Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ pronouns

February 10, 2021 • 8:45 am

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “pretty,” came with the email note, “Today, the boys pick up non-binary Moses from the station. They apologise, and then they tell them about what a hard time they’ve been having.”

I’m not sure exactly how Moses is nonbinary, but he’s acting like Rodney Dangerfield!

22 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ pronouns

  1. They are so funny! They make a good point! They also makes a good point! I like how them was saying to the other them that they said they (another they) were helping out in their special way, so they (the first they) were more settled with who they felt they were. That is one thing they got absolutely right – them there pronouns really serve their function well, if they use them right!

  2. Okay, I got a gripe about the use of the pronouns “they/them” to indicate a non-binary gendered individual. I don’t think it’s funny. “They/them” are long established as PLURAL, gender not indicated. Using they/them to indicate a single person introduces gratuitous ambiguity and confusion. Just as feminism (re)introduced “Ms.” to indicate a female without marital status, another word must be found to indicate an individual gender-neutral person. Any suggestions and where do we send them for approval?

    1. Xhey

      Pronounced as in Spanish, like Ximinez is “Chhimayneth”.

      Learned how to pronounce that from Monty Python.

      1. Right you are, and in that context, it makes total sense, and is a very common kind of linguistic innovation: coping with an awkward disjunction—’If you’re talking to someone and he or she alludes to his or her trouble getting his or her insurance company to process his or her claims promptly’—by extending the use of a linguistic expression in which the distinction involved is neutralized. Speakers exploit the resources of their language to solve problems that arise in their use of that language. It happens in linguistic history all the time, and is strictly on the up-and-up.

        What’s involved here is quite different, though. My take is this: when you’re addressing someone, the choice of pronouns is irrelevant, because unless the conversation is **really** weird, you aren’t going to be addressing that individual in the third person, and so far, that’s what all these Woke pronoun uses seem to be about. So what are the people involved worrying about? What they’re really bothered by is how you refer to them when, typically, they’re not there. And why does it matter to them? Because if you talk about them to someone else in terms of their biological sex rather than their personal intuition of their own gender, it shows you’re not *thinking* of them in the right way. And what they’re demanding is control over your thoughts. It’s part of the whole fundamentally Stalinist view of the world that is the bedrock of Woke political doctrine.

        1. Beautifully stated. I’d never heard quite this take on the issue. It’s Orwellian thought-crime. Thanks for making me ponder this issue in a slightly different way.

    2. According to wikipedia, the use of ‘they’ singular in English dates to the 1300s.
      Yeah it sounds a bit weird in many use cases, but that’s probably because the singular use is old and outmoded, not because it’s some new thing.

      There’s no option that’s going to sound natural, since what sounds natural to us is what we grew up with. But personally I prefer they/them to hir etc.

    3. There are those who would consider it a bit insulting if you use they/them in a situation where their gender is known. For example, if you look at my name and my avatar, you might reasonably come to the conclusion that my preferred pronouns are he/him and you’d be correct. I’d find it weird and a little disrespectful if you then insisted on referring to me as they/them.

      The same applies to non binary people except that they sometimes get really upset when you fail to use their preferred pronouns.

      1. I don’t understand this issue. I use a persons name or nickname when talking to them. I only use pronouns when talking about someone not in the conversation. Why anyone would care about pronouns used in their absence.

  3. Is the idea that the hardest part of undergoing a sex-change operation is that you worry whether people refer to you with the correct pronoun? If so — I’m underwhelmed.
    Apparently I don’t get the point. I need someone (or, some-them) to explain the cartoon to me.

    1. In this brave new world, you don’t need to undergo any surgery or hormones – you just have to identify however you want! Biology is irrelevant! Reality is irrelevant! 2+2 = 5!

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