I have to admit that I’ve been quite sheltered for the past 4-5 years. Being with a controlling and abusive person tends to do that. So, don’t be surprised when I say that this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone using a gender pronoun other than he or she. The article is here.
The one pronoun that really catches me as organic is ze. I don’t know if I ever would have gotten used to using “they” to describe one person, as it’s grammatically incorrect. But ze I can get behind.
I have a few questions though.
- If ze is singular, what would the plural form be?
- Would you say zer or zem when using objective pronouns? (btw, for it to be gender neutral, you’d HAVE to pick one and stick with it)
- Then, what about possessive pronoun format? Zes?
- And would the reflexive pronoun be zeself or zem/rself?
I have to say that I’m not entirely comfortable with using ze in all aspects of language just to incorporate gender neutrality in my speech and writing. I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, would prefer to have a possessive, reflexive and objective form of the pronoun. I think it’s necessary to further incorporate the word into the English language and to help people catch on quicker.
The inorganic ‘feel’ comes when you use words like “they” for a single person. But when you create the forms of the word and use them fluidly in writing and speech, people catch on. Just like they catch on to the massive amount of new language that the internet has created.
Now to just get them to use they’re, their, there properly.
My preferences for the ze pronoun are…
- Possessive – zes
- Objective – zer
- Reflexive – zeself
Am I pronouncing this pronoun correctly? Is it zee or zey? I like zee, which would make zer: zeer, zeself: zeeself, zes: zees.