I can’t take credit for this one. This one is the courtesy of my father (who still hasn’t taken the name change into account, so is still Dr Colwell).
If someone is speaking about a hypothetical other someone, who’s gender is unknown or undetermined, several things happen, and all of them are wrong.
1. There is the classic and “classy” “he/she”
2. The non-plural “they” which is just awkward because it’s still plural
3. “One” which makes you sound like a douche
4. And finally “it”, which makes the gender neutral party sound like a blob.
So here is my father’s and my proposal and it’s going to blow your mind: a BRAND NEW pronoun for that special undetermined someone. My father’s suggestion for this is “morg”, but it doesn’t roll quite off the tongue, too many consonants.
My suggestion to replace the “he/she” messy gray area: “ne” (pronounced nee). That would make “his/hers” becomes “nirs” and “him/her” become “nem”.
An example: “When the new president of the company gets elected, ne will have lots of responsibilities, and you all have to listen to nem if ne tells you to do something ne doesn’t want to do.”
I’d be happy to hear any other suggestions for new pronouns, leave them in a comment or throw me an e mail. Until then, “ne” is the new “it”.
UPDATE: I have found that when I need to use “ne” in place of “his/hers” or “him/her”, it’s too much. So “ne” should just replace all of them. So it would just be:
“you have to listen to ne” instead.