Say it ain’t so, Jack

James Kilpatrick, in his column published in The N&O on Monday, surrenders on “everyone.” He gives up the fight against using the plural pronoun “they” when the antecedent is the all-inclusive “everyone.” After five examples from decent sources, he writes:

“Face it, fellow fogeys, our gonfalon is a gone gonfalon! The old order has indeed yielded, and now everyone has their own cup of tea.”

Oy, Jack, did you have to wave the white flag?

I am not ready to give up. As long as we use a singular verb for “everyone,” we should use also a singular pronoun.

I am with you on “none,” though, Jack. We should use our ear on whether the word needs a singular or plural verb.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.