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http://egscomics.com/comic/qa8-03

 

 

Quote

On March 15, 2019 Dan Shive said:

I've addressed Tedd's pronoun preferences in a few places, but it's a frequently asked question, and I wanted to get it into an actual comic

I was among those looking forward to the New Q&A comics

I am still awaiting New Q&A.  

Using an entire comic to rehash one point makes me think Dan is desperately trying to address a certain group of commenters. Specifically, those commenters who insist that the linguistic opinions they pronounce are only correct answers.

And we all know how useful and productive you can be when debating internet "experts".

 

And what's the story behind the Goblin?

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2 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:
Quote

I've addressed Tedd's pronoun preferences in a few places, but it's a frequently asked question, and I wanted to get it into an actual comic

I was among those looking forward to the New Q&A comics

I am still awaiting New Q&A.  

Using an entire comic to rehash one point makes me think Dan is desperately trying to address a certain group of commenters. Specifically, those commenters who insist that the linguistic opinions they pronounce are only correct answers.

And we all know how useful and productive you can be when debating internet "experts".

... yeah ... I understand that the point about not all people reading comments is valid, but I would really like to get to some interesting questions.

3 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

And what's the story behind the Goblin?

Not sure, but I'm thinking that Amanda should've kept the axe.

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The annoying thing is that, as unhelpful as it is, there is a historical reason for people to be resistant to they as a singular pronoun.

There are four roles a "they" can serve:

1. Plural referent
2. Indefinite referent
3. Abstract referent
4. Definite referent

Everyone agrees on 1 and using "they" for 2 and 3 has been around for roughly 500 years (just as long as using "he" in the same roles) and you'll even find it in the odd bit of legislation. The only objections to using it in this role come from 19th and early 20th century grammarians trying vehemently to make gender-neutral "he" the standard.

The truly new thing that feels wrong to people's intuition is using "they" for a definite referent. For example, "I talked to Jake the other day. They are doing well."

Our intuition has been trained that, if we know a person's gender, "they" is wrong and, as much as I consciously agree that it's for the best to accept "they" in that role, it doesn't change how that expectation has grown deep roots.

(Similar to "to who", given that a who/whom subject/object split is needless complexity which provides no additional expressive power to the language or how my mother can't get over how her teachers drummed it into her that the non-literary use of "tragedy" popularized by journalists was wrong.)

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Tedd's preferred pronouns isn't new. 

The fact that Elliot may be rethinking his preferred pronouns I think is new, though I think many people were applying pronouns to Elliot based on current form like they would with Tedd which seemed to be initially wrong since Amanda did state that Elliot preferred "he/him" in general, but again, if he's rethinking that, then applying pronouns according to form would become correct.

 

Also, little bit of trivia, judging by this tweet:

Tedd wasn't originally designed to be genderfluid or even be "just that girly" it just happened that people thought that and Dan ended up running with it.

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3 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

I am still awaiting New Q&A.  

As am I.  Not real gruntled by this one.

 

3 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

And what's the story behind the Goblin?

Goblin

Small humanoid (goblinoid), neutral evil

Armor Class 15 (leather armor, shield)

Hit Points 7 (2d6)

Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
8 (-1) 14 (+2) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 8 (-1) 8 (-1)

Skills Stealth +6

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9

Languages Common, Goblin

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Nimble Escape: The goblin can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.

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Yay for... er, wait, those aren't flowers (or if they are they're very abstract). Just what are they supposed to be? Given Tedd's outfit I want to say snowflakes, though they don't really look like that either. Oh well, close enough. Yay for snowflake background in panel one! (It's nice to have a special background that isn't some variation on a starburst for once.)

Anyway, it's for the best to have this question addressed in the comic (though it would have been even better if it was in-story), and explaining that Tedd's pronoun preferences don't apply to everyone was important (both for the ignorant and for those who might think Dan didn't know any better) but the digression on "they/them" really wasn't necessary and made the comic drag a bit; if Dan had another question ready he could answer in three panels or so, I think that would have been a better choice for the second half of the comic.

33 minutes ago, ssokolow said:

There are four roles a "they" can serve:

1. Plural referent
2. Indefinite referent
3. Abstract referent
4. Definite referent

[snip]

The truly new thing that feels wrong to people's intuition is using "they" for a definite referent. For example, "I talked to Jake the other day. They are doing well."

Our intuition has been trained that, if we know a person's gender, "they" is wrong and, as much as I consciously agree that it's for the best to accept "they" in that role, it doesn't change how that expectation has grown deep roots.

I really wish we could introduce a new set of pronouns to fill role 4 (and possibly take over role 3 when the subject is not a group). (Personally, I prefer ey/em, mainly because as a simple modification of they/them it's easy to remember.) However, no single set of new pronouns had been able to get enough people using them for them to catch on, so I guess we're stuck with re-purposing "they/them".

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10 hours ago, Scotty said:

Also, little bit of trivia, judging by this tweet:

Tedd wasn't originally designed to be genderfluid or even be "just that girly" it just happened that people thought that and Dan ended up running with it.

Judging by FIRST comics, this "originally" was before the comics appeared on web.

10 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

Yay for... er, wait, those aren't flowers (or if they are they're very abstract). Just what are they supposed to be? Given Tedd's outfit I want to say snowflakes, though they don't really look like that either. Oh well, close enough. Yay for snowflake background in panel one! (It's nice to have a special background that isn't some variation on a starburst for once.)

I would consider more likely those are abstract flowers than snowflakes. Possibly Snowdrop?

10 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

I really wish we could introduce a new set of pronouns to fill role 4 (and possibly take over role 3 when the subject is not a group). (Personally, I prefer ey/em, mainly because as a simple modification of they/them it's easy to remember.) However, no single set of new pronouns had been able to get enough people using them for them to catch on, so I guess we're stuck with re-purposing "they/them".

Yes, the problem is that "we" who introduce new set of pronouns are doing it in process requiring quite high quorum.

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Meh, what bothers me on pronouns is when somebody is playing guessing games by not showing or telling you which pronoun they want yet getting offended if you do not guess correctly. I'm sorry, but if you want to be referenced differently from how you appear to be presenting, then you'll have to tell me that.

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1 hour ago, ijuin said:

Meh, what bothers me on pronouns is when somebody is playing guessing games by not showing or telling you which pronoun they want yet getting offended if you do not guess correctly. I'm sorry, but if you want to be referenced differently from how you appear to be presenting, then you'll have to tell me that.

Even if they tell me I might simply forgot and use incorrect one without meaning to offend. Like, if I don't see them often and some time passed, I mean.

(Well ... ok, sometimes I'm capable of forgetting in single hour, but I would understand if they be offended in such case.)

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6 hours ago, ijuin said:

Meh, what bothers me on pronouns is when somebody is playing guessing games by not showing or telling you which pronoun they want yet getting offended if you do not guess correctly. I'm sorry, but if you want to be referenced differently from how you appear to be presenting, then you'll have to tell me that.

This is one thing the Japanese language gets right. The first-person pronoun is gendered, so you advertise your gender identity whenever you talk about yourself, and talking about others as definite referents isn't, because third-person pronouns developed from words for referring to servants, so they just keep reusing the person's name instead.

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7 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Anyone who objects to using they/them for singular should be required to use thee/thou for singulars, too.  Let's have some consistency here!  ;-)

Don't forget to bring back the ye/you object/subject split for formal/plural second-person.

 

(That's where "Hear Ye, Hear Ye!" comes from.)

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