English is a vast, glorious language, yet even with its incredible number of words, it feels like it’s still missing some absolute basics. The lack of these words leads to either lengthy clarifications or awkward situations—like getting stuck taking your friend’s llama to the flea market (more on that below). Of course, we can’t just go adding words to the dictionary all willy-nilly, but if enough people adopt these neologisms into their everyday conversations, they could become bona fide. So start using them today, and be sure to tell us your own ideas for new words!
You’ve probably seen “their,” and “they” becoming increasingly acceptable as gender-neutral singular pronouns, but admit it, you’ve never really been satisfied with that solution, have you? Depending on the context, “their” and “they” can result in confusion about whether the speaker is referring to singular or plural subjects or objects. Let’s get rid of the ambiguity with the new words “hoh,” “hon” and “hons”—respectively, the singular subject, object and possessive pronouns when the person’s gender is unknown or not identified as he/him/his or she/her/hers.
Of course, other attempts have been and are being made to come up with gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronouns (ze is a front runner at the moment). But hoh/hon/hons would have the advantage of linking back to (most of) the original singular gender-specific pronouns with the initial “h” but then have the rest of the word completely distinct. What do you think? Use them with a friend today, and get hon to use them, too!
As long as we’re adding new pronouns, we might as well clear up the awkwardness that can result from the ambiguity of “we.” We’re not referring to the royal “we,” because nobody should use “we” when they’re referring to only themselves. Sorry, “honselves.” We’re talking about when you tell your friend Jasmine, “We’re going to the sawmill,” and Jasmine is left to wonder if she’s invited to go with you.
Instead, let’s reserve “we” to mean “we, including you” and add the word “wel” to mean “we, but not you.” Then Jasmine will know to have hurt feelings when you say to her, “Wel’re going to the sawmill.”
“Andor” operates in the same way as the traditional “and/or,” leaving open three equally probably or desirable possibilities: 1) A and B, 2) just A, or 3) just B. For example, “Do you andor your llama want to join me at the flea market?” means “Do both you and your llama, or just you, or just your llama want to join me at the flea market?”
Well, what if you want to go to the flea market with Jasmine and you’re okay with her bringing her llama, but you do not want to go with just her llama? That’s when the mighty “orand” comes into play. Asking Jasmine, “Do you orand your llama want to join me at the flea market?” only has two possible meanings: A) just Jasmine or B) Jasmine and her llama. You’re not in the llama-sitting business, after all.
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