In the Court of Public Opinion, we now rise, in ardent defense of the pronoun, “they.” This much maligned, highly utilitarian, pronoun, whose services are mandatorily required in all spoken interaction, to designate specific plural subjects, [ of he, she, it] has unjustly suffered condemnation and great loss of respect, brought about, by abusive misapplication, by less than articulate, or by deceptive people. Our principal defense, rests upon the equitable legal argument that the accused pronoun has, at all times, been truthful, accurate and immeasurably utilitarian, when properly employed. The wrongdoing, as will be demonstrated to this wise and just, dispenser of justice, is solely, that of its unaffiliated misusers. Furthermore, as will be proven to this Court, the results of any and all false inferences, or, indeed, misrepresentations, are those of the miscreant speakers, themselves; outside of the knowledge and control of this honorable and indispensable pronoun, which morally, stands, dutifully and loyally, available, at all times, for proper and appropriate service.

We would, respectfully request this Court, to take judicial notice, that the unjust and wrongful use of the innocent pronoun, “they,” [ as will be specified, below] is a practice, generally, which was undertaken, long before the present convening of this formal tribunal. However, such use, generally known, and unjustly permitted, has materially increased of late, on an intolerable and repulsive basis. We ascribe its etiology to the nation’s prevalent lack of interest, and significant rejection, of its belief in the development of positive self-esteem and confident judgment, through academic and educational pursuits. The avoidance of self-advancement and increased knowledge, on the part of too many, has resulted in a general lack of personal confidence, and mature perspective. This has empirically led to confusion and equivocation, the needy reliance upon others, groupthink and deindividuation. This lack of confidence, inevitably, results in the acceptance of reductive inaccuracy, from others, and is the underlying cause for poor choices, ranging from the election of an unsuitable President, to the unsure need for the making of mundane decisions.

Your Honor, all too often, regarding responses to questions, posed by such insecure individuals, (as explained, above) to the miscreant responder, the innocent and unfortunate accused, word, “they,” has been wrongfully, used in the lazy, ignorant, often false, answers. Examples, “Is this coat stylish?” Answer (probably uninformed or commercially interested) “That’s what “they” are wearing.” “Is this the best fabric choice?” “That’s what “they” are all buying.” “Is that a good restaurant?” “That’s where “they” are all going.” “Is that the proper and moral thing to do?” Answer, “That is what “they” are all doing,” etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

If more need be said, regarding the wrongful use, of this blameless word, the intended utility of the same, is designed to make specific reference to clearly identified people or groups, or to mutually identified objects. The subject misuse of the pronoun, relates to a non-specific, nebulous, but, purportedly  infallible, source of information.

The above are merely a few, randomly chosen, hypothetical illustrations, of stereotypical questions and answers. Clearly, the non- specific, objectionable, and casual responses, whether the motive be laziness, ignorance, intent to falsely appear to be knowledgeable, or actual fraud are, in any case, the disgraceful acts of the responders, alone. Accordingly, it is respectfully submitted, that, in view of the demonstrated proof, that  our client, the pronoun, “they,” is an eternally, innocent accomplice, your decision should result in an exoneration of any conceivable culpability.

We rest our case.


* The subject of “they,” as currently used for the purpose of avoidance of gender reference, is not relevant to this writing.


Published by


Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s