(Last change to this page: 16 August 1998.)

The word "ta" is an epicene, or gender-neutral, pronoun borrowed from Mandarin Chinese. I use it to mean roughly the same thing as "he or she." My reasons for doing so are personal and political: I believe that in some contexts, a person's gender is irrelevant to the matter at hand and should not be brought into it. I recognize that the vast majority of English speakers disagrees with me; so be it. (Even those who agree with me generally prefer other epicene pronouns, like "sie" or "zie.") I don't proselytize much on this point; if you want to use the so-called gender-neutral "he," an awkward mix like "he or she," or the increasingly common (and of a long and noble lineage) singular "they," be my guest.

In case you're wondering, I use "ta" for both subjective and objective pronoun forms. I use "ta's" for possessive, "taself" for reflexive, and "they/them/their" for plural.

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Jed Hartman <logos@kith.org>