EPISODE 9: One Giant Leap for Humanity

Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the he said/she said of the epicene pronoun.

In the third and final installment of the Lexicon Valley series about language and gender, Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield discuss the ongoing quest for a single, more equitable alternative to “he” and “she.” Since at least the 1850s, English speakers have made many unsuccessful attempts to introduce an epicene pronoun into the language. But University of Michigan professor Anne Curzan argues that we don’t need such a word, since we already have a perfectly acceptable, if controversial, alternative — they. Don’t like that solution? Maybe she’ll convince you.

This episode is for paid subscribers