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    I thought this was going to be Sailor Scouts and I am VERY disappointed. Which sailor scout is Ruby? Haskell? Perl? The world needs to know!

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      Ruby = Mars (It’s because they both fit a red theme. Rei is unsubtle like that.)

      Haskell = Uranus (Because of the inner sadness, and the commitment to keep going anyway.)

      Perl = Mercury (Not necessary often, but always there and part of the team, and very powerful when she’s needed.)

      I agree with zdsmith’s point that the gendered language is distracting. I like your approach to dealing with that, coming up with an alternate headcanon. :) So I decided to help with it. :)

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      Perhaps beside the point, but: the gendered language was a bit distracting. By this point in history, when I read a blog post like this that exclusively uses “he” and “his” for unspecified genders, it feels like the author is making a political point of it (as I say, feels like: I have no insight into this author or his political position), and ends up niggling a little while reading.

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        Yes, same here.

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          While I agree with you, on further reflection, this does seem like derailing.

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            when I read a blog post like this that exclusively uses “he” and “his” for unspecified genders, it feels like the author is making a political point of it

            I’m the opposite: when I read a post which uses incorrect English, it feels like the author is making a political point of it. In English, the feminine is only used when referring to a specific female; for all other purposes the masculine (or, if you prefer, the ‘general’) is used.

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              In English, the feminine is only used when referring to a specific female; for all other purposes the masculine (or, if you prefer, the ‘general’) is used.

              According to whom? I’m asking this because the singular they goes at least as far back as 1848, where it appeared in William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair.

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                It actually goes back further than that — and in fact Shakespeare used it, IIRC! Still, it’s an ugly construction.

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                  It actually goes back further than that — and in fact Shakespeare used it, IIRC! Still, it’s an ugly construction.

                  Ugly? Again you beg the question: according to whom? For example, the Associated Press has a style guide article which offers the following recommendation:

                  “They, them, their — In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The children love the books their uncle gave them.They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. Clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers. We do not use other gender-neutral pronouns such as xe or ze…”

                  “Arguments for using they/them as a singular sometimes arise with an indefinite pronoun(anyone, everyone, someone) or unspecified/unknown gender(a person, the victim, the winner)…”

                  “In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person… “

                  I’ll admit it can be awkward if you’re not used to it, but I don’t buy the premise that singular they is ugly or wrong.