The War on Pronouns is Really a War on Language
The use of plural pronouns (“they/them”) to refer to a single person has insidiously crept into our language. This practice is especially common in mass media publications and other establishment writings. It is more than a mere passing fad. It is time for us to understand what this trend really means for all of us.
One recent example I noticed was linked by msn.com and included the headline, “Non-Binary Ex-Biden Staffer Sam Brinton's Family Calls Them A Liar, Claims Their Abuse Story Never Happened.” The headline is incomprehensible by traditional rules of grammar. The reader would not know who is meant by “Them” and “Their.” Even if we are familiar with Sam Brinton and his story, we would not know what people his family calls “a liar.” The plural words tell us that there are multiple third parties that Brinton’s family accuses. We are misled and distracted by those plural pronouns. An innocent reader would not have concluded that Brinton, himself, is the real target unless the reader undertook the process of clicking on the link and reading the article. The reader would then have to remember the new mandate that requires us to misread plural pronouns as applicable to single people – as the individual subject’s whim dictates. Singular is now plural. Plural is now singular. Words have no meaning.
If the Brinton story were the only example, no great harm would be done. But this trend is becoming common. The more controversial stories involving transgenderism “sow social chaos by hijacking our language, rendering it utterly unrecognizable even about the most basic of facts.” But plural/singular confusion does not require a school shooting to inflict harm upon the language. The improper juxtaposition of singular and plural is an offense to English in any context. Readers cannot click on every article and translate from the current trend to comprehensible language. Readers will skip most articles while glancing only at the scrolling headlines in the MSN feed. The plural pronouns make comprehension impossible in the brief time that most readers will devote to each headline before escaping to a new headline.
The concepts of plural and singular are basic to language. Imagine having no way to convey such concepts in daily speech. Conversation in that scenario would become impossible. The inability to understand one another might well isolate each of us to a much greater degree than any other factor in modern culture. Television, social media, political differences, etc. all are put to shame in their ability to isolate us.
Pronouns have become second nature to all of us. Imagine trying to speak without any pronouns at all. Try to discuss any issue while using only the proper names of the people involved. It would make one sound like primitive artificial intelligence. We may soon face the choice of either sounding like such machines or neutralizing our discussion with meaningless plural pronouns.
Imagine a poker game in which every card is a “wildcard.” Imagine a chess game in which every piece is a queen. All cards and all chess pieces would thus be the same and have the same value. The games would be impossible or, at least, completely uninteresting. While not all words are pronouns, enough of them are pronouns. Pronouns undeniably play a key role in the English language. Rendering pronouns meaningless devastates the language.
Every person that identifies his or her preferred pronouns becomes an unwitting soldier in this new war against the English language. By doing so we perpetuate the unspoken idea that each person can re-make the language according to his own sexual identity. This behavior denies the fact that words mean things. By subverting our pronouns, we take away that meaning.
There is no way for the rest of us even to surrender in this war. If we submit to the idea that singular is now plural, we are still left with neither singular nor plural. This trend does not simply cause some words to mean something else. This trend robs some very common words of all meaning – leaving us with no way to express the very basic concepts of singular and plural. Speech and writing are, themselves, imperiled.
Establishment media have long treated the average reader with contempt. We are objects to be manipulated and misled long enough for the Democrat of the day to win the next election. The silent majority has long been suspicious of the establishment media and its various agendas. Decades ago we were isolated in our suspicions. Before the internet, talk radio and cable television, we did not know that so many others agreed with us. We did not recognize our own power and strength. Rush Limbaugh and various internet/cable sources allowed us to learn of each other’s existence, communicate with each other and amplify our voice. The isolation had ended.
But now the establishment strikes at us by twisting something much more basic than the daily news cycle or a particular election. They strike at our very language. The war on language promises to be much more effective than the mere war on certain politicians, taxpayers, religions and races. By making pronouns meaningless throughout the entire language, the establishment can rob us all of our voice.
Leftist plans have always been grandiose. They seek to turn down (or up) the Earth’s temperature, lower the oceans, end organized religion, rewrite history, effectively repeal the U.S. Constitution, etc. But now they seek to outdo even their own ambitions. Their attack on pronouns would go further even than the bilingualism pushed for so long in schools. It would turn English into less than the mere language spoken by an ever-decreasing majority in an increasingly Balkanized society. It would turn all of us into little more than the contemporary preliterate – unable to communicate with each other in any meaningful way.
Despite their hostility to the Bible, leftists now seek to emulate no less than God in the Book of Genesis. Whereas God rendered the builders of the Tower of Babel helpless by creating multiple languages, today’s left will leave us with no language at all – or at least no language with meaningful pronouns. Of course, the edifice of the public school system will still exist – and with ever increasing public funding. Despite having no language left to teach, the public schools will still herd children into their little towers of babel so that they can learn about racism, get vaccinated, wear masks and view twerking by men wearing dresses.
It is our duty to defend our language by refusing to surrender the difference between plural and singular. We must remember and insist that one person cannot be multiple people. We must stick stubbornly to plain language. Referring to one person only in the singular will protect the benefits that language bestows upon all of us. If our language is rendered meaningless, gender issues will be the least of our problems.
Graphic credit: Ted Eytan CC BY-SA 4.0 license