I’m going to be a parent soon.
What does “I” represent? Are you a pregnant lady? Or an excited soon-to-be-father? The answer to that would have to wait until further context is provided.
Okay, that was a lame example. How about a more substantial statement like: “Each member must cast his vote only once.”? The ambiguity in meaning could result into serious consequences.
Does the presence of “his” mean only men are restricted to voting once - and that women can vote twice? Or does it mean that women are not part of the voting party?
Gender-neutral personal pronouns should have found their way into the English language by now - why it hasn’t happened, I still couldn’t fathom.
Words are meant to represent ideas with clarity. Neutral pronouns would have readily offered a solid solution to the above examples. New internet buzzwords are being produced everyday - why can’t something as vital as these be created as well?
The primary reason would be that pronouns are grouped under closed-class words. But despite seeing dozens of resources clearly specifying that pronouns, modal verbs, determiners and conjunctions belong to the said class, I have yet to find a solid explanation as to why they have to be grouped as such - and who came up with that limiting idea in the first place.
There is hope. Some sources indicate that there is room for change in the closed-class group, but it takes centuries. Ouch.
Help me summon the lexical community - we need new pronouns.