Is it a CoC violation if I use "this user" or "you", which are gender neutral non-pronouns and not the non-formally accepted made-up✽ form of the singular "they", and more neutral than gendered pronouns, even after an adjustment is requested?
✽ (Please see OED References at the end of this post.)
Me as a user who is here to contribute by answering questions and responding to requests for clarifications is completely disinterested in choosing pronouns that differ from person to person. Even if someone asks to be referred to as "xe", I don't find it necessary to follow suit when my content does not address a user, but all future readers.
I understand that this may come across as passive-aggressive, but it is not my intention and I doubt will be considered offensive to any other person under the context of reasonable discourse. Is this still a violation or must I follow pronouns as requested even when I wouldn't need to as is?
Patterns of comments I've made that are similar to "this user" which I think are not passive-aggressive and are not "they"
As a solution, the user should use Arrays.<Double>asList. source
This preserves numbers, where OP wants to only preserve letters and angular brackets. source
This doesn't preserve letters as asked by OP. source
Mandatory link for poster: youmightnotneedjquery.com source
For all of these patterns, I find using neutral non-pronouns superior to switching over to desired pronouns. (as a solution, xe should... ← It's not natural to me.) I do not find this a violation of "do not misuse pronouns" since they aren't pronouns. I do not find this as not respecting my peers and I am staying polite with non-pronouns. This is not discriminatory right?
Addendum While the quoted phrase, "Prefer gender-neutral language when uncertain." might appear to address this, it does not - this question is an inquiry on using gender-neutral language even when given.
Addendum-2 I understand the rationale and implication of "in most contexts, your opinions about gender are off-topic," and my above claim that "It's (this expression is) not natural to me" is not an opinion on using gendered pronouns but using terms not yet recognized in English dictionaries - it's about correctness of my sentences, not an opinion on how to address someone. I'm not here to argue about whether gendered pronouns are correct, but they will be words defined in dictionaries when they show up in dictionaries. Please treat this stance as-is in face value. It is about how it is to me, and is not a commentary on people who use this pattern of expression.
Addendum-3 In light of the fact that I have used gendered pronouns such as he in the past as well as (s)he, I am physically not allowed to edit these comments as they are too old. However, under the grandfather policy they were retroactively following the use common sense rule and should be allowed. If any of my comments have been unacceptable they should be flagged and reviewed. I have taken the liberty of fixing all known instances of me not using gender-neutral language - the one (1) answer, to show that I am not being hypocritcal. If you find instances of me using gendered language in other answers, please let me know.
OED References for “singular” they
Here for the benefit of those who lack access to a paywalled source are the full and complete operative senses from the Oxford English Dictionary mentioned but only partially cited due to length considerations in this post’s ephemeral comments below. Per the OED the pronoun they has these specific subsenses for the various scenarios under discussion here:
In anaphoric reference to a singular noun or pronoun. 🗨
Use of they to refer to a singular antecedent has sometimes been considered erroneous.
🗨 Dennis Baron • A brief history of singular ‘they’
…But that’s nothing new. The Oxford English Dictionary traces singular they back to 1375, where it appears in the medieval romance William and the Werewolf. Except for the old-style language of that poem, its use of singular they to refer to an unnamed person seems very modern. Here’s the Middle English version: ‘Hastely hiȝed eche … þei neyȝþed so neiȝh… þere william & his worþi lef were liand i-fere.’ In modern English, that’s: ‘Each man hurried… till they drew near… where William and his darling were lying together.’…
[4 September 2018]
2a. With an antecedent that is grammatically singular, but refers collectively to the members of a group, or has universal reference (e.g. each person, everyone, nobody).
Sometimes, but not always, used to avoid having to specify the gender(s) of the individual(s) being referred to; cf. sense A. 2b.
[[citations ranging from 1350–2014 omitted]]
2b. With an antecedent referring to an individual generically or indefinitely (e.g. someone, a person, the student), used esp. so as to make a general reference to such an individual without specifying gender. Cf. ʜᴇ pron. 2b.
In the 21st century, other th– pronouns (and the possessive adjective their) are sometimes used to refer to a named individual, so as to avoid revealing or making an assumption about that person’s gender; cf. sense A. 2c, and quots. 2008 at ᴛʜᴇɪʀ adj. 2b, 2009 at ᴛʜᴇᴍ pron. 4b, 2009 at ᴛʜᴇᴍꜱᴇʟꜰ pron. 2b.
[[citations ranging from 1450–2010 omitted]]
2c. Used with reference to a person whose sense of personal identity does not correspond to conventional sex and gender distinctions, and who has typically asked to be referred to as they (rather than as he or she).
[[citations ranging from 2009–2019 omitted]]
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