I decided I, like many other people in the world, would take a crack at making gender-neutral pronouns in English. I contemplate it every time I seek an alternative and end up unsatisfied. I commonly fall back on substituting plurals with an implication toward a singular actor because it sounds okay phonetically. Yet it's grammatically incorrect and it fails terribly when you're also referring to a group (for example, "They came toward me. One stepped forward and they shook my hand.") Likewise, using "one" and "it" is frustrated by either grammatical clumsiness ("A child stepped forward and one gave me a flower.") or emotional and social distance ("A child stepped forward and it gave me a flower.")
Starting from how the "th" sound of "they" and "them" is phonetically similar to the "zh" sound, I considered substituting "zh" for "th". But I had adopted "Zhust" as my "Playa-name" for Burning Man in 2010, and although it should be pronounced like "just" with a more z-like "j" sound, most people pronounced it "zu'hust" instead (even if I spoke it first). As such, I'll simplify things and go straight to substituting "j" in the various "they" forms. I made a table to summarize, and in doing a bit more research, I found the work of Micheal Spivak which looked promising, as summarized in this Wikipedia article. (And while there, I decided to steal from the Wikipedia article "Gender-neutral pronoun" for my descriptions.)
Description, Masculine Example
Nominative (subject), "he ran"
Objective (object), "go to him"
Possessive determiner, "this is his ball"
Possessive pronoun, "the ball is his"
its (or ones)
Reflexive, "talked to himself"
So to take a sentence like, "He went to the store and bought himself a coffee with his own money.", my gender-neutral technique yields "Jee went to the store and bought jemself a coffee with jeir own money." I realize that "jem" is a homophone for "gem" and "jeir", a shortening of "Gerry", but that doesn't lead to the kind of pronoun confusion of the common substitutions — even "I gave jem a gem" (which sounds clumsy because of newness) is really no worse than, "he took on the airs of his heirs."
I think Spivak and I are on the same page regarding rationale (familiarity, pronunciation, starting from the plural forms), but I really don't like that "them" is often abbreviated "'em", and that logically the reflexive should be "emself" but it sounds like "himself" leading to "eirself". You can read a lot more about it in this lengthy and informative case.
So from now on, I'll start using these terms whenever necessary, probably to the consternation of all my friends.
[Edit 2017-Jul-10: fix possessive determiner from "hers" to "her".]
I went to the The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) with high hopes. First, I'm a big fan of Auld Lang Syne with their fantastic, heavy, electric, lounge-folk. Tonight they didn't disappoint with a set that built from catchy, straightforward acoustic rock to a wall of sound in that same style. A friend of mine had mentioned that his friend would be playing as My Brightest Diamond. Playing a variety of instruments in turn, she's an excellent soloist with a melodic voice. In all I was thrilled to have been there.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Caught starting early at 7 p.m. followed at 8:45 p.m. by The Reckless Moment. In the former, a girl "dreams of marrying up, but is horrified at what she gets in the person of Robert Ryan." In the latter, a mother is forced to hide a corpse for her rebellious daughter, only to find herself slipping deeper into a world of blackmail and deception."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Loong Boonmee raleuk chat(Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, "Uncle Boonmee is a magical, beautiful, haunting, and funny masterpiece from Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady), Thailand's most accomplished film artist. Suffering from an incurable condition, Uncle Boonmee retires to his countryside home where he is visited by his dead wife and his long-lost son, who appears as half-man, half-ape. He then sets out on a journey toward a mystical cave, meeting various incarnations of his past lives along the way."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Palindromes starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, it's about "the bizarre, sexually transgressive story of Aviva and her plan for pregnancy. Over the course of the film, 'Aviva' is portrayed by twelve different actors of varying race, gender and age, opening a unique dialogue on typecasting that once again finds Solondz standing proud at the front lines of American independent film controversy."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
It's also not to be confused with
Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator.
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, February 3, 2011 (Thu, Feb 3, 2011, 2/3/2011, or 2/3/11) Friday, February 4, 2011 (Fri, Feb 4, 2011, 2/4/2011, or 2/4/11) Saturday, February 5, 2011 (Sat, Feb 5, 2011, 2/5/2011, or 2/5/11) Sunday, February 6, 2011 (Sun, Feb 6, 2011, 2/6/2011, or 2/6/11) Monday, February 7, 2011 (Mon, Feb 7, 2011, 2/7/2011, or 2/7/11) Tuesday, February 8, 2011 (Tue, Feb 8, 2011, 2/8/2011, or 2/8/11) and Wednesday, February 9, 2011 (Wed, Feb 9, 2011, 2/9/2011, or 2/9/11).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.