This declension table compares Spivak new with other pronouns that can be gender-neutral:
|Subject||Object||Possessive Adjective||Possessive Pronoun||Reflexive|
|(He)||He laughs||I hugged him||His heart warmed||That is his||He loves himself|
|Singular they||They laugh||I hugged them||Their heart warmed||That is theirs||They love themself|
|Spivak (new)||Ey laughs||I hugged em||Eir heart warmed||That is eirs||Ey loves emself|
|(He/she)||He/She laughs or s/he laughs||I hugged him/her||His/her heart warmed||That is hers/his||She/He loves herself/himself|
|(One)||When one laughs||If I hugged one||If one's health improves||Then it is one's cat||When one loves oneself|
Spivak uses a singular verb, while "singular they" uses a "plural" one. I know this because I'm the only person you will ever meet who speaks spivak.
"Pat is hungry so they are going to buy groceries."
"Pat is hungry so ey is going to buy food."
Spivak vs more common "gender-neutral" pronouns
He/she is clear and most everyone knows what it means already, but pronouns are supposed to save time and space. "S/he" is almost as short as "ey" but it is less clear than she/he.
Singular they is proper English but it is rarely used and therefore may lead to mis-communication, especially when "they" could also refer to more than one person. Having more pronouns means better accuracy and less ambiguity.
He (gender-neutral form)
When used in the general sense, "he" may "mean" he/she, but this might only only be assumed from the context. It would be "lie"/unexpected to refer to someone who is known to be "female" as "he". As politically correct gender neutral pronouns are gaining in popularity, "he" becomes more strongly associated with the masculine gender.
One (the pronoun)
"One" works for many generalizations, but it sounds very awkward and is probably not a grammatically correct substitute in many situations (see chart).
Genderqueer accuracy or privacy
Some people do not fit a clear gender type and many would like to experience life as another gender (temporarily). Obvious examples include intersexuals, transgenderers, transexuals, transvestites, and androgynes. Homosexuals, bisexuals, and pansexuals, do not exactly fit gender roles when most assume that everyone is hetrosexual. Therefore it is often misleading to say their "gender" is male or female, when sexual orientation is a part of gender.
I'm not questioning anyone's gender claims when using these, it just seems like gender-neutral pronouns should be default regardless of whether or not we know the gender. If I called you 'ey', it means I think you wouldn't mind. I'm not really sure, however. This has made some people uncomfortable in the past. I will probably try calling everyone 'ey' and see if they change it, complain, or stop posting.
If you change it I will probably refer to you as your stated gender, because this is your choice. Lumenos 17:22, September 12, 2009 (UTC)
- Now that I think about it, this would conflict with a policy of using verifiable sources, so I haven't decided. It is somewhat misleading. I would really prefer always use gender-neutral pronouns (except at the costumeParty, hell maybe all of Lumeniki will be a costumeParty zone). Lumenos 17:22, September 12, 2009 (UTC)