CNN raised eyebrows and sparked widespread discussion after publishing a comprehensive explainer on “neopronouns,” a type of gender-neutral or nonbinary pronouns. Here’s the full story.
The Pronouns Guide
The guide titled “A guide to neopronouns, from ae to ze” delved into the usage of alternative pronouns that challenge traditional gender markers.
Not All Pronouns Are Binary
The piece highlighted that while some of the most commonly used English words carry gender markers, not all are binary.
The singular “they” was cited as an example preferred by some nonbinary and transgender individuals.
The New Pronouns
“And then there are neopronouns (“new” pronouns), gender-neutral or nonbinary pronouns that are distinct from the common she, he, and they. Neopronouns include terms like ‘xe’ and ‘em,’ and some of them even date back several centuries”
The article continue; “When they were introduced by writers as a solution for referring to subjects without assuming gender. Now, they’re also commonly used by nonbinary and trans people,”
Xe and Zir
The CNN article also introduced readers to neopronouns like “xe,” “xyr,” “ze,” and “zir,” providing examples of their usage in sentences.
The concept of “nounself neopronouns” was explored, where individuals use nouns that are original to them as pronouns.
Star and Starself
“Some may choose to select a noun to describe themselves, like ‘star’ or ‘starself’ in place of binary pronouns like ‘she’ or ‘herself,’” the article reported.
The Pronoun “Leaf”
“For someone who uses the nounself pronoun ‘leaf,’ that may look like: “I hope leaf knows how proud we are that leaf is getting to know leafself better!’ or ‘Leaf arrived at the coffee shop before me; I was mortified to have been late to meet Leaf,’” the article continued.
Dennis Baron, an emeritus professor of English and Linguistics, was quoted as a neopronouns “expert.”
Anyone Can Create Their Own Nouns
He explained that some individuals prefer to create their own nouns for self-identification, emphasizing the diversity of expressions within this linguistic trend.
Baron pointed out that new words are constantly emerging in language, and neopronouns should be respected like any other form of expression.
They Were Used Historically
He highlighted that all words, including established ones, were invented at some point. Baron stressed that using inclusive language, such as inclusive pronouns and other self-identifiers, is a way of showing respect and facilitating discourse.
The Article Was Criticized
The CNN article faced widespread ridicule on social media platforms, with critics expressing a range of opinions.
This Is Delusional
Some dismissed the piece as “delusional,” while others believed it reflected a “mental crisis” in America.
“One of the most astonishing trends of our era really has been this kind of frank Tumblr nonsense becoming a kind of civic religion,” author and Kentucky State University professor Wilfred Reilly wrote.
This Is War
One Twitter user wrote, “CNN goes to war against biology, children, and reality on behalf of transgender extremists.”
Dumbest Time to Be Alive
Another user added, “What a time to be alive – living in the dumbest possible timeline.”
Stop Making It Up
A third user commented, “Okay but like when are we going to tell people they need to stop making things up.”
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