On Poetry and Getting Real
Easter Fauna

Pronoun Trouble

Away back in November of 2003, when this site was just a naive young thing on Blogspot, I rather self-importantly foreswore the use of the word "blog," preferring instead to refer to the site as a "web journal." Aaron Haspel took me to task for it, and Terry Teachout endorsed (or at least succumbed to the force of) Aaron's reasoning. I took a stab, feebly, at defending my position and, after sticking to my guns for a decent interval, slowly and unobtrusively slipped into a compromise position: I avoid "blog" when possible, "web journal" lives on in the subtitle incorporated in the banner above, but "weblog" has become the default term of choice. (Can a "default" term be a term "of choice"? Well, never mind.)

My original move to "web journal" was made under the influence of an essay posted in conjunction with last year's BloggerCon by David Giacalone, regular commenter here and proprietor of the web journal ethicalEsq, and the nostalgic ramble in the preceding paragraph was by way of prologue to the news that David is at it again. Not one to shy from a linguistic rumble (nor to miss the opportunity, against his own better judgment, to fully document by hyperlink every other contribution he can find on the subject at hand), David has weighed in on the always riveting topic of gender-neutral pronouns. If that prospect excites you, by all means go see for yourself. Be warned, however, that the making of language is not unlike the making of sausages and legislation and that, like those activities, it in this case appears to be involving a fair number of lawyers.

As for me, it's more than my foolish head can effectively wrestle with this Saturday morning. I'll withhold judgment, other than to insist that you won't find "em", "de" and "darm" in regular use anytime soon on this web journal.


David Giacalone

Lucky for me, Sherry and UCL had done all the link research for me (except for a little etymology and dictionary foreplay that I added). You are a wise fool indeed to punt on this one.

You may have noticed that my "position" is wishy-washier than usual -- basically, "we may not need gender-neutral pronouns, but if we're gonna have them. do it right."

Rick Coencas

Have you considered the Law Blog (Legal Web Journal) epiphet of Blawg for Decs and Exs?

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