« first day (207 days earlier)      last day (2965 days later) » 
00:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00

12:53 AM
@Cerberus — Hi.
@Vit: Hi!
I think I agree with you.
1:20 AM
@Jez Perhaps they like se better, which is neither she nor he
1 hour later…
2:40 AM
@Jez This question should be closed.
It is an exact duplicate of the question linked with the exception that this question cares about archaic forms
But the question title is a pretty straightforward subjective and argumentative title
You are asking for the most popular and then immediately reject the most popular
With some editing, the question could be valuable. As it is, it is a duplicate or subjective.
"Which is the most popular word that is never used" is also a good example of a Not A Real Question close as well
I've said my piece and voted; others apparently disagree which is fine
So be it
2:59 AM
@MrHen — That seems fair, but I have objections. First, “the most popular” is objective: it can be quantified by using the Google search engine, the COCA, BNC, COHA, and other corpora. Second, he isn't asking for the most popular pronoun, but for the most popular pronouns, so it makes sense to exclude obvious choices like “she/he, it, they” so as not to get one-liners as answers. I wouldn't call that “rejecting.”
Also, “popularity” seems to be a relative measure here, as opposed to an absolute one. I.e. the word “hurrdurr” can be said to be more popular than “hurpadurp,” and, given that there are only two words in that set, “hurrdurr” would be the most popular word among those. Of course, neither of them is as popular a word as “cool” in the absolute sense of popular.
3:17 AM
That said, I agree that without the restriction the question could essentially get the same answers as the other question; so it would make sense if the OP stated explicitly how he expects the answers to be different from the ones that are already there.
4 hours later…
8:18 AM
hi all
Please suggest me another name for"detecting boundry " word
9:06 AM
@Miss don't understand what you mean exactly.
Hi all
@AlainPannetier hi
hmm. there should be a 'vote not to close' option.
There is. Vote to reopen.
@Jez, are you referring to anything in particular ?
@RegDwight looks like I don't have the rep to do that. :-(
Q: What are the most popular gender-neutral pronouns (e.g. 'thon') in English?

JezApart from the most common ones (he/she, it, the singular they), what are the most common words sometimes used as a gender-neutral pronoun in English to be used when referring back to an adult human, who was mentioned previously? Of course, one can refer to non-humans (and even babies!) as 'it',...

@AlainPannetier this has had 2 votes to close as 'exact duplicate', which it blatantly is not.
'which pronoun should i use?' and 'what are the most popular?' are different questions looking for different answers.
9:23 AM
@Jez, Although I don't want to dampen your spirits, I have to tell you that I can actually see that the number of votes to close has now reached 4.
yeah, i saw that.
2 of them are dead wrong though. the other 2 are debatable.
But I understand what you say about preventively countering close votes. That's possibly already been addressed in meta somewhere.
Meta is a waste of space
they should start it from scratch. the SO engine is completely inappropriate for it.
You should probably keep to one fight at a time ;-)
Yeah, for real.
9:26 AM
@AlainPannetier at a time
Thx. My fingers. I swear.
Third fight over by KO.
4 hours later…
12:58 PM
@Jez You have to wait until it is closed; and even then you need 3k.
@Jez "Exact duplicate" means you get the same answers. "Exact" is misleading; the point is that this question is not different enough to warrant a separate question. Every answer to your question could be merged with the other one just fine.
@Vitaly Yeah, sure, but the point is that the question doesn't actually do that. The problem here is that the question only survives if it explicitly removes the only ones that matter from the running. I admit that there is an interesting question here but, as worded, it should be closed.
Oh, I just noticed it finally got closed.
@MrHen — I believe I just finished that one off.
@Robusto Props
I wouldn't mind it getting reopened if it was edited into a more interesting question
I wouldn't mind if we got a whole pile of more interesting questions.
I'm disappointed by the reaction to my newest question so far.
1:11 PM
I guess I'll have to think harder today.
@Kit Which?
Q: How did English get the "What is your name?" construction?

KitAs a dabbling polyglot, I've found myself learning the basics of several languages over the course of my lifetime. One of the first things that is taught in any language is personal introductions. I was struck recently by the fact that English is the only language I have learned that uses the c...

