You may have heard of the singular “they/them” pronouns, often used by non-binary people as a gender-neutral pronoun in place of “she/her” and “he/him”. But while more and more people are becoming familiar with this new phối of pronouns, there are plenty of other “neopronouns” that gender non-conforming folks use khổng lồ refer to themselves.

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Here, we take a look at ze/zim and xe/xem pronouns, what they mean, và why they matter.

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What Are Neopronouns?

If you don’t know what neopronouns are, don’t worry. It’s a relatively new term that describes new pronouns that can be used khổng lồ replace the usual gendered pronouns lượt thích “she” and “him”. The word combines the terms “neo”, meaning new, và “pronoun”, or words that are used khổng lồ substitute other nouns.

Some examples of neopronouns include:


Why vì chưng People Use Neopronouns?

Before we get into why people use neopronouns, we have khổng lồ discuss what it means khổng lồ be non-binary. 

For a long time, gender was presumed khổng lồ be binary: either male or female. But, today, more scientists are acknowledging the idea that gender may be a spectrum. 

Instead of there being just two seemingly opposite genders, experts believe that gender is vast and diverse, ranging from feminine lớn masculine. Non-binary people are those who identify somewhere in the middle of that spectrum or even outside of it altogether.

However, the English language (along with many other Western languages) still remains gendered – particularly when it comes to pronouns. We refer khổng lồ women as “she” and men as “he”. This puts non-binary people in a tough spot. When you identify as neither a man nor a woman, how vày you refer lớn yourself in a way that accurately represents who you are?

This problem is compounded by the fact that many non-binary people (but not all) experience gender dysphoria. This is described as the feeling of intense distress or discomfort when one’s gender identity does not match the sex assigned at birth. 

Being misgendered can often trigger gender dysphoria, which is why many trans và non-binary people undergo gender-affirming surgery; make changes to lớn how they dress, talk, & behave; và choose pronouns that they feel best represent their gender identity.

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Thus, the birth và rise of neopronouns & gender-neutral pronouns, the most common of which are “they/them/theirs” pronouns. This set of pronouns has actually been around for some time now, contrary lớn popular belief. The singular “they” can be traced back all the way to 1375, where it was used in the medieval novel William & the Werewolf. 


Isn’t The Singular ‘They’ Incorrect?

It wasn’t until the 18th century that grammarians started to điện thoại tư vấn out uses of the singular “they” as grammatically incorrect. This, despite the pronoun “you” being originally used as a plural pronoun before becoming singular, notes the Oxford English Dictionary.

Today, the argument that the singular “they” is grammatically incorrect still dominates discussions. However, English experts will be the first to lớn tell you that language is ever-evolving and that there is no place for prescriptivism in English. 

“People who want lớn be inclusive, or respectful of other people’s preferences, use singular ‘they’. Và people who don’t want khổng lồ be inclusive, or who don’t respect other people’s pronoun choices, use ‘singular’ they as well,” says the Oxford English Dictionary. 

“Even people who object to singular ‘they’ as a grammatical error use it themselves when they’re not looking, a sure sign that anyone who objects khổng lồ singular ‘they’ is, if not a fool or an idiot, at least hopelessly out of date.”

How to Use Ze/Zim & Xe/Xem Pronouns

Some non-binary people aren’t particularly fond of the singular “they” pronoun. Instead, they use neopronouns like ze/zim/zirs và xe/xem/xyrs.

The “ze” pronoun is read as “zee”. “Zim” rhymes with “him” & “zirs” rhymes with “hers”. “Ze” is a subjective pronoun, like “she” and “he”, while “zim” is an objective pronoun, lượt thích “him” và “her”. “Zirs” is used possessively, as in “That máy tính xách tay is zirs”.

The “xe” pronoun phối is used in pretty much the same way. The “x” is even pronounced like a “z”, so the terms sound the same, as well. Here’s an example of how to lớn use xe/xem/xyrs pronouns:

“I went khổng lồ California lớn see Carson last summer. Xe pháo showed me around xyr new neighborhood. I wish you could come và visit xem someday too.”


How bởi vì I Ask For Someone’s Pronouns?

You can never assume a person’s pronouns just by looking at them. As such, it’s always important khổng lồ ask. 

A good way khổng lồ go about asking for someone’s pronouns is by introducing yourself first, along with your own personal pronouns. For example, you can say, “Hi, my name is Robin. I go by “she/her/hers” pronouns. What about you?” 

However, bear in mind that not everyone may be comfortable sharing their personal pronouns, especially if they don’t know you very well. 

Some people may be wary of outing themselves lớn strangers, given that there are still many people out there who don’t take the matter seriously. Others may still be unsure about their gender identity, & thus haven’t pinpointed which pronouns feel right for them. 

Thus, it’s never good to lớn coerce someone to nội dung their personal pronouns. When unsure what pronouns to use, try using the person’s name instead.

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What If I Get Someone’s Pronouns Wrong?

Don’t panic – it’s totally fine if you get someone’s pronouns wrong by mistake. What’s important is that you apologize & correct yourself the moment you realize your error.

The best course of kích hoạt is to apologize to lớn the person in private. Give a quick apology and try not khổng lồ make the issue about you. Make a promise to vì chưng better, & stick to that promise by making an effort to remember their pronouns. 


The Bottom Line

Pronouns are an important part of communication, and, with the rise of neopronouns, it’s more important than ever to lớn make sure you use the correct pronouns for the people in your life. While some people may still be unsure about how to use ze/zim và xe/xem pronouns, we hope that this article has helped clear things up. 

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