The University of Tennessee, Knoxville edition, has gone bat-guano bug-eyed blub-blub-blub bonkers and asked that staff and students to “stop using ‘he’ and ‘she’ – and switch to ‘xe’, ‘zir’ and ‘xyr’ instead“.
According to the Daily Mail:
The Knoxville branch of the public university, which has 27,400 students, sent a memo round to its members filled with unusual new parts of speech to avoid referring to anybody’s gender.
According to a gay rights official at the university, the new language regime will make the university ‘welcoming and inclusive’ and stop people feeling ‘marginalized’.
The university published the instructions on its website on Wednesday after they were emailed to every member of the university by the institution’s Vice Chancellor for Diversity.
The kicker is that after this asininity was published and noticed by a remnant of the sane, this happened: “Officials have since insisted the the guidelines are not compulsory and that they do not want to ‘dictate speech’.”
They surely do want to dictate speech, which is why the guidelines, which are still posted on the university’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion site. The person responsible for the guidelines is one Donna Braquet, who is proud of having same-sex attraction to the point where she “runs the university’s Pride Center.”
The now-suggestions say:
In the first weeks of classes, instead of calling roll, ask everyone to provide their name and pronouns. This ensures you are not singling out transgender or non-binary students. The name a student uses may not be the one on the official roster, and the roster name may not be the same gender as the one the student now uses.
This practice works outside of the classroom as well. You can start meetings with requesting introductions that include names and pronouns, introduce yourself with your name and chosen pronouns, or when providing nametags, ask attendees to write in their name and pronouns.
Wait. Did she say non-binary students?
She did. That implies there are such things as binary students. Maybe the movie Tron was prescient after all.
Braquet writes as if speaking to idiots:
A few of the most common singular gender-neutral pronouns are they, them, their (used as singular), ze, hir, hirs, and xe, xem, xyr.
These may sound a little funny at first, but only because they are new. The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up.
And this: “How do you know what pronoun someone uses?…you can always politely ask. ‘Oh, nice to meet you, [insert name]. What pronouns should I use?’ is a perfectly fine question to ask.”
Insert name. Why do I have the idea these are the very words she uses? And it’s pronouns plural, not pronoun singular. I wonder how the diverse Braquet would react if I insisted on the “pronoun” your majesty? It is my choice and how dare she question it?
Anyway, the trial balloon was shot down. According to the paper:
A statement from a university spokesman said: ‘We would like to offer clarification of the statements that have been made referring to gender-neutral language.
‘There is no mandate or official policy to use the language. The information provided in our Office of Diversity and Inclusion newsletter was offered as a resource to our campus community on inclusive practices.
‘We recognize that most people prefer to use the pronouns he and she; we do not dictate speech.’
Sounds like a close one. If nobody of sufficient authority had complained, as one state senator did, this perversion of the English language an assault on sanity might have been ensconced as official policy. And then it would have only been a matter of months until other universities followed Tennessee down the Happy Happy Trail.
Now it is perhaps only a matter of years.