Spivak Pronouns

Gender-neutral pronouns, used by a writer when e wants to avoid making assumptions regarding the gender of a hypothetical character.

The Spivak pronouns were developed by mathematician MichaelSpivak? for use in his books. They can be easily integrated into writing. They should be used in a generic setting where the gender of the person referred to is unknown, such as "the reader". They can also be used to describe a specific individual who has chosen not to identify emself with the traditional masculine (male) or feminine (female) gender.

The Spivak pronouns are
 E	-- subjective
 Em	-- objective
 Eir	-- possessive (adjective)
 Eirs	-- possessive (noun)
 Emself -- reflexive

This has some advantages over other approaches: Disadvantages:

SpivakPronouns have been popular in several different areas:

NomicGame
Players of NomicGame are often inclined to nit-pick and claim that, for example, a rule which uses "he" or "they" will not apply to a player who is female or singular. Games which resolve this using SpivakPronouns seem to exist in about the same number as games which resolve this using a rule redefining the semantics of the normal pronouns. -- DanielKnapp

LambdaMoo
SpivakPronouns are one of the pronouns you can use at this popular MultiUserDungeon.

WikiWikiWeb
Some WikiCitizens use SpivakPronouns.


GregEgan has invented an alternative set of pronouns - ve for he/she/it (subject), ver for he/she/it (object) and vis for his/her/its, which he uses in his novel Diaspora to describe gender-neutral PostHumans and in Distress to describe "asex" humans.

Some people find SingularThey to be more natural.
"They can also be used to describe a specific individual who has chosen not to identify emself with the traditional masculine (male) or feminine (female) gender."

This option is dangerous from a language development point of view. If the pronoun is used in a specific niche too much, it will become attached to that niche. Which means it is essentially lost for the general use (in the same way that it cannot be used generally).


See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutral_pronoun

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