The English language sometimes struggles to find pronouns where the antecedent is common gender like person, friend, leader, parent, etc. For example, look at the following sentence:
- When a dear friend has betrayed you, do you think it is worth your while to patch up with him or her?
You will agree that in the foregoing sentence, him or her is a very inelegant representation of friend. Some centuries ago, when sexist language did not raise eyebrows, it was fine to say the following:
- A leader must pray what he preaches.
Today you would be pilloried for such sexist utterances. It would only be politically correct to say:
- A leader must pray what he or she preaches. (Some folks write he or she as s/he.)
We argue that there is little need to struggle with such tacky representation when we can easily introduce neologisms. For example, instead of implicitly saying that both genders are included why not coin a word that explicitly represents both genders. Easiest would be contract the three words him or her –for example- and make the neologism himer. So our sentence #1 would read thus:
When a dear friend has betrayed you, do you think it is worth your while to patch up with himer?
Similarly our sentence #2 would read as below:
A leader must pray what heshe preaches.
We propose three neologisms:
(a) him or her: himer
(b) he or she: heshe
(c) his or her: hiser
An example of the last quoted neologism could be:
- A Senator must refrain from rhetoric while addressing hiserconstituency.
Of course, folks with more fertile imagination can up with more generic terms: for example pronouns that include transgenders as well. But, hiser, himer, heshe are good starting points, we feel.