Suckling nor me had ever any patience with them; and we used sometimes to say very cutting things! Similarly, the word "fun" is only used once by john Thorpe in Northanger Abbey and eight times by lydia bennet of Pride and Prejudice, and the main users of " ain't " are nancy Steele and Mrs. Jennings of Sense and Sensibility. It's also interesting that in several of the examples (they are pointed out in the list singular "their" refers to each of several women, and so was not used to express gender-neutrality. The reason for this is that singular "their" can serve as a general way of expressing indefiniteness, which need not have anything whatever to do with gender-neutrality. So for example, shakespeare wrote "There's not a man I meet but doth salute me / As if I were their well-acquainted friend" (Comedy of Errors, Act iv scene 3 and in Mrs. Gaskell's 1855 novel North and south, a male character says "I was never aware of any young lady trying to catch. Matrimonially, nor do i believe that anyone has ever given themselves that useless trouble".
1500 - the history
(A lack of knowledge about the gender of what is referred to, or an "epicene" reference to both genders or indefinitely to either, will in many cases help to make the use of singular "their" sound acceptable, by lds contributing to such semantic indeterminacy; however, note. So the following attempt at pronominal reference would fail, even if one did not know (or did not wish to reveal) the sex of "Chris " Chris was born on February, 25th 1963, the youngest of three siblings, is 5 feet 9 inches tall with. They." (This shows that singular "they them their" cannot be used in all cases of unknown or indefinite gender.) These semantic factors are gradient, which is why some speakers find "their" etc. Which refers back to an indefinite pronoun such as "anybody" more acceptable than cases of "their" etc. Referring back to a singular concrete noun. So in the great majority of cases in Jane austen's writings, singular "their" has indefinite pronouns or quantifier words as its antecedent; there are also a few cases of "a person "any young person and "any man" as the antecedent, but no cases. (It is significant that in one of the two cases I have found of the generic masculine construction in Jane austen the antecedent is "the reader with a definite article and a concrete noun.) go to a linguistic and logical discussion of singular their. For example, phrases of the type "me and." are used as the subject of a verb only by characters such as Lydia bennet of Pride and Prejudice ( "Kitty and me were to spend the day there. Forster and me are such friends!", ".as we went along, kitty and me drew up all the blinds, and pretended there was nobody in the coach", all from Chapter 39 lucy Steele of Sense and Sensibility. My sister and me was often staying with our uncle." from Chapter 22, and "Ann and me are to go, the latter end of January, to some relations who have been wanting us to visit them these several years" from Chapter 24 and Mrs. Elton of Emma neither.
But singular "their" (etc.) is not an innovation, but old established good usage. So here anti-sexism and traditional English usage go hand-in-hand - and those who object to singular "their" can find no support from history, linguistics, or the aim of inclusive language. Already in 1894, the famed grammarian and linguist Otto jespersen (who was decidedly not a feminist himself) wrote in his book progress in Language: With Special Reference to English (24) that "it is at times a great inconvenience to be obliged to specify the sex. If a personal pronoun of common gender was substituted for he in such a proposition as this: It would be interesting if each of the leading poets would tell us what he considers his best work ladies would be spared the disparaging implication that the. Conditions on the use of singular "their" etc. Contrary to what some people apparently believe - that as soon as speakers deviate in the slightest degree from the prescriptive rules inculcated in schools, the English language then begins to spontaneously degenerate into a chaos of incoherent mumbles - there are actually clearly-defined patterns. Such plural pronouns can only be used with a morphologically and syntactically singular antecedent when what it gps refers to is semantically collective and/or generic and/or indefinite and/or unknown.
