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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Grammatical Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    The so-called masculine pronouns are assumed to be neuter unless the subject is known.
    That may be assumed by some people sometimes, but certainly not always by everyone. I'm pretty sure that studies have shown that masculine pronouns are generally thought to refer to men and boys whether the subject is known or not. It would be surprising if that were not the case. This is common usage.

    And if you do want to get technical about it, isn't "it" the third-person neuter singular in English? One can insist on that, I suppose, if one attaches enough significance to the distinction between singular and plural, in which case one should also be using "thou" and "thee". A bit odd to do to maintain a faux singular, though. There "they" feels a lot more natural.

    (E.g. in the sentence "Everyone put on his hat", "his" doesn't refer to only one person, despite being singular grammatically. Indeed, the function of "each" or "every" is to indicate that the singular is being used for the multiple, although that can happen in other cases, e.g. "when a doctor treats his patient". There's probably some fancy technical term for the faux singular that I don't know. Anyway, my recollection is that this sort of use of singular pronouns and nouns to refer to multiple entities seems to have been the primary original context in which the "singular they" understandably came into use, before going on to be applied more broadly.)

    But we were talking about nouns, not pronouns.
    Last edited by Devils_Advocate; 2021-01-01 at 07:39 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Grammatical Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    And if you do want to get technical about it, isn't "it" the third-person neuter singular in English?
    (Well, technically neuter corresponds to the PIE inanimate noun class, so using it to denote a person carries some unfortunate implications. The reason why they is fine would be that it is not a form specific to neuter.)

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Area 51

    Default Re: Gender Neutral Titles

    Regent, Ruler, Vizier, Magistrate, Blooded, Clerist, Cleric, Sifu, Sensei, Archmage, Dominus (?), Imperitor, Centurion, Village Elder, Captain, Doctor (?), Officer, CEO..

    most languages are gendered and thus have male/female words for leadership roles, but some terms are culturally neutral.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Area 51

    Default Re: Gender Neutral Titles

    Quote Originally Posted by eru001 View Post
    Doing some worldbuilding for a large scale game I run (Lots of participants, not just a single party)

    I've been trying to make it more inclusive, although this is an area I am not particularly skilled in. I'm doing my best to educate myself but I came to this later in life and I have a lot of catching up to do.

    I've been going back through all the game materials and tried to add gender neutral titles for the various ranks and statuses present in the setting. Most aren't too difficult, but some don't have real world equivalents and so figuring out a good one has me stuck.

    One of the militaries in setting, for example, uses Armsman/Armswoman (Derived from Man-At-Arms) as their Private equivalent. I'm having trouble figuring out an appropriate Gender neutral option. Armsperson is one idea, but it doesn't sound right to me.

    If anyone has a thought on a good term to use I'd appreciate it. Or if you could point me at a resource for gender neutral job titles/ forms of address in fantasy writing, I'd appreciate it. I haven't had much luck doing my own searching.
    Knight Errant

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Somewhere over th rainbow

    Default Re: Gender Neutral Titles

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Imagine the general deciding "we should do a gender neutral title for privates" then 3 years later they go to war against sentient arms and realise "oh no the armfolk is now confused about fighting armfolk."
    "The armfolk are dead! Long live the armfolk!"
    Professional Ancient Relic
    Beware, Monologues
    Ambassador from Gen Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterdeep Merch View Post
    Use your smite bite to fight the plight right. Fill the site with light and give fright to wights as a knight of the night, teeth white; mission forthright, evil in flight. Despite the blight within, you perform the rite, ignore any contrite slight, fangs alight, soul bright.

    That sight is dynamite.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2020

    Default Re: Gender Neutral Titles

    You could go with "Trooper" or "Soldier." The US Military continues to use "Rifleman" and "Seaman" and other gendered titles because it does not traditionally indicate gender but a skillset or duty assignment. Alternatively, my leaders came up with a number of creative titles for their troops that were neither gender nor rank based.

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