I thought it was interesting.
I have been spending my SE time wading through Skeptics...
@Kit It would probably be more interesting for Linguistics
@MrHen Skeptics is too fun. I do have to get a modicum of work done.
@Kit Eh. "Fun" isn't how I'd put it
1:13 PM
@MrHen Yeah, you're right.
@MrHen I hadn't thought of that.
Linguistics is still in Area51, right?
Your question really needs a thorough comparison to other languages.
@Kit I think so.
I should pay more attention to the things I've committed to.
@MrHen Well, yes and no. You could answer this with something like "the Scandinavians use this contruction, so it probably came from them via the Pictish invasion" or something. I just can't find any sort of etymology for the phrase.
It's pretty impossilbe with such common words.
@Kit I am not a linguist, but I am not convinced there is an etymology for the phrase
It is just the words we use for that
@MrHen Well, maybe not, but speech patterns come from somewhere, right?
The relevant etymology would be on the word name
@Kit Eh... yeah, but why is this question more interesting than "Where did the phrase 'I saw the light' come from?"
Or any other phrase we can stick in there
Your question claims it is interesting because English appears to be the exception
Which... is a "Linguistics interesting" not a "history of English interesting"
At least, to me
Obviously, there are other opinions
1:18 PM
In older versions of English we used the verb hight: hight (ht) adj. ArchaicNamed or called.
Damn asterisks.
See, that is interesting
@MrHen Exactly.
@Robusto Where did you find that?
If hight had "called" in its definition, why don't we think of name as "called"?
I just knew it. The copypasta is from TheFreeDictionary.com
Haha, I just realized that the close reason stated for that dramafest above was NARQ
That must have been you
1:20 PM
I didn't know which to pick. There were so many possibilities.
@Kit, the verb heissen does exist in Old English
===> seo wæs Maria gehaten. => She was Mary "genamed".
@Robusto Did we used to say "How hight thee?" or something?
Hight is Middle English, so is it derived from Old English heissen then?
Does that mean "What is your name?" is a recent English construction?
@Kit — It would be parallel to the German construction, Er heisst Karl: "he hight Wiliam."
Old English would be heht (pronounced "hecht") from the infinitive hatan.
If this is germane to your question I can drop it in there. But you seem to be asking about where "What is your name?" came from.
@Robusto Well, it would help demonstrate that English used to have pattern that followed German and Dutch, but sometime after Middle English, that changed. It narrows down the timeframe.
Q: “experimentally determined” or “determined experimentally”

Rupert JonesWhat is the correct usage in the following sentences: The numbers are experimentally determined. or The numbers are determined experimentally. Are both (not) correct and if only one of them is correct, what is the underlying rule?

If there are voters about, this could probably be closed
1:33 PM
"What are the most popular gender-neutral pronouns"
"It's difficult to tell what is being asked here."
@Robusto I mean, this could mean that the KJV of the Bible introduced a typically Hebrew construction to English, right? Or am I being ridiculous about timelines?
@Robusto, @Kit. As for German constructions there's also another German construction :
þe man nemneþ xxx => Der Mann nennt xxx => The man named xxxx
@Jez I'm sorry you're miffed, man.
i thought it was a good question. shame you want to make english.SE worse.
@Kit — Not sure.
1:35 PM
@Jez Easy, now. I've had questions closed too, and I know it can be frustrating. But I'm sure you will come up with one that's even better!
yeah, well i don't even understand the reasoning for closing it.
i think you harm english.SE by doing so.
Q: The usage of the word "terrorist"

CitizenHas the word 'terrorist' evolved in meaning/context in recent times?

