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Breaking News: Fuddy-Duddy Surrenders

You know I am an old fuddy-duddy.

That was evident in my Noticing entitled The Maltreatment of Grammar.

As you know, the subject and verb must match. If one is singular, so must be the other.  Thus: “One person’s grammar book is missing. Where could his or her book be?” Not: “Where could their book be?”

“Their” is plural. One person is singular. They do not match!

Ah, but now everyone says “their” for singular! Not only people on the street, but news anchors and other television “authorities”, as well. It has become acceptable! Nobody wants to fuss with his or hers.

Ah, we are a lazy people. But I surrender!

As I write my Did Ya Notice? Project book, I am using “their” to refer to singular as well. I am sorry, Mrs. Sullivan. You taught me so well in fifth grade and now I am acquiescing to the vernacular.

Even the Oxford Dictionary states that it is now acceptable form to use “they” and “their” referring to a singular.

Sigh. I surrender!

©2014 Margery Leveen Sher

MARGERY IS AVAILABLE TO KEYNOTE YOUR MEETING OR CONFERENCE with a motivational talk peppered with both startling wisdom and humongous laughs:

“Notice What You See and Be a Hero at Work”

Margery Leveen Sher is a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur with decades of experience as a consultant for major corporations and government agencies.  She is the founder and Chief Noticing Officer of The Did Ya Notice? Project.



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Reader Comments (1)

Oh, it's so easy to be a fuddy duddy! How about "each other" vs "one another"? Back in the day, we all learned to use the former when talking about two people, and the latter when talking about three or more. Who gets that right any more?! So many pet peeves; so little time!

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Finarelli

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