Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 19:47:47 -0500 From: Benjamin Barrett Subject: Re: silly rules of grammar Wouldn't that require a plural -s on gun? Benjamin Barrett >Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 16:23:33 MST >From: Tom Uharriet >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. >> Here is one more good example of why it makes sense for speakers of > English >> to use "they" as the indefinite pronoun of singular reference (rather > "he"or >> "she"): >> >> 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, >> and why. >> "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 > great >> 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." [snip] >utom[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]