wtf? not one vote to close? how is that anything other than extremely vague?
if you're closing mine, you should close that too
@Jez You probably cannot see close votes on questions that are not yours
well; not closed.
@Jez It's only been 12 hours, and most of them were sleeping. Knock off the peeving.
I've already given my thoughts on your question and why it should be closed. If you want help editing it into a reopen candidate, I can help with that too. But I am not going to sit here and walk you through why each question on EL&U is or is not closed.
1:40 PM
fine, how does it need editing?
@Jez Focus on the notion of archaic gender neutral pronouns
Instead of asking about popularity, ask which words used to be running candidates for the gender neutral pronoun and what happened to them
@Robusto, I've got one another one from the [Riddles](http://www2.kenyon.edu/AngloSaxonRiddles/texts.htm) (if that helps... at all).
- Saga hwæt ic hatte.
- Say what I am called
use the word 'archaic'? but i don't think 'thon' is archaic. it was used 50 years ago, and some people still use it today.
moreover, it ought to be used more.
@MrHen Agreed. That would greatly help this question, and it would look less like you were trying to promote "thon."
@Jez If it is in current use, it belongs in the other question
If you care about "thon" ask a question about "thon"
1:42 PM
what if it's teetering on the edge?
"Is thon archaic?" is a great question
(But a different question.)
The big problem with the closed question is that it collides with the other question
And then, on top of that, the way you asked the question was very close to subjective
And your pushing of "thon" sounds like peeving
But "thon" is interesting as an English word; just ask about it
it's not really colliding with the other question, as the other question is really focused on the standard modern hacks
And older gender neutral pronouns are interesting; ask that
1:44 PM
mine is focused on actual suggestions for a real gender-neutral pronoun
@Jez No it isn't.
@Jez No it isn't
Nothing in the other question or your question is restricting the answers as such
The other question simply asks, "What should I use for a gender pronoun?"
Your question asks, "What do people use for a gender neutral pronoun?"
Right now, the core of each question is the same
it then gives examples of 'his' and 'her', which IMHO strongly imply that the questioner is looking for an example in contemporary english
You need to move the core of your question so that they are obviously and clearly focusing on different things
@Jez Then your question needs to be about non-contemporary English
I used the word "archaic" because this site cares about history
what about saying 'true' gender-neutral pronoun, as opposed to a hack
(singular they)
But "unpopular" isn't really a good way to describe "non-contemporary"
@Jez "hack" is a meaningless term here. You would have to define it and then people would bitch about the word
1:48 PM
why would they?
@MrHen "Hack" would also probably come across as peeving.
As in, singular they isn't a "hack" unless you define "hack" to include singular they
it's a word that's been twisted to mean something it wasn't really meant for
@AlainPannetier — Hahaha, I love Anglo-Saxon riddles. Is this the one about the key?
@Jez People will bitch about anything
1:49 PM
and that's your justification not to ask a question? :-)
@Jez That is how words work
@Jez My point is that "hack" isn't adding to the question
ok, it's a word that even today feels like it's wrong to the majority of speakers
Swings by his thigh / a thing most magical!
Below the belt / beneath the folds
Of his clothes it hangs / a hole in its front end,
stiff-set and stout / it swivels about.

Levelling the head / of this hanging tool,
its wielder hoists his hem / above his knee;
it is his will to fill / a well-known hole
that it fits fully / when at full length