It is interesting that almost as soon as the banning of singular "their" by grammarians and schoolteachers had gained some degree of acceptance (making many feel that the singular "their" construction was out of place in writing some people began feeling dissatisfaction with the other. So already in 1808/1809, noted author Samuel taylor Coleridge seems to have rejected "generic masculine" he in some cases (as not being appropriately gender-neutral) - and since he apparently did not consider singular "their" to be permissible, and probably felt that "he or paper she" was. If this be incorrect in syntax, the whole use of the word Person is lost in a number of instances, or only retained by some stiff and strange position of the words, as - "not letting the person be aware wherein offense has been given. In my judgment both the specific intention and general etymon of "Person" in such sentences fully authorise the use of it and which instead of he, she, him, her, who, whom. anima poetæ: From the Unpublished Note-books of Samuel taylor Coleridge, edited by Ernest Hartley coleridge (1895. "Homo" and "mensch" are latin and German words which mean man' in a general sex-neutral sense, as opposed to "vir" and "mann which mean man' in the specifically masculine sense. Similarly, dissatisfaction with generic "he" and the other prescriptively-allowed alternatives led to proposals for neologistic English gender-neutral singular human pronoun words beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, as can be seen at Dennis Baron's "Word that failed" page. Singular "their" and linguistic sexism in English Recently, various new constructions or new words have been proposed to mitigate perceived English linguistic sexism; these are innovations, and must be evaluated as such.
However, not long afterwards the "singular their" construction everybody loves their own mother also came into existence, and is attested starting in the late 1300's. So from the fourteenth century on, both "singular their" and the pronominal generic masculine existed in English, and were two competing solutions for the same problem. From then on, "singular their" was used without much inhibition (see the examples from the oed ) and was not generally considered "bad grammar". It is true that starting in the 16th century, when English grammar began to be a subject of study, some rules of Latin grammar were applied to English; and that the latin-based rules of grammatical agreement might have been seen as forbidding the English singular. (This may explain why certain classical-language-influenced authors, such as the translators of the king James Bible, tended to use singular "their" somewhat infrequently - but see phillipians 2:3.) However, the earliest specific condemnation of singular "their" that Bodine was able to find (in her 1975. So it seems that it was only in the late 18th century or early 19th century, when prescriptive grammarians started attacking singular "their" because this didn't seem to them to accord with the " logic " of the latin language, that it began. The prohibition against singular "their" then joined the other arbitrary prescriptions created from naïve analogies between English and Latin - such as the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition. But through the 19th and 20th centuries, singular "their" has still continued to be used by a number of even somewhat "literary" authors, as well as commonly in the speech of even many educated individuals.
Are Shakespeare s works written in Old, english?
While your high-school English teacher may have told you not to use this construction, it actually dates back to at least the 14th century, and was used by maa the following authors (among others) in addition to jane austen: geoffrey chaucer, Edmund Spenser, william Shakespeare, the. Gaskell, anthony Trollope, john Ruskin, robert louis Stevenson, walt Whitman, george bernard Shaw, lewis Carroll, oscar Wilde, rudyard Kipling,. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton,. Auden, lord Dunsany, george Orwell, and. Singular "their" etc., was an accepted part of the English language before the 18th-century grammarians started making arbitrary judgements as to what is "good English" and "bad English based on a kind of pseudo-" logic " deduced from the latin language, that has nothing whatever. (see the 1975 journal article by Anne bodine in the bibliography.) And even after the old-line grammarians put it under their ban, this anathematized singular "their" construction never stopped being used by English-speakers, both orally and by serious literary writers.
So it's time for anyone who still thinks that singular "their" is so-called "bad grammar" to get rid of their prejudices and pedantry! A brief history of singular "their" (etc.) The following is a brief potted history of this construction: In Old English, the masculine gender was used as the "unmarked" default for some purposes, but the problem of which pronouns to use with an indefinite singular antecedent. This is because in Old English there was a system of arbitrary "grammatical gender in which nouns were assigned a gender which was often independent of the biological sex (if any) of the noun's referent (as also happens in modern German, French etc. and articles, demonstratives, and adjectives (as well as third person singular pronouns) all took on different forms according to the grammatical gender of the noun words they accompanied. It was apparently in early middle English, with the transition to a system of "natural gender" (in which the third person singular pronouns are almost the only surviving linguistic markers of gender, and they are basically used in accordance with the biological sex of the.
"No mother should be forced by federal prosecutors to testify against their child." - monica.'s mother's lawyer. Return to jane austen info page. Return to jane austen's writings, go to henry Churchyard's linguistics page. Contents, the singular construction. The singular "their" (etc.) construction in Jane austen. List of examples of singular "their" etc.
