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5E Mearls' "Firing" tweet

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HJFudge

Villager
I do not think that the world will acquiesce to your request. Sorry. You’ll just have to shout at the clouds. :)
Hah, spit in the wind perhaps?

But yes. You are correct. I doubt anyone is going to be 'Thank you random internet stranger, for enlightening us by nitpicking our use of a single word. We are forever in your debt'.

Still! I feel better for having said that. Now lets get back to talking trash on misogynists and alt-right poo-heads.
 

Gradine

Archivist
They may not MEAN that. However, then I'd kindly request they use a different word that doesn't mean that. Because that is what the word Gatekeeping refers to.

It is, by definition, the activity of controlling (and usually limiting) access to something.
The people Mearls was talking about, in his "gatekeeping" tweet, the "oppressors", are the people who are using the activity of controlling (and definitely limiting) access to RPGs to target people from specific demographics.
 

Dausuul

Legend
To be fair, I think the thing they were asking for evidence for was the "Mearls doxxed accusers to Zak S" trope, which is oft-repeated but less backed-up (to the extent that I couldn't find anyone who claims to be a victim of said doxxing, which would at least be a start). The truth, in this case, seemed to be more an inadvertent naming, which, given the things Zak S was being accused of and was frankly well-known for before this whole thing even started, was something Mearls should have never done in the first place.
Exactly. There's a ton of evidence for the claims about Zak S - no need to search all 77 pages of this thread, a simple Google search turns up multiple first-hand accounts. And Mearls should not have offered the support that he did, and I hope that HR at WotC sat down and had a long talk with him about why his handling of that situation was a problem.

But claiming that Mearls doxxed Zak's victims to Zak himself is another matter. That's where I'm asking for evidence. If Mearls did that, he should be fired yesterday. If he didn't do it, then it's pretty reprehensible to be saying that he did.
 

Azzy

Explorer
To be fair, I think the thing they were asking for evidence for was the "Mearls doxxed accusers to Zak S" trope, which is oft-repeated but less backed-up (to the extent that I couldn't find anyone who claims to be a victim of said doxxing, which would at least be a start). The truth, in this case, seemed to be more an inadvertent naming, which, given the things Zak S was being accused of and was frankly well-known for before this whole thing even started, was something Mearls should have never done in the first place.
Ah, my bad. Apologies to [MENTION=58197]Dausuul[/MENTION], then.
 
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epithet

Explorer
... literally everyone else has covered this, but the singular use of "they" always was and has always been "correct", in plain language if in nothing else. And not just for an individual whose gender is either undetermined or deliberately non-binary; one of the quoted examples here shows Shakespeare using it immediately following the use of singular "man". It's just a thing that always happened. ...
Look, you can call yourself whatever you want to, and as long as I'm informed about what you want to be called I'll try to go along with it out of basic courtesy, but the strictly singular use of "they" is incorrect. Shakespeare made any number of grammatical errors, some intentionally and other because among his many works, many errors are inevitable. Sometimes people misspeak, and some bad grammar, no matter how commonplace, remains bad grammar.

The bottom line from my perspective is that we need a plural pronoun. There are circumstances where it is really important to distinguish between "that person" and "those people," so unless other words take the place of "they" and "them" I will remain resistant to the "singular they."
 
Look, you can call yourself whatever you want to, and as long as I'm informed about what you want to be called I'll try to go along with it out of basic courtesy, but the strictly singular use of "they" is incorrect. Shakespeare made any number of grammatical errors, some intentionally and other because among his many works, many errors are inevitable. Sometimes people misspeak, and some bad grammar, no matter how commonplace, remains bad grammar.

The bottom line from my perspective is that we need a plural pronoun. There are circumstances where it is really important to distinguish between "that person" and "those people," so unless other words take the place of "they" and "them" I will remain resistant to the "singular they."
Have fun with using "thou" and "thee" then, since if you're resistant to the plural third person pronouns being used in the singular, you should really stick to your guns and do the same with the (originally strictly) plural second person pronouns being used in the singular...