He's oft filled it before. / Now he fills it again.
@Jez Yeah, but "today" is the scope of the other question
And the answer is, of course, "a key" Why, what were you thinking?
1:50 PM
If you think "thon" is an appropriate answer to that question, you should answer that question
I have nothing against "thon"
My point is that the other question wants to know what the options are for a gender neutral pronoun
@MrHen do you think there's a difference between "what should i use for this?", and "what's the most popularly-used thing that was designed to be used for this?"
Your question needs to explicitly separate itself from the same topic.
if not, i guess i cant persuade you
@Jez "Designed" is a good word there, actually
You could use that
my point is that singular they is ... makeshift
'non-makeshift'? lol
1:52 PM
@Jez But you are framing a question by its highest voted answer.
The question is asking about gender neutral pronouns
no, i'm framing it by the question.
read what i said
@Jez You keep bring up singular they
the question is, "what should i use for this?"
"Singular they" has little to do with the other question
1:53 PM
2 mins ago, by Jez
@MrHen do you think there's a difference between "what should i use for this?", and "what's the most popularly-used thing that was designed to be used for this?"
my judgement of that question has nothing to do with its answers
it's the question itself
@Jez "What should I use for this?" and "What do people use for this?" are too close together to deserve two separate questions
As I said earlier, "designed" is a good distinction
those weren't the 2 examples i gave.
@Jez They also weren't the questions in question
well, 'what should i use for this?' IS the one they say mine's a dupe of.
"Have any designed gender neutral pronouns survived?" is an interesting question
@Jez The other one isn't the same as yours
"What are the most popular gender-neutral pronouns?" is the one that got closed
Look, I don't know what you want out of this.
EL&U is a site for asking interesting questions about English
1:57 PM
gender-neutral pronouns that aren't makeshifts, basically.
If a question isn't interesting enough on its own because another question covers the same ground, it will get probably get closed
@Jez Then focus on that in an edit without being inflammatory
"hack" and "makeshift" are too peevy
oh come on.
"designed" is much better
@Jez Since the question has been closed, you need to now convince 5 people to reopen it
1:58 PM
you dont think using 'they' as a singular is a makeshift solution because we dont have a proper gender-neutral pronoun?
@Jez It's true. These words carry a lot of negative value judgment.
@Robusto, Key is riddle 42. That was 76 (horn).
That's the one I quoted. From a different translation.
@Jez I think it's a good example of language evolution.
@Jez I don't see a useful distinction between the classification of any gender-neutral pronouns. I know which ones I like and don't like; aside from that, it comes down to usage
1:59 PM
bad evolution.
@Jez No such thing as bad evolution.
@Jez And that's obviuosly peeving.
@Jez Yeah, see, focusing on "bad" or "singular they" isn't going to get your question reopened
evolution for the worse of the language
You need to explain what you are looking for without focusing on counter-examples
and not clunky
('clunky is a value judgement, wahhhh')
2:01 PM
@Robusto mentioned the riddles because since they use a kind of "prosopopoeia", some of them are bound to finish in "what's my name" or "how am i called"
@Jez Ah, that is good. "Designed" and "unambiguous" are both good words
cant say anything without you thinking it's too damn subjective
trouble is, 'he/she' is unambiguous. i just hate it
and it IS makeshift
@AlainPannetier I think that was a really good insight, Alain.
@Jez Hmm... actually, hang on
that's objective as far as i'm concerned
2:02 PM
Are you looking for a gender neutral pronoun for things with no gender?
not necessarily. an unknown gender more likely
