Joey Coleman: Ms. Mr. and My Mixed Use of Pronouns in My Speaking

Ms. Mr. and My Mixed Use of Pronouns in My Speaking

A couple of months ago, I had my first request for the use of gender neutral pronouns. I used they/them/their.

Tonight, at a meeting, I used the more formal Ms. [Last Name] to refer to someone with the goal of conveying the respect I have for them to others in the group.

It's a habit of mine in speaking, to use the formal to speak about someone in their professional role who I am not familar with, or to convey to a group that person has earned my respect, or that person is someone of authority.

The reality is that formal Ms/Mr has become more rare in the past decade, and this is for the better in my opinion.

Combined with the more common use of gender neutral terms, I should get out of the practice of formal pronouns in my speech.

There's also that I've noted some use of the formal as a passive-aggressive means of showing disrespect.

The formal is unnecessary, and now I'll try to be mindful in decreasing my use of it.