EDITORIAL MARKS
that I use on exams and papers


Comments on substance:


Comments on mechanics:

Particular Chilton gripes:


Non-pickiness:

In an effort to be gender-neutral (I assume), people are starting to use the technically ungrammatical "they" instead of "he" or "she" and to use "their" instead of "his" or "hers", etc.:

Each individual student [singular] has their [plural] own assignment.
So the different parts of the sentence are mismatched.  "Their" refers to some plural referent, but the only referent here is "Each individual student". So as it stands, the sentence is ungrammatical.

There are more grammatical ways of phrasing this while remaining gender-neutral:

Each individual student has h/her [or "his/her" or "his or her"] own assignment.
As a student, one has one's own assignment.
However, these alternatives aren't perfect either, so I am not picky about how you address this problem.


Page URL: http://www.d.umn.edu/~schilton/Courses/Marks.html
Author:  Stephen Chilton [email]  |  Last Modified:  2005-11-07
Honor Roll  |  UMD  |  Pol Sci Department

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