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A-net ran out of pronouns


Sutrebor.4217

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@DietPepsi.4371 said:I'm confused as to what the problem is here?

They used a plural when a more correct his/her is definitively known as a part of character creation.I would guess that whatever programming they have for emotes can't recognize a mutable part of customized character appearances, although not taking that into account "their" sounds just a little bit lazy.

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Grammarians disagree about the best way to indicate an unknown gender.

  • Traditionalists insist that we use "he", unless it must be a female.
  • 20th Century modernists insist on using "one", even if the person is known (but the gender is not).
  • Many believe it's okay to adopt similar practices from other languages and use 'they'

Thus it's acceptable to write:

  • Pat crossed his arms
  • Pat crossed her arms
  • Pat crossed their arms.

Even though I'm a big proponent of 'they', I agree that the third option looks awkward & I try to avoid it by rewriting.

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I love it!1 :O) In this case the gender is known and in first person- the emote is used about one's self. "Myname crosses their arms" Nope. agree to disagree.P.S. I believe with a bit more code the emote could reference the character's gender which you specify in character creation ( all as mentioned above --I'm no programmer so I could be wrong; and it's probably more programming than an emote is perhaps worth.
and it just sounds awkward lol

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@Sutrebor.4217 said:

and it just sounds awkward lol

Some things that look awkward are more a matter of preference than of actual grammar. For example, colour looks wrong to me, but color looks awkward to those who speak British English. However, if you live in Potsdam, NY or Cornwall, ON, you'd probably be used to both and need a moment to think about which one to use.

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@Sutrebor.4217 said:lol I'm just whining about the bad emote English /crossarms not a problem--a minor irritation

It's not "bad", it's how you phrase it in a gender neutral manner in English. You call someone "they" even in singular when the gender is unspecified.

Computer games usually use the gender neutral pronoun in English. Do they use the specified gender pronoun in your language?

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Well, perhaps I shouldn't even be minutely bugged, and since I'm no language expert I can certainly accept that I may be indeed be wrong, but "John crosses their arms" , "Mary puts their shoes on", "Pete buttons their shirt" will all continue to look incorrect to me. So again, a very minor thing to me, and really, if that's the largest complaint I can come up with for Anet, I guess they're doing ok. :O) Thanks for the comments!

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I would have preferred either his/her by the character's created gender, or some gender-neutral pronoun. I am not two or more people, I am not a "they".Silly as it sounds, the crossarms emote misses a great opportunity to push for a singular gender-neutral pronoun and to help normalize it. There's certainly plenty of options: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary

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@RoseofGilead.8907 said:While I'd prefer it if the code did/could recognize the gender of the character doing the emote, "their" isn't incorrect or "bad" grammar. So, it's fine the way it is.

Trying to decipher use of quotation marks around the word "bad," but using "their" as a singular pronoun is bad grammar and incorrect. Especially in the context of emotes (you would NEVER use a proper noun, like a name, with a plural pronoun). The only time it is "Acceptable" (and I would argue it's still wrong) is when a gender-neutral pronoun is already in use and the possessive pronoun it is referring to is too awkward to use "his or her" ...

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@pah.4931 said:

@RoseofGilead.8907 said:While I'd prefer it if the code did/could recognize the gender of the character doing the emote, "their" isn't incorrect or "bad" grammar. So, it's fine the way it is.

Trying to decipher use of quotation marks around the word "bad," but using "their" as a singular pronoun is bad grammar and incorrect. Especially in the context of emotes (you would NEVER use a proper noun, like a name, with a plural pronoun). The only time it is "Acceptable" (and I would argue it's still wrong) is when a gender-neutral pronoun is already in use and the possessive pronoun it is referring to is too awkward to use "his or her" ...

OP specifically referred to its use as "bad", hence my use of quotation marks around it in my post. But you're right. I misspoke when I said that the use of "their" in this case is grammatically correct. What I meant to say (and would have said if I'd actually bothered to drink my coffee before posting) is that it's commonly accepted and used. It was even commonly used some centuries ago. Regardless of that, though, I'd argue that (as far as the code used for the emotes is concerned) the proper noun is gender-neutral, and it would be very awkward to use "his or her" in the emote. "RoseofGilead crosses their arms" vs "RoseofGilead crosses his or her arms". I'd still prefer to have the emotes and more of the other other in-game text pick up whether the character is male or female, though.

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@Oglaf.1074 said:I am 110% certain this is merely to save on coding rather than some sort of nefarious SWJ agenda on Anet's part.

Pitchforks down, people.

Thing is, I kinda want this to have been a "nefarious agenda" item. ANet is kinda big on that, in subtle ways, and as a game developer, I appreciate that fearlessness.

But "their" in the emote is dropping the ball. I realize the devs probably didn't want to waste any great amount of time or endorse one out of a dozen neutral pronouns (literally more than a dozen), but using a choppy-feeling nugget of bad/informal grammar just . . grates on me as a potential writer and long-time roleplayer.Kasjory, Sya, non-gender love with Sylvari, I get little fuzzies when I think about how forward ANet is about, but "their" is a concrete brick on my toes.

I'm kinda partial to Hus, Xyr, Zer/Zher myself.Or maybe we can steal another language's pronoun. Bengali? Chinese? Finnish? Georgian?..Come to think of it, does the emote text translate as "their" in other languages? :sweat_smile:

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@Oglaf.1074 said:Oh no please.

Xyr? Zer? Great names for alien races in your sci-fi 4X game, terrible things to use as pronouns in the English language.

"Zhe", "Zher", etc are non-traditional pronouns proposed circa 2000 as gender-neutral alternatives to "he" and "she," or "s/he." I've also seen it used by Becky Chambers as she tried to use English pronouns to refer to a species that swapped genders periodically.

One extreme alternative would be Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch series, where everything is referred with female pronouns, except when viewpoints switched to non-Imperial characters. That was a fascinating concept, to say the least.

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