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The Washington Post Style Guide Now Accepts Singular ‘They’ | Mental Floss

What do you do when you run into your friend on their birthday? You wish them a happy birthday, of course! Or wait—you wish … him or her a happy birthday? When you run into your friend on … his or her birthday? That’s how you’re supposed to say it if you want to avoid using they to refer to one person, but it’s a bit wordy and awkward.


I love singular they. It has gotten much more popular in recent years, thanks in part to people asking to be referred to by it. Some universities are even asking people what their preferred pronoun is. There has been resistance to singular they because they feel it is awkward to use a plural pronoun for the singular, but the workarounds to not have a gender neutral third person pronoun are even more awkward.

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