Re: OT: Latin subject-verb agreement
|From:||Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, December 23, 2007, 12:57|
In the last episode, (On Thursday 13 December 2007 21:24:43), T. A. McLeay
> Gary Shannon wrote:
> > --- MorphemeAddict@WMCONNECT.COM wrote:
> > <snip>
> >> I once recently had a short discussion about using "they" as a singular
> >> pronoun with an English (ESL) teacher, not his usual profession. He was
> >> teaching
> >> Chinese students to use "they" as a singular pronoun.
> > Lately I've heard "they" used a lot as a gender-neutral replacement for
> > "he", "she", or the awkward "he/she", or "he or she".
> > E.g: "When a player is ready, he or she will serve the ball."
> > Becomes: "When a player is ready, they will serve the ball."
> In fact, this is not a "recent" phenomenon. It dates back hundred of
> years to the early Middle English period. I would consider it a very
> important part of the role of an ESL to be teaching something that's
> lasted that long and is used by very many people to their students.
> Likewise, it's worth noting that "aren't" could develop from "amn't" by
> purely phonetic processes in non-rhotic dialects---the orthography, as
> ever, misleads---and then be generalised to rhotic ones, much as
> Americans put an /r/ in Burma and Myanmar that was never there before.
AFAIK the /r/ in "Myanmar" and the first /r/ in "Burma" have always been there
(for people with rhotic accents, anyhoo); I suppose it's possible some people
pronounce "Burma" as "Burmar" though.
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