The PC-ers strike again. Appalachian State University in North Carolina is asking students to use gender-neutral pronouns in their papers, so that all readers feel “included” in what they’ve written.
The university’s writing center recently released a guide on “Inclusive Language & Gender Neutral Pronoun Use,” offering students two options: change all their sentences so that the subject is plural (for example, switch out “a student” for “students”), or simply replace the singular pronoun “he” or “she” with “they” (proper grammar be damned).
To avoid confusion, the guide recommends students who choose to use “they” as a singular third-person pronoun place a disclaimer at the top of their papers.
Surprisingly, “xe” or “ze,” or any of the other gender-neutral pronouns which have caught on at other universities, weren't suggested in the guide.
Director of University Communications Megan Hayes told Campus Reform that the use of gender-neutral pronouns isn’t mandatory but a mere suggestion, adding that there is “no university-wide practice or policy related to penalizing students for grammar use.”
It sounds like professors at App State are going to have a much harder time grading papers this semester.