How do you counter the "(im)proper grammar" argument when it comes to they/them pronouns? My mom and ESPECIALLY my stepdad always revert to that if I keep correcting them when using the wrong ones and it's incredibly frustrating and hurtful. I say people use they singularly all the time, language is always changing, but it's when someone points it out that it bothers you. And that if they gave it time it would feel as normal as the old ones do. Idk what else to say to counter it. Any ideas/tips?
Well, you’re absolutely right! Singular “they” is in use a lot! And language really is always changing. I don’t have a link to the post, but there’s a great example of an old century rant on the use of singular “you” instead of thee or something, and look at us now.
However, since your family seems so resistant to the idea, I doubt a lack of “proof” is really the issue here. You could probably present them with a five page research essay on the use of they/them pronouns and they’d still argue. Honestly, my advice is just to keep doing what you’re doing. Keep reminding them, correcting them, and one day it’ll sink in for them, you know? I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, but I’m afraid we’ll always encounter people who are resistant to the idea. Not everyone thinks the same, though. You’ll find people who understand.