Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

New Vice President leadership at Laney announced
New Vice President leadership at Laney announced
Besikof selects Lily Espinoza and Ashish Sahni for Laney VP positions
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • May 13, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

    Progress on pronouns

    Why we must accept “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun

    By Sarah Carpenter

    For the first time, the Associated Press has recognized ‘they’ as an acceptable singular and/or gender-neutral pronoun (see below), which demonstrates how necessary it is for language to adapt.

    r. nial.bradshaw/Flickr

    The AP’s new style guide says, for gender-neutral subjects, “use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or… explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun.”

    As conversation surrounding gender neutrality and fluidity become more common in society, it becomes clear that English is lacking in this department.

    English does not have a gender-neutral pronoun, and yet pronouns are essential to proper syntax.

    We are given two options: he or she/ him or her. Yet this leads to instances where someone might come across a genderqueer person and be forced mid-sentence to guess at which binary gender identity to ascribe them.

    Genderqueer people have the right to exist, and our language needs to adapt to describe them.

    The word ‘they’ has become a useful pronoun to apply to gender-neutrality.
    The only problem is that we know it to be the pronoun to express plurality.
    I get why this would be awkward for some people to use in reference to a single person.

    But, we just have to get past this tradition.

    Language must be able to evolve as we do, and ‘they’ as a singular pronoun will become a new standard usage.

    There have been efforts to invent new pronouns, like ze or xe, but it’s more difficult to get an entirely new word to be adapted than it is to alter the meaning of a word already in use.

    Language must be able to evolve as we do. As more trans or gender-neutral people express their preferred pronoun, ‘they’ as a singular pronoun will become more and more prevalent.

    As a journalist, I’m grateful that the AP recognized the need for such a pronoun as cause to change what it means to be correct by their standards.
    As journalists begin to spread this usage of “they,” it will become a new standard usage, and fewer people will become wary of being grammatically incorrect.

    For a list of transgender and gender non-binary identities and terminology, visit

    Sarah Carpenter is a staff writer at the Laney Tower. E-mail her at

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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