On Fri, 2003-07-11 at 12:20, Mikhail Sobolev wrote:
On Thu, Jul 10, 2003 at 10:07:44AM -0700, Ben Gertzfield wrote:
This is not technically correct English, but it's a very common usage.
Since there is no gender-neutral way in English to refer to a person whose gender is unknown (in this case, the owner of the email address) the word "they" in a singular sense is often used for this purpose.
I think that the classical grammar suggests that "she" is the right replacement. While in the modern English, this "gender-neutral" "she" tends to be replaced with "they".
Disclaimer. I am not a native speaker, that's what I was said by a English teacher. :))
I find it very awkward when "she" is used in a gender-neutral way in English. I know this was a fad at one time, but to me it's very jarring. "They" is probably the best we've got for English.