Or are you looking for a gender neutral pronoun for things with an "unknown" or "unrevealed" gender?
So... why would he/she be ambiguous there?
i just said that. but it is makeshift, and if that's subjective, i cant think of a better word
2:03 PM
@Kit Out of 80 odd riddle in my pdf, "Saga hwæt ic hatte" appears no less than 12 times
having to put a slash in there is ridiculous
@Jez Oh, haha. I misread your sentence :P
@Jez Well, admittedly, "ridiculous" is subjective. But I don't particularly like he/she either.
@Jez, Tell us when you've edited your question. I'll gladly vote to reopen it ;-)
@AlainPannetier I'm sorry, the threads gotten buried. This was "What am I called?" right? But I can't remember what period of English.
So, anyway, if you edit the question, I suggest something along the lines: "Have any coined gender neutral pronouns gained traction?"
2:05 PM
@AlainPannetier i cant find a form of words you won't call 'too subjective'
to me, 'he/she' is evidently makeshift
Or "What is the history of proposed gender neutral pronouns?"
clunky, messy, inconvenient
@Jez MrHen has given you several that for some reason you keep overlooking.
@Kit The riddles from Exeter are from 10c here.
@Jez coined, designed, constructed, unambiguous
2:07 PM
unambiguous isnt good enough because it includes he/she
@Jez coined, designed, constructed
he/she was designed (from 2 other words)
@AlainPannetier That's really neat. Thanks!
and coined, and constructed
@Jez Haha. Okay, than you aren't asking a separate question than the other one. You just don't like the answer.
2:08 PM
how'd you work that out?
i said before, i think he/she is evidently makeshift and i want to find out about ones that arent
@Kit Bitte sehr ;-)
@Jez Yeah, okay. You can't. You cannot actually ask the question you want to ask because it is subjective. You need to ask a different question that will end up giving you answers you can use anyway.
@Jez So what's the difference between "he/she" and "thon"? Aren't they both coined words?
he/she is makeshift and clunky
@Kit One is "makeshift" because it includes a slash
2:11 PM
and too many syllables :-P
@Jez Two?
"thonself" / "his or herself"
multiply that a bunch of times and it is nasty
Well, I have to go to work. @Jez, you aren't likely to get this question reopened unless you stop fussing about words you don't like for one reason or another. Your question is an exact duplicate with the exception that you are excluding words you don't like which makes it a Subjective Duplicate question. Good luck.
gender-neutral pronouns that aren't the same as other contemporary pronouns.
that's not subjective
@Jez It's better than what the current question asks
If you use the body to point out that "they" is a pronoun, you might get that reopened
Just be careful to avoid anything that could be seen as peeving
2:18 PM
why bother trying to reopen it
Cerberus already said he'd vote to reopen
might as well be a new question
@Jez This one already has a few answers to it
i'll try to edit it.
Also, if you are unable to edit this so it gets reopened, chances are high the new one would just get closed too
@Jez Cool. Ping me when you are done, I have to go
(For what it is worth, I actually do like the question lurking behind all of this. I am more than willing to reopen.)
2:31 PM
@MrHen edits made
@Jez, voted to reopen already ;-)
2:46 PM
@RegDwight I flagged an answer to convert to a comment. Is that something I can do (so I don't bother you with it), or do I not have the rep for it?
@Kit Done. Thanks. And no, as someone who's not man enough to admit affiliation with Knight Industries, you are not allowed to convert stuff.
@RegDwight So this is what the Cylon tyranny is like.
Feb 11 at 15:08, by Robusto
Careful, Martha, he's a Cylon. He'll only break your heart.
@RegDwight — Wow, playing the manhood card so early in a dispute. That's, like, totally Cylon tactics, baby.
Lycos or loatheos
@Robusto Yeah, no time today, gotta play my cards quick or not at all.
@Jez Bacos. Even better.
not punwise it isnt
3 hours later…
6:39 PM
Q: Antonym for "Virgin"

