The singular pronoun “they” – typically utilized by individuals who establish as gender non-binary – has been named phrase of the last decade by US linguists.
It was chosen by a panel of language consultants throughout an annual ballot by the American Dialect Society in New Orleans, the place voters additionally chosen “(my) pronouns” – reminiscent of she/her, he/him or they/them – as their phrase of the yr for 2019.
Ben Zimmer, chair of its new phrases committee mentioned: “When a primary a part of speech just like the pronoun turns into an important indicator of social tendencies, linguists concentrate.
“The collection of ‘(my) pronouns’ as Word of the Year speaks to how the non-public expression of gender identification has turn out to be an rising a part of our shared discourse.
“That trend is also reflected in singular ‘they’ being chosen as word of the decade, with a growing recognition of the use of they for those whose identities don’t conform to the binary of he and she”.
According to the society’s web site, their phrase of the yr – a practice relationship again to 1991 – could be any “vocabulary item”, phrase or phrase that has been significantly distinguished or notable over the earlier 12 months.
In September 2019, British singer Sam Smith introduced they have been altering their pronouns to “they/them”, saying: “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”
The 2019 winner beat “ok boomer” – described as a “retort to someone older expressing out-of-touch or condescending views” – to the title.
Other phrases or phrases thought-about for phrase of the last decade included “meme”, “climate”, “#BlackLivesMatter” and “woke”.
Amid the Donald Trump impeachment and Ukraine controversy, “quid pro quo” was named political phrase of the yr.
“They” had beforehand been named phrase of the yr in 2015.