Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 13:32:03 -0500


Subject: Re: silly rules of grammar

Tom Unharriet writes:

"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 be clarified."

No! The use of 'they' suggests that more than one person MAY have been

involved in the crime; it quite properly allows for the possibility of

plurality, but it does not proscribe a singular interpretation On the other

hand, 'he' or 'she' would tend to proscribe the alternative gender.