Sunday, 26 November 2017

spivak pronoun

The result of changes that had been under consideration for over three decades, the archbishop of Uppsala, the head of the formerly state-sponsored Church of Sweden (the organisation became independent in 2000), announced that as the nature of God surpasses human understanding and the conventions and trappings of gender, that God will as of Pentecost (Whitsunday, Pfingsten) next be simply God, with no gendered qualifiers.
The term Lord will also be struck from Church liturgy. I suspect God endorses this decision.  Sweden linguists two decades before the Church began to contemplate the reform suggested in 1966 that the gender neutral personal pronoun Hen be adopted (like they and theirs) as an alternative to Hon (she) and Han (he). Not only is the number of the alternative in agreement grammatically, it is inclusive and does not call on those addressed with it to acquiesce that they are different or being contrary.  Stylistically, this construction has not replaced its forebears (first attempted at the turn of the century, Spivak pronouns attempt to swallow or elide over the quibbling between his and hers) but also does not sound wholly out of place in any context.