He "suspect[s] that eventually we will accept the plural they as a correct singular" but states that currently "formal usage requires a singular pronoun". Views Read Edit View history. One explanation given for some uses of they referring to a singular antecedent is notional agreement , when the antecedent is seen as semantically plural:. Merriam-Webster dictionary. Neither the highest scorer nor the lowest scorer in the group had any doubt about their competence. In some cases it is clear from the situation that the persons potentially referred to are likely to be male, as in:. When individuals whose gender is neither male nor female e. Use of the pronoun themself is described as being "rare" and "acceptable only to a minority of speakers", while use of the morphologically plural themselves is considered problematic when referring to someone rather than everyone since only the latter implies a plural set.
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