(And stating that that change was in the past and that this is different since it's happening in the present, well, at one point that past was the present, and people complained about the strictly plural "you" taking over the singular then. Complaining about language changes while they occur is ultimately futile, as languages inevitably change over time, no matter how much grammarians have to be dragged along kicking and screaming...)
 

epithet

Explorer
Have fun with using "thou" and "thee" then, since if you're resistant to the plural third person pronouns being used in the singular, you should really stick to your guns and do the same with the (originally strictly) plural second person pronouns being used in the singular...

(And stating that that change was in the past and that this is different since it's happening in the present, well, at one point that past was the present, and people complained about the strictly plural "you" taking over the singular then. Complaining about language changes while they occur is ultimately futile, as languages inevitably change over time, no matter how much grammarians have to be dragged along kicking and screaming...)
There is a difference between changes in grammar that are simply a matter of style and those which involve substance. For example, in America a corporation is an "it," while in the UK it is more often a "they." Either one refers to a group of people, so there's not much confusion--it is a stylistic choice. I think that the difference between "this person" and "these people" is more substantial.

In the case of the "singular you," other terms evolved to fill the gap, like "y'all."
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
The bottom line from my perspective is that we need a plural pronoun. There are circumstances where it is really important to distinguish between "that person" and "those people," so unless other words take the place of "they" and "them" I will remain resistant to the "singular they."
Yeah! I mean, maybe there's both a fire and a terrorist attack at the same time, and when both the police and fire department show up, you're the ONLY ONE who knows which person is the terrorist. And...and...hmmm.

Nope, that example doesn't work after all.

Never mind. I guess I can't think of a case where it's "really important" to have an unambiguous distinction between singular and plural third person pronouns.
 

epithet

Explorer
Yeah! I mean, maybe there's both a fire and a terrorist attack at the same time, and when both the police and fire department show up, you're the ONLY ONE who knows which person is the terrorist. And...and...hmmm.

Nope, that example doesn't work after all.

Never mind. I guess I can't think of a case where it's "really important" to have an unambiguous distinction between singular and plural third person pronouns.
Because unless lives are on the line, who cares, right?

An example relevant to RPGs is the stat block of an NPC designed to work with another NPC or with a PC. Wizards of the Coast uses "it" for any NPC other than one with a proper name, but I've seen other products that, for whatever reason, use a "singular they" in trait text. If a trait in that stat block gives advantage to "them," is it intended to apply to the NPC or to the NPC and the creature or character it is designed to work with? To know which is intended, you really need a distinction between singular and plural.

You can argue that it is possible to carefully word the text of each trait or ability that might be ambiguous to avoid any confusion, but compared to adding a handful of words and a chance for error to each instance, it seems a lot simpler to just respect the difference between singular and plural pronouns.
 

Hussar

Legend
Because unless lives are on the line, who cares, right?

An example relevant to RPGs is the stat block of an NPC designed to work with another NPC or with a PC. Wizards of the Coast uses "it" for any NPC other than one with a proper name, but I've seen other products that, for whatever reason, use a "singular they" in trait text. If a trait in that stat block gives advantage to "them," is it intended to apply to the NPC or to the NPC and the creature or character it is designed to work with? To know which is intended, you really need a distinction between singular and plural.

You can argue that it is possible to carefully word the text of each trait or ability that might be ambiguous to avoid any confusion, but compared to adding a handful of words and a chance for error to each instance, it seems a lot simpler to just respect the difference between singular and plural pronouns.
Meh. You'd almost think that every language in the world has this issue, other than it just being largely an English problem. I wonder how on earth all those other languages that don't use, or barely use, third person pronouns get along.

Oh, noes. You might make a mistake because the writer isn't perfectly clear in pronoun use. The shock and horror that you might use something in a game wrongly as opposed to the years of oppression and hatred and bigotry, never mind the life threatening hatred, that real people have to face every day just so you can use your RPG book the right way.

I'm thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, there might be some room for give and take. Just maybe.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Because unless lives are on the line, who cares, right?

