Does he say he twice as often as she? Women, men and language

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Hvem sa hva? Kvinner, menn og språk” (English translation of the title: ”Who said what? Women, men and language”) by Helene Uri was published in Norway in 2018 and won the prestigious Brage Prize the same year. The book is about gender differences in language and language use, but it is just as much about the differential treatment and outright discrimination of primarily women, which most of the gender differences are a result of. The book is a mixed bag of observations, but still represents one of the best Scandinavian books on the topic.

Helene Uri (b. 1964) is a Norwegian linguist and author. In her 2008 novel “De besste blant os” (English translation of the …

The Danish pronoun ‘man’ used as ‘I’ in conversation

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In English, you is both a definite and an indefinite pronoun. This means that speakers can use the same form to refer to a specific person and to refer to someone unspecific, someone in general. In Danish, the pronoun man is used to refer to someone in general, just like the English indefinite you, and the word’s primary meaning, listed in dictionaries and grammars, is this generic function. However, there are instances in the language where man occurs as an indefinite pronoun with self-reference. These instances are only briefly mentioned in the literature and are not described in detail at all.

This blog post is based on a presentation and an article from the 17th MUDS – Møderne …

A report from the “They, Hirself, Em, and You” Conference: “Nonbinary pronouns in research and practice”


Back in June this year I attended a conference titled “They, Hirself, Em, and You: Nonbinary pronouns in research and practice”. It was a very giving experience, and the conference was quite unique both in terms of scholarly topic and with regards to more interpersonal aspects, so I’ve been asked to write up a brief account of the event.


The conference, in shorthand referred to as THEY2019, took place on June 11-13th 2019 at Queen’s University in the city of Kingston in Ontario, Canada. The topic was that of (quoting from the conference website) “nonbinary gender in language, particularly in pronouns”. That is, the work presented at the conference was concerned with language used by and about nonbinary