Re[2]: Evolving language or laziness?

Subject: Re[2]: Evolving language or laziness?
From: Joyce Flaherty <flahertj -at- SMTPGW -dot- LIEBERT -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 15:47:19 EST

Text item: Text_1

Tim Altom wrote RE "Everybody blew their nose" example:

> Actually, the correctness of the sentence is
> debatable, since the general rule is to analyze
> whether or not the antecedent is plural or singular
> and then make the pronoun correspond, and a collective
> is a hard call. In this instance, there's enough fog
> to warrant recasting the sentence so it's clearer:
> "Each person blew his own nose," or "Everybody blew
> their collective nose."

FWIW: I interpret the original "Everybody blew their
collective nose." Call me stupid, stubborn, inflexible,
misguided, dropped-on-my-head-as-an-infant, if you will.
That's exactly what the author wrote. My job as a reader
does not demand that I untuitively know what the writer
meant.

joyce flaherty
flahertj -at- smtpgw -dot- liebert -dot- com


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