Custom Search

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Facebook Cares What Sex You Are--for Grammatical Reasons!

The Associated Press reported last week that Facebook is "getting more serious about grammar." Apparently, the online hangout has gotten itself tangled up trying to refer properly to male and female users. Therefore, it is asking users who haven't specified their gender to do so.

According to the AP release, Facebook has been guilty of using "their" to refer to one female user, as in "Debbie changed their profile picture." or the made-up word "themself" (shudder! shudder!), as in "Freddie has removed themself from that site."

The AP release points out that this issue gets even more confusing as the Facebook site expands into other languages that don't use "gender-neutral" plurals (they, them) as English does.

"People who haven't selected what sex they are frequently get defaulted to the wrong sex entirely," says Naomi Gleit, a Facebook product manager.

So, dear readers, please keep straight what gender you are and then use your pronouns accordingly! Debbie can then change HER profile picture, and Freddie can remove HIMSELF from that site.

Happy Fourth!