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Acquire: Pronoun Power

This week the Merriam Webster dictionary added a meaning for the pronoun “they.” They added –-used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary-

This was pretty big news. Sadly in came just a day after the AP had an epic fail in using their own style guide regarding pronouns. This is a Twitter post from @ashleycdye correcting the brief:

It seems that some of us are still unsure of how to commit to the use of “they” as a singular pronoun. This usage isn’t new (700 years and counting), it is just new in the context of using better pronouns for trans and gender non-binary people.

Here’s the thing, respecting other humans isn’t up for debate. The words we choose when we speak matter. Making an effort to ask what pronouns a person prefers and using them in really a small thing that shows people that you see them as fellow humans. It doesn’t really matter whether you personally understand what another person’s life is about. It matters that you speak respectfully when you chose to speak.

You learned what a bitcoin was, adapt to new words in your business life, and keep up with all sorts of new turns of phrase — that is language adaptation. This adaptation is far more important. Get with the pronoun.


Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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