into trouble for using the wrong pronouns. More specifically, you can get into trouble when you use a gender specific pronoun when addressing a person or group of a mixed or unknown gender. That probably sounds confusing, so I'll give you an example of this dilemma:

The person who invented lasers is awesome. _____ is my hero and ____ idea was awesome.

What happens if you don't know if it was a guy or a girl? Obviously, the best rule of thumb in such a situation is to use male-specific pronouns if it's in regards to something good or awesome and female-specific pronouns if it is something negative, or if it is in regards to something like cleaning, talking, or complaining (obviously the above example would use "he" and "his"). But what if the problem occurs when writing an english essay? You can't just put in "his" because it will offend your feminist English teacher (I swear all english teachers are women and they are all feminists). You can't use "her" because that's just stupid (at least for the above example). So, you have a couple options:

  1. Put his/her, he/she, etc.
  2. Put his or her, he or she, etc.
  3. Try fitting in one, their, they, etc. even though they aren't right
  4. Completely change the sentence

Option 1 would not look good on a paper. Option 2 ends up being 4 more words than you should have to write. Option 3 is too much work. Same goes for option 4. That leaves option 5, use epicene pronouns.

Epicene pronouns are basically pronouns that are not gender specific. The best part is that you can make one up if you have to. However, you can use ones other people made as well. Some of the best are:

  • ip (he/she)
  • ips (his/hers)

So there you have it. When someone asks you why you wrote ip, tell them that it's an epicene pronoun and act like they are stupid if they aren't familiar with them (especially good with your english teacher).

Here's the revised version of the sentence using epicene pronouns:

The person who invented lasers is awesome. Ze is my hero and shims idea was awesome.

That sounds really cool. Here's some real data on english teachers:

As you can see, the majority of english teachers are female know-it-all feminists.

Anyways, to sum up, using epicene pronouns will help you be more politically correct, like me.

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