Andrey (azangru) wrote,

A video fragment from host’s introduction of a speaker at an event in a research center for molecular biology in Germany. To serve as a historical record of how once fringe ideas in American campuses, having penetrated and disseminated through the social media, are now spilling out into the real world in remote places.

(Transcript; spoken with what I take to be an Italian accent.) Before talking about mental health, I also would like to make another statement, and it’s about pronouns. My pronouns are she/her, and I am saying this because really (?) we know that pronouns can affect people. And sometimes you can see a person, see them as a male or female; but sometimes what we assume does not correspond to what actually the person feel, how would like to be called. And we can affect their life, we can make them feel not included, we can make them feel not respected, and I think it’s our job, each one of us, should take maybe five minutes and think how can use my whole life to make someone else feel included, in this institute and outside this institute. So I will suggest, if you have a question and if you feel comfortable, before giving your question, can you tell us your name and also your pronoun. This will help normalize the use of pronouns in the society.

I fear this might indeed become the norm. As she says, to a linguist’s cringe, "the use of pronouns" might get normalized in the society.

(By the way, as an aside, why has this ritual adopted including the declined form of the pronoun? Presumably, if you as a listener are presented with the nominative case of a familiar pronoun, e.g. he, and you are sufficiently proficient with the language — because otherwise the whole exercise is pointless — you should be able to work out the declined forms him, his yourself, shouldn't you? Or is it too much of an assumption?)

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