Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 19:47:47 -0500
From: Benjamin Barrett Gogaku[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GNN.COM
Subject: Re: silly rules of grammar
Wouldn't that require a plural -s on gun?
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 16:23:33 MST
From: Tom Uharriet UTOM[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ADMN.SHS.NEBO.EDU
The "they" used below suggests that the police have reason to believe
that more than one person was involved in the crime. This inference
has legal significance in the courtroom. Either way it would need to
Here is one more good example of why it makes sense for speakers of
to use "they" as the indefinite pronoun of singular reference (rather
From the *South Florida Sun-Sentinel," 15Feb96, 9B/1-2: "POMPANO
BEACH--Police are trying to figure out who would want to kill James
"Maxwell, 40, who owned a commercial fishing boat and an electronics
company, was killed outside his upscale waterfront condominium at 8:10
Tuesday night, police spokeswoman Sandra King said.
" 'It was a hit,' King said. 'Whoever killed him waited for him a
deal of time and, when he showed up, they emptied their gun.' "
" . . . neighbors saw a white man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a
medium build . . . hanging around Maxwell's home Tuesday night."
utom[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]admn.shs.nebo.edu