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<   No. 2381   2009-08-03   >

Comic #2381

1 Caption: 2009.
2 Young Adam: Jamie, check it out: old bald dudes.
2 Adam: Old bald dudes?!
3 Jamie: It's... our younger selves. We must have travelled forwards in time from... that embarrassing part of the early '80s I'd guess.
4 Young Jamie: Wait. You're us when we get older?
4 Young Adam: Oh man. Kill me now.

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What would your younger self say if they could see you now?*

This question is aimed mostly at those old enough for it to make some sort of sense, of course. I realise some of you are too young to realise just how much you'll change as the years go by. Come back and reread this 15 years from now.

* You all knew exactly what I meant, didn't you? See, there's no need to use a clumsy "he or she" or "s/he" or "zie" construction in that sentence.

2022-11-27 Rerun commentary: Pronouns are important and if someone wants to be addressed in a specific way then it's considerate to respect that. But we need something to fall back on if we don't know.

If we don't know your preferred pronouns and we need to mention you, what should we use? It has to be something that we can safely use for everyone, because otherwise it means that we can't ever safely refer to anyone without risk of offending.

"They" has been used this way for centuries and seems to be the most widely understood option at this point. Although it's always possible that may change in the future as English continues to evolve.

The first three different diversity websites that I found while searching for the answer to this question all recommend using "they/them" as pronouns if unsure what the person being referred to prefers.

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