Yo: The New Gender-Neutral Pronoun

Official seal of City of BaltimoreAnybody who spends time writing is, at one time or another, vexed by the lack of a gender-neutral (should read sex-neutral) pronoun in the English language. Attempts have been made to overcome this problem either by avoiding indefinite pronouns, or by the use of his or her or his/her. Both of these fixes have drawbacks. Their was considered singular until the 18th century but has yet to make a resurgence, despite its pedigree. Because pronouns, in English, belong to a closed word class it has been very difficult to add any neologisms. Thus, we are without a workable resolution.

Then came Baltimore. The denizens of Crabtown have given us the new third-person singular pronoun yo. As in Yo handin’ out papers. Some of the spontaneous uses of yo cited in the paper:

Yo was tuckin’ in his shirt!
Yo threw a thumbtack at me.

Yo been runnin’ the halls.
Yo put his foot up.
Yo wearin’ a jacket. A coat!
You acting like I said what yo said.
She ain’t really go with yo.
Yo look like a sack ass gump.

It appears it will be necessary to begin updating the laws of our land. For example, 47 U.S.C. § 223, Obscene or harassing telephone calls in the District of Columbia, will now read:

“makes a telephone call utilizes a telecommunications device . . . without disclosing yo identity . . . “

Thank you Baltimore, you have given so much. Let yo flourish. As an aside, “sack ass gump” is not defined, but it sounds great. Who would want to be called a “sack ass gump”?

yojoe out

7 Responses

  1. Yo post be good. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  2. Jonsquared – Yo are welcome.

  3. Hahahaha.

    I am equal parts vexed and amused. Thanks for this.

  4. way giddy, yojee.

    i chortled. a couple times.

    entirely inappropriately, of course.

  5. It’s a pronoun whose time has came. And notice it functions as a direct/indirect object as well.
    What about possessive?

  6. […] Baltimore, we get the new third-person singular pronoun yo. As in &quotYo handin’ out papers.&quothttps://dreadnaught.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/yo-the-new-gender-neutral-pronoun/PRONOUNSPronouns. Introduction. Give the Possessive Pronoun and Reflexive Pronoun for each of these […]

  7. […] edging the word into general usage. ( czz : Tertium datur ! – Weiteres in Blogs wie hier und hier oder bie […]

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