Why It Can be Hard to Get Pronouns Right, According to Linguistics – Mental Floss [2023-06-20]

It can happen to anyone: As you’re talking, you hear yourself say, “I heard that she—wait, I mean he!” A pronoun slip can be embarrassing, especially if you pride yourself on being generally good at using the language people have asked you to use.

But why do pronoun slips happen, and why do we seem to mess up pronouns more than names or other gendered words? Linguistics (the scientific study of language) has answers, and can give us insight into how to use the words we want to use—and the techniques are surprisingly similar to how we learn new languages.

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Mental Floss
June 20, 2023