A physicist friend lives in San Francisco and likes to have fun with psychology. Thus, whenever asked for pronouns, which is a common occurrence out there, the physicist’s response is “He/Her”. This leads to a brain freeze in the recipient of the information and an inability to form sentences.
This does raise a question of why people ask for “pronouns” rather than “pronoun”. Most of the customer support notes that I get from people at Linode, where this blog is hosted, are signed “Joe (He/Him)”, “Mary (She/Her)”, or similar. To avoid the cross-pronoun situation above, wouldn’t it be better to sign “Joe (He)” or “Mary (Her)”?
Part of an email from our local public school (in which, thanks to the First Amendment, there is no possibility of insisting that people follow an established religion…):
The link goes to a Human Rights Campaign Foundation page, “Talking About Pronouns in the Workplace” (why talk about work when you can talk about pronouns?)