Saturday, 6 December 2008

Cunning linguist

Thinking caps on?
Ian's got his firmly on.


Now, what gender is they in these random sentences?
  • Have you ever auditioned for someone and they pulled out the casting couch?
  • If you give something to someone, they have a relationship to you.
  • No sooner do you begin to get intrigued by someone than they head uptown, falling off the edge of the known simulation.
  • Is there someone special in your life? There is, but they don’t live in this country.
The last of these sentences was reported in the Australian paper The Sunday Telegraph in July 2008. My thanks to Mark Umbach's entry in Connexion. I was alerted to Mr. Thorpe's wily turn of phrase in this podcast from America's Outsports where they discuss the Thorpedo's announcement that threre is a new significant other in his life- so signficant in fact, that he opts for the somewhat ...
amibuous
non-commital
enigmatic
... they/them instead of he/his or her/hers. Is he unsure of his new SO's gender or is gleefully toying with those curious about his sexuality?

It's too late for sponsors to drop him, if that's what he's worried about. And worry one should. The latest Olpymic acquatic wonderboy from Down Under, who had no qualms about revealing his sexuality, does appear to have suffered a dearth of sponsorship. Please note that revealing his sexuality here, is in no way meant to suggest that he has announced to the world that he is straight. Quite the opposite.