Ooh arr, Oi be Resolvin' ee's Grammatical Failin's

This is an pretty old post from my blog, which has been preserved in case its content is of any interest. You might want to go back to the homepage to see some more recent stuff.

Part 1. US Edition

vosotros. vous. ihr.

The more languages I learn, the more it stands out that English has no second-person plural, no way of saying “you” and explicitly meaning more than one person.

That is, of course, except for “y’all”, a term that I’ve found myself using more and more often recently. I feel like I can justify it from a linguistic point of view, though for using it I should probably renounce my British nationality and take up eating barbecue and firing assault rifles.

…Actually, that sounds pretty good.

Part 2. UK Edition

I know quite a few transgender or non-gender-binary people, and so another grammatical lack that seems to crop up from time to time in conversation is the lack of a gender-neutral pronoun in English. But again, this lack can easily be resolved by resorting to a prejudiced-against rural accent.

Despite being from Dorset, my parents thankfully brought me up to speak with an accent that is “middle class Southern” rather than Westcountry. But for all the stereotypes associated with that accent, it does neatly solve the problem of inventing pronouns like “zie”, “hir” and “ey” by simply using “ee” for everything — “he”, “she”, “him”, “her”, and even “you” in a pinch.

There ee go. Grammatical inadequacies in the English language, solved by talkin’ loike ee’s a farmer.


Add a Comment