I harp from time to time on the first and crucial importance of linguistic tradition, as the indispensable foundation of almost all others. We cannot very well maintain a social order if in discussing it we have no way to be each and all clear on what it is, exactly, we are talking about.
This is no original thought. Confucius was saying the same thing 2500 years ago. And Orwell saw clearly that deforming the language would deform – and ruin – culture.
The Leftist Establishment is hard at the ruin of language, with the recent risible emphasis on pronoun protocol.
There are two sorts of linguistic development: the organic, based upon and springing from the really changing requirements of practical life (e.g., URL, computer, internet, and so forth); and the purely artificial, arising from the requirements (if that is the right word) of ideological development and elaboration (e.g., the alphabet soup of invented specious “genders”). The former evolve in response only to practical exigencies, and are construed by all as morally neutral; with the latter, it is the other way round.
The fashionable assault upon gender and number – on he, she, it, and they – is an assault upon him, her, and them: upon *every* him, *every* her, and *every* them. It is an assault upon personal and social order. It is an assault upon you.
Be therefore wary, as I try (and, too often, fail) to be, of falling into the use of the plural – they or them – in a sentence that calls for the use of the singular – of him or her.
We hear every few minutes on the radio such things as, “Your child might be suffering from x; help them …” Every such locution is an assault upon reality. It is an attack upon truth, and upon fact. It is an attack upon you, and upon your children.
Do not add your voice to that chorus, which seeks the destruction of human apprehension and approach to the real.
Distinguish person and number, in all your speech. Sure, it’s a bit harder. That’s the way reality is.