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Debuting New Gender-Neutral, Singular Pronouns: Gni, Gnise, Gniself and Gnime

Abby Slutsky believes that gender-neutral, singular pronouns are essential in today's world.

Introduction to Gni, Gnise, Gnime, and Gniself

Occasionally, I take online surveys. It is not unusual for an initial question to ask your gender. Although many surveys simply ask whether you are female or male, in others the selection of choices is more extensive. Thus, classifying gender and identifying it with language is no longer simple.

So here I am asking Americans, writers and anyone else who uses the English language to help make singular, gender-neutral pronouns a reality.

Gni has a silent g and a long i. Gni stands for gender-neutral inclusivity.

Gnise rhymes with ice and has a silent g.

Gniself rhymes with myself and has a silent g.

Gnime is pronounced with a long i and rhymes with dime. The g is silent.

Why the Long "i" Pronunciation

Many pronouns have a short vowel sound. Nevertheless, the long 'i" sound is all about self-identity. Many have bucked society's norms to follow what is in their hearts when it comes to gender. Therefore, in a lot of cases, gender-neutral, singular pronouns are a celebration of "I" and individuality. I wanted to create singular, neutral-gender pronouns that embrace that.

Using "they" as singular and plural can create confusion while reading or listening to written text.

Using "they" as singular and plural can create confusion while reading or listening to written text.

Reasons to Use Singular, Gender Neutral Pronouns Gni, Gnise, Gniself and Gnime

1. Every Gender Deserves a Singular Pronoun

When I was first a member of a writing website, I was a writer that was profiled after I had been on the website a short time. Imagine my surprise when the person or editor working for the site referred to me as ‘"they" in a blog, especially when my bio clearly indicated my gender. Furthermore, I knew I was one person instead of multiple people. Following the debut of the editor’s blog about my accomplishments, there was a discussion among writers in the group about referring to a singular person as “they”. In English, it is historically the norm to have a singular and plural version of pronouns and nouns.

The article profiling me really hammered home that we need singular, gender-neutral pronouns. However, it is more than a year later that I am trying to do something about it. Thus, I am proposing new pronouns gni, gnise, gnime and gniself standing for gender-neutral inclusivity. Perhaps, it has been long in coming because society has shunned the need for them, but now we are living in a world that is struggling to be inclusive.

2. Avoids Plural and Singular Confusion in Writing

For centuries, the American public has been taught that "they" is a plural pronoun. Thus, the use of it as a singular pronoun does not sound or appear correct. The reader or listener, if the content is being read, is immediately confused about whether the content refers to multiple people or just one person. Using gni, gnise, gniself and gnime avoids singular/plural confusion, which enhances the reader’s or listener’s understanding of the written word.

3. Enhances Fluidity When Using Singular, Gender-Neutral Pronouns to Refer to All Genders

Currently, some writers alternate between "he" and "she" when they are referring to a person in the singular and want to be inclusive to both sexes. Using gni, gnise, gnime and gniself omits the need to switch back and forth between masculine and feminine pronouns. Singular, gender-neutral pronouns allow the writer to be inclusive for all genders and groups.

Examples of Using Gender-Neutral, Singular Pronouns Gni, Gnise, Gnime and Gniself

1. Example Using Singular, Gender-Neutral Pronouns When Sexual Identity is Unknown

The basement gym was empty. Jamie punched the bag repeatedly. The slap against the leather didn’t really make gnime feel better. The bag began to look blurry and damp. Despite Jamie’s efforts, a few tears escaped from gnise blue eyes and trickled downward. Jamie rubbed gnise eyes, but the area under them remained slightly damp.

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An observer would have seen a red hue and broken skin below Jamie’s knuckles, but gni barely acknowledged the pain. There was more agony in gnise heart.

Jamie gave up, sat down and leaned against the bare cracked, cement wall while the bag swung half-hazardly. The creak of the chain, and gnise soft sobs marred the silence of the drab basement room. A voice from the basement landing yelled, “Come up.”

Gni sighed and pushed gniself off the floor. It was time to fake happiness.

Note the gender-neutral substitutions in lieu of other pronouns:

  • Gnime replaces him or her.
  • Gnise replaces his or her.
  • Gni replaces he or she.
  • Gniself replaces himself or herself

2. Example Using Singular, Gender-Neutral Pronouns to be Inclusive of Everyone When Speaking to a Wide Audience

One should be polite. He should say "please" and "thank you". She should use gestures such as covering her mouth when she yawns.

One should be polite. Gni should say "please" and "thank you". Gni should use gestures such as covering gnise mouth when gni yawns.

Using a new word helps get it into the dictionary. Photo by Pixabay:

Using a new word helps get it into the dictionary. Photo by Pixabay:

So, Why Ask The World to Use Gni, Gnise, Gnime and Gniself?

Recently, I looked up how to get a word in the dictionary. It is interesting to note that there seem to be two requirements:

1. Words are accepted as words because they are used and gradually become common language.

2. There needs to be a need for the new word or words. (Clearly, in this case the need is long overdue.)

It seems silly that newly created words needsto be used to get it into the dictionary. After all, how likely is it that people are going to use a word that they do not know exists? The answer is that they can only learn about it if people use it so that the words and the meaning spread. Therefore, I need the help of writers to support singular, gender-neutral pronouns and use them. Additionally, in a world that is struggling to be politically correct, I think we need singular pronouns that are inclusive.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Abby Slutsky

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