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If people stop using them because there is an easier way, then we will lose
the distinction. This has already happened at least once in the English
language with Ye and Thee (though in that case, we also lost the subject
form as well as the singular). This may seem like a minor point to most
because we are so used to the way it is now, but a lot of Biblical scholars
will tell you that there are a lot of nuances in their field that have been
obscured by the ambiguity.
Just because the common use does eventually have a trend towards stripping
our language of its specificity does not mean that those of us who make our
living using the language should let it happen without putting up a fight.
From: Jeff Hanvey [mailto:techwriter -at- jewahe -dot- net]
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2001 1:22 PM
To: Westbrook, Bryan; TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: pronouns and portfolios
We're not talking about "losing" these pronouns, but making their use more
specific, while developing a workable solution to this on-going problem.
Also, common use will always affect how we write. It has for centuries now.
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