Posted on 10/01/2018 at 10:45 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

It may be blasphemy to many ears, but the Oxford English Dictionary editors aren’t afraid to say it: “They” as a singular pronoun is established, correct usage.

The construction first appears in writing in the 1375 medieval romance William and the Werewolf, meaning that it was almost certainly used in spoken language even earlier.

Still struggling to stomach this news? Think about how we’ve accepted singular “you,” which as previously been plural only, and that might calm you somewhat.

Learn more about the history of "they" on the OED blog.

Categories: Behind the scenes

Tagged As: Language, Writing advice

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