Thumbs up for IKEA!

One of Simon Heffer‘s pet hates is the use of singular they: “Being a pedant,” he writes, “I regard [its use] unacceptable” (2010:110). Unacceptable or not, singular they, as Mittins et al. point out in Attitudes to English Usage (1970!), has been in use since at least the fifteenth century (p. 102). If even someone like Jane Austen uses it, how can it be unacceptable?

Source: Gretchen McCulloch

So well done, IKEA (and thanks to Gretchen McCulloch for tweeting about it), for adopting it and helping singular they become more acceptable, even, hopefully, to writers like Simon Heffer (but then perhaps he doesn’t shop at IKEA).

Now what I’d also like to know if if IKEA splits infinitives, misplaces only and uses literally as a plain intensifier. Let us have more images like this!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in news, usage features and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thumbs up for IKEA!

  1. John Saddler says:

    Just looking at this blog for the first time after being directed to it by some correspondence I was having. This particular question – speaking with my editorial hat – is a prime example where rephrasing would avoid the awkward use of the ‘singular their’ …eg This card game is a fun way for children to train their memory as well as their visual and social skills.

    Often looking at a different way of saying something gets over this kind of problem – general editorial point is to self-edit and simplify where possible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s