From Jane austen's writings. Examples of singular "their" etc. From the oed and elsewhere. Entries: "they", "them", "themselves", "their", "nobody", "everyone", "everybody", "one", "each", "who", "whoever", "whoso", non-oed examples, examples from Lewis Carroll's Alice books. Selective bibliography on singular "their generic masculine, etc. These files contain a list of over 75 occurrences of the words referring to a singular antecedent with indefinite or generic meaning in Jane austen's writings (mainly in her six novels as well as further examples of singular "their" etc. From the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and elsewhere.
Literary terms and Definitions: r - carson-Newman College
He was without doubt the most influential English playwright of the twentieth century and so earns his place on this list. Read more about Harold Pinter samuel taylor Coleridge, samuel taylor Coleridge was an English poet, best known in his time as a literary critic and philosopher. He was immensely influential in English literature as one of the founders of the English Romantic movement and when one talks about the romantic poets, its Coleridges name that springs to mind. Read more about Samuel taylor Coleridge there are other great English language writers closely associated with the English writing scene, and could have been included in this list had they been born in England. Writers like irishmen, james joyce, william Butler yeats, jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, and the American,. "What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of up for?" - child to parent. "I believe plan it's strictly a matter between the patient and his doctor." - senator hayakawa opines upon the subject of abortion. "The sample for resumé stock is missing, because sadly enough, someone brought it upon themself to steal." - notice posted at ucsc copy center, summer 1991.
Miltons poetry has been seen as the most perfect poetic expression in the English language for four centuries. His most famous poem, the epic Paradise lost is a high point of English epic poetry. Its story biography has entered into English and European culture to such an extent that the details of our ideas of heaven and hell and paradise, adam and eve, satan. Read more about John Milton george Orwell, george Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair, a twentieth century writer, equally at home with journalism, essays, novels, literary criticism and social commentary. He was famous in all those areas, but will be particularly remembered for two of his novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty four, both among the most significant works of literature of the twentieth century and two of the most influential. Read more about george Orwell harold Pinter, harold Pinter won the nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, three years before his death from cancer. He had a career of more than half a century as a playwright, director, actor and writer of screenplays for television and film.
john Donne must be one of the most interesting writers who ever lived, both as a poet and a man. His life was a colourful adventure and his poems are significant feats of language. A jacobean writer, more or less a contemporary of Shakespeare, fletcher and Webster, but very distant from those theatre writers, both regarding his social class and his literary work. Read more on John Donne george Eliot, george Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann evans, a novelist who produced some of the major classic novels of the victorian era, including The mill on the Floss, Adam Bede, silas Marner, romola, felix Holt, daniel. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of Eliots novels in the English culture: they went right to the heart of the small-town politics that made up the fabric of English society. Her novels were essentially political. Read more about george Eliot john Milton, english is often referred to as the language of Shakespeare and Milton.
The reason he was disregarded is because he was very much ahead of his time in his views and his poetic style, and also because he was regarded as being somewhat mad, due to behaviour that would be thought of as only slightly eccentric today. Read more about William Blake geoffrey chaucer, geoffrey chaucer stands as the great giant of English poetry. His verse is still read and enjoyed today and often adapted for theatre performances. It is full of characters, still recognisable as types we encounter in daily life reviews in spite of having been inspired by people Chaucer observed more than seven hundred years ago. Read more on geoffrey chaucer charles Dickens, charles Dickens was an extraordinary man. He is best known as a novelist but he was very much more than that. He was as prominent in his other pursuits but they were not areas of life where we can still see him today. .
John Stuart Mill and the new Liberalism mises Institute
Here at no sweat Shakespeare we have no doubt that William Shakespeare is by far the best writer in English literary history. And thats no mean feat given the centuries of English history have been adorned with legs writers who, even if Shakespeare had never existed, would have placed England as the top literary country in the world. We now present the ten best English writers who would have ensured Englands place at the top of the literature league, even without including the bard of avon. It was no easy task as there have been so many English writers over the years, and the list ends up being very subjective. So, in no particular order, here is our pick of the top 10 English writers of all time: Jane austen, the Jane austen Centres website states: Jane austen is perhaps the best known and best loved of Baths many famous residents and visitors. One wonders at the restraint in that, considering that Jane austen is indisputably one of the greatest English writers some say the greatest after Shakespeare and certainly the greatest English novelist and one of the most famous English women who ever lived. Read more on Jane austen william Blake, although not highly regarded either as a painter or poet by his contemporaries William Blake has the distinction of finding his place in the top ten of both English writers and English painters.