Mike Lieber (U28550@UICVM.BITNET)
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 00:17:18 CST

The easy way to solve the PC language problem is to adopt all or part of the
Polynesian pronomial system. The single word, _mee_, covers he, she, and it.
One can go further, since plurals can further distinguish singular, diadic,
and plural (3+) as in me, us two, and us plural, which can be further
specified as us-two-including-you, us-two-not-including-you, etc.. This
carries great advantages for social scienctists, since we (3+ including you)
can couch our descriptions, allusions, and attributions with much greater
specificity than English allows. The downside, of course, is that this sort
of usage leaves little room for hedging a description, and anthropologists
tend to like ambiguity when the data get thin. It also precludes gender in
the pronomial system, so the identity of the person being referred to has to
be already known or specified. Maybe we ought to just stick with -mee-.
Or just stick with he/she and his/hers or one's. I'm sure with a bit more
thought we can all find some way to stick it.

Mike Lieber