An example relevant to RPGs is the stat block of an NPC designed to work with another NPC or with a PC. Wizards of the Coast uses "it" for any NPC other than one with a proper name, but I've seen other products that, for whatever reason, use a "singular they" in trait text. If a trait in that stat block gives advantage to "them," is it intended to apply to the NPC or to the NPC and the creature or character it is designed to work with? To know which is intended, you really need a distinction between singular and plural.
I concede the debate. You are right. That is more important than addressing decades/centuries of biggotry.
 

epithet

Explorer
<sigh>

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/singular-nonbinary-they
https://public.oed.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-singular-they/
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/use-the-singular-they/

I could go on, but I believe the point is made. Singular "they" is in no way grammatically incorrect. There is literally no reason to die on this particular hill.
A quick search provided a number of authoritative pronouncements for and against. The problem with most of them is that these blog posts are making semantic arguments in support of a position on the subject of the "singular they" which the author has already embraced because of politics or a depth of feeling on an issue of gender, rather than taking a dispassionate look at the issue of confusing singular and plural pronouns.

So, yeah... "singular they" is grammatically incorrect in the sense that the word is plural. I'm not the word police--you can use it however you feel like using it, and I'll either understand what you mean or I won't, and I rather doubt you'll care either way. It's not a hill to die on, I know plenty of people who are wrong about plenty of things and yet manage to somehow muddle along, so by all means stick with whatever works for you.
 

epithet

Explorer
Meh. You'd almost think that every language in the world has this issue, other than it just being largely an English problem. I wonder how on earth all those other languages that don't use, or barely use, third person pronouns get along.

Oh, noes. You might make a mistake because the writer isn't perfectly clear in pronoun use. The shock and horror that you might use something in a game wrongly as opposed to the years of oppression and hatred and bigotry, never mind the life threatening hatred, that real people have to face every day just so you can use your RPG book the right way.

I'm thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, there might be some room for give and take. Just maybe.
Are you seriously suggesting that we have to dispense with the distinction between singular and plural in order to avoid "oppression and hatred and bigotry" and some kind of threat every day? You're really going to suggest that keeping that singular/plural distinction is oppressive?

If so, you've lost your damn mind.
 

Gradine

Archivist
A quick search provided a number of authoritative pronouncements for and against. The problem with most of them is that these blog posts are making semantic arguments in support of a position on the subject of the "singular they" which the author has already embraced because of politics or a depth of feeling on an issue of gender, rather than taking a dispassionate look at the issue of confusing singular and plural pronouns.

So, yeah... "singular they" is grammatically incorrect in the sense that the word is plural. I'm not the word police--you can use it however you feel like using it, and I'll either understand what you mean or I won't, and I rather doubt you'll care either way. It's not a hill to die on, I know plenty of people who are wrong about plenty of things and yet manage to somehow muddle along, so by all means stick with whatever works for you.
Interesting that you site none of these "authoritative" sources. Meanwhile, Miriam-Webster, Oxford English Dictionary, Grammarly, the Associated Press, the Chicago Style Guide, and the MLA and APA Style Guides all support the singular they as grammatically correct. I don't doubt that you can find some source here or there that still stubbornly opposes the notion, but the idea that there is anything less than near-consensus on the grammatical correctneas of the singular they is factually wrong. You are wrong.

On another note, justice/oppression/politics have a tremendous impact on language all the time. This should be painfully obvious, at least to anyone living in the US. Just think about what kinds of terms were considered appropriate to refer to certain kinds of people fifty years ago, and how well many of those would play today.

Also, quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of your condescension and patronizing attitude regarding my personal preference in pronouns.
 

Hussar

Legend
There we go. I should have known--It's not about grammar at all, it's about your ideology.
Umm, of course it is? Was there any question that the use of they as a singular pronoun isn't ideologically driven? That the whole point of the use is because of the ideological issues surrounding this?

What did you think was driving this?

You're really going to suggest that keeping that singular/plural distinction is oppressive?

If so, you've lost your damn mind.
Yes I am, and no I haven't. But, I have to admit, that's a right effective discussion strategy you've got going there. That's going to win hearts and minds over to your point of view every time. :erm:
 
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