Voice of the Reader: The corruption of precise language

Voice of the Reader: The corruption of precise language

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To the Editor:

I’m an old woman who doesn’t take easily to change. Many things are different in this world and I’m having difficulty adjusting without complaint. For instance, shopping is no longer enjoyable. There are no clerks, dressing rooms, or check out places in brick and mortar stores. I’ve adjusted and Amazon is working well for me and I’d like a little credit for this.

However, something in a Post-Dispatch report really got under my skin. An article (Jan. 6, page A3) reported, "Police said they believe the deceased person shot themselves." Now I’m all for political correctness and not offending anyone, but whatever happened to antecedent agreement? Isn’t person singular? Isn’t themselves plural? I think I have even read that they is now singular. These are examples of imprecise and inaccurate use of language. Do we have to change everything? Must I also adjust to this craziness too?

I recognize that there are big problems in the world and this complaint is pretty insignificant. However, I just want to say that corruption of precise language is something I don’t like. I’ll be checking The Southern to be sure you don’t fall into this behavior.

Beth Arthur

Carbondale

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