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Personal pronouns

There’s a debate going on in the Twittersphere about personal pronouns that is out of all proportion to reality.


ILLUSTRATION: PeterSnow/iStockphoto.

We’re reacting to people choosing their own labels like it’s never happened before, but we seem to have forgotten about honorific titles – you know; Dr, professor, sir, madam, your honour, even Mr and Mrs.

In an egalitarian society we’re not so attached to honorific titles anymore, but once upon a time they were a question of honour. I knew of a Rev Dr who would return his mail if you got his title wrong!

This personal pronoun thing is a symptom of our increasingly individualistic culture that will be short lived. Let’s not be so shocked.

We’ve always looked for little ways to stand out from the crowd, feed our ego, or overcome our insecurities.

I’m Rev Paul Clark, esquire. 

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at


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