Lotus NotesWhat's the most widely understood antonym for "virgin"? A single word would be preferable.

@Robusto Hi!
Can we nuke this from orbit? @RegDwight, @Kosmonaut, @nohat, et al.
@Robusto What do you have against non-virgins?
@Kit — Hi.
I just think this is subjective and designed to hit the multi-collider and suck all the air out of our site.
6:53 PM
@Robusto I can understand that it's probably a cheap ploy for rep via the multicollider, but I don't think it's really subjective. You could probably use "general reference" though. Seems like a thesaurus ought answer this.
Some snarky little boy wants to see a lot of answers with "whore" and "slut" in them.
7:39 PM
@Robusto i disagree. i dropped in specifically to lobby for reopening
and i'm the 3rd reopen vote already
OK, have fun.
if you're seriously worried, we can protect the question
and downvote bad answers into oblivion
I'm washing my hands of it. Just seriously tired of this kind of thing.
Q: What are the most popular gender-neutral pronouns that aren't the same as other contemporary pronouns?

JezThere have been attempts to use other contemporary English pronouns to stand-in as a true gender-neutral pronoun, given that English is lacking a commonly-accepted one for adult humans (non-humans and even babies can be referred to as 'it'). Examples of this include 'he/she', 'one', and the sing...

anyone feel like voting to reopen?
@Robusto it'll definitely need to be policed, but i see no reason to consider it worse than other
@Jez voted, with some reluctance
your edit did a lot to remove the problems with the original
7:43 PM
@JSBangs — The question also presumes, by the way, that all nouns must have antonyms. What is the opposite of planet? What is the opposite of giraffe? What is the opposite of Turk?
@Robusto the opposite of planet is Pluto. the opposite of giraffe is toad. the opposite of Turk is Greek. it's like you didn't learn anything in school
anyway, i'm back to actual work now. ping me if the virgin question has become an all-devouring monster and you need someone to blame
8:01 PM
is this a gramatically valid sentence:
Skyscrapers (being the tallest in the world, Burj Khalifa) are amazing feats of engineering.
8:14 PM
@Jez Grammatically correct? Possibly; I'm not enough of a linguist to say for sure. Semantically, however, it's nonsensical.
> Burj Khalifa (being the tallest skyscraper in the world) is an amazing feat of engineering.
That's closer to the usual usage of this sense of "being".
well, what i did was move Burj Khalifa, the subject, to the end of the sentence
I think it's just about ok... maybe a poetic form of writing.
@Martha >Skyscrapers (being the tallest in the world, Burj Khalifa is a stunning example) are amazing feats of engineering.
The boys (being the oldest of them, John) went to school.
That might work if you take the stuff in parens as a digression, but I think the "being" has to have a verb with it to sound right to me.
None of those work semantically. They're trying to define the boys as the oldest of John.
8:20 PM
being is a verb
well no, they're trying to move the subject to the end of the sentence
@Jez This would sound right to me as "The boys (John being the eldest) went to school." I'm at a loss to explain why your original doesn't sound right though...
No. You need to say "the tallest in the world being Burj Khalifa".
yes, of course that's the normal way of doing it.
moving the subject to the end... for some reason, it doesn't seem completely wrong. Maybe it's worth a question. :-)
Your case is a fractured attempt at hyperbaton.
@Jez To me, it results in utter nonsense.
8:23 PM
No, it does seem completely wrong. Utterly and unequivocally.
it would sound intelligible if someone was saying it to you; you could tell from the intonation of their voice (bold is emphasis):
"Being the oldest of them, John" makes no more sense than "Plotted berries flared regular table."
The boys (being the eldest, John), went to school.
Nope, still nonsense.
You have a subject, "skyscrapers" and then you are introducing a parenthetical expression, of which the first word is in apposition to the subject and will be understood as such. "Skyscrapers being" ...
8:24 PM
@Robusto What he said.
@Martha — What she said.
kinda sounds like something Shakespeare would've gotten away with though.
just moving the subject around
he wrote much less intelligible stuff than that.
8:25 PM
Shakespeare was a good writer. :)
Find me an example.
he needs translating
Not for me. Annotation doesn't hurt sometimes, though.
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
So opposite to marriage that she shunned
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.
to me, that's verging on nonsense. :-)
Others disagree.
of course. he's a legend that everyone's led to believe is profoundly wonderful
if i wrote it, people would say i was talking bollocks.
8:32 PM
Boring. Anyway, gotta go.
I know shakespeare is but what am i?
LOL wtf...Weiner has always struck me as one of the most ambitious, smartest Congressman
And now he admits sending the pictures, but no relationship. How stupid it is do something like that with any physical relationship?
8:50 PM
@Billare, your Weiner is just an amateur DSK goes for the real thing!
@Alenanno Hi!
@Alain I just think its silly to embarrass yourself without enjoying the fruits of labor, no?
@AlainPannetier Hey
I wanted to ask
@Billare granted!
8:52 PM
do you think this questions fits?
Q: Right usage of P.S. at e-mails

tugberkI've been wondering this for a while. What is the right usage of P.S. at e-mails? Where / When should and shouldn't it be used? Why don't we put the thing at the actual content of the sentence instead of putting it after P.S.? Is it like forgetting to write something, remembering it at the end o...

to me it's off topic... I voted to close and send it to the Writers exchange
but I'd like
to hear your opinion
On Twitter no less...possibly the most useless service known to man.
@Billare. Agreed!
Sorry to interrupt your nice discussion, is it correct to say " at emails? or in emails?
Depends on the rest of the sentence
Still, it's pretty crazy what Twitter presages...this is a mundane thing, shouldn't cause more than a stir...yet I was following a live stream and online commentary of the topic no more than 5 seconds behind the real-life story. Pretty soon every single embarrassing business by someone will be available in real-time...even the not-so-important stuff. People in sub-Saharan Africa have probably heard some of this story by now.
8:57 PM
what's the whole sentence?
@Gigili in is correct.
@Alain Are you still in Tunis?
The question you pasted, @Alenanno
@Billare yes but only still a few days to go... counting.
ah ok
Alain was right :)
8:59 PM
@AlainPannetier Aha, thanks.
@Alenanno It seems like it's about style and would be better on Writers, based on other questions there like writers.stackexchange.com/questions/2947/…
He's still right!
00:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00

« first day (207 days earlier)      last day (2965 days later) »