phi (totient) wrote,


What a strange language.

I just wrote the following sentence in email:

"The Sapphire and Gray colors are also nice, but wouldn't work as well with the gold colored ring that Hodges uses in their rosettes."

Notice that "Hodges" (a company) is singular for verb agreement, but plural for pronoun substitution. I could have written "Hodges use" but on this side of the Atlantic that's considered a stuffy British archaism. I could have written "its rosettes". But I don't think it's just my ideolect that prefers the plural pronoun for companies. And it's not because the gender of "Hodges" is unknown. Though perhaps this is the source of the increasingly common use of "their" as a gender-ambiguous singular pronoun.
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