The Spivak pronouns are a proposed set of gender-neutral pronouns in English popularized by LambdaMOO based on pronouns used by Michael Spivak. Though not in widespread use, they have been employed in gender-neutral language by some people who dislike the more common alternatives "he/she" or singular they.
Two variants of the Spivak pronouns are in use, highlighted in the declension table below.
|Subject||Object||Possessive Adjective||Possessive Pronoun||Reflexive|
|Masculine||he laughs||I hugged him||his heart warmed||that is his||he loves himself|
|Feminine||she laughs||I hugged her||her heart warmed||that is hers||she loves herself|
|Singular they||they laugh||I hugged them||their heart warmed||that is theirs||they love themself|
|Elverson (1975)||ey laughs||I hugged em||eir heart warmed||that is eirs||ey loves emself|
|MacKay (1980)||E laughs||I hugged E||Es heart warmed|
|Spivak (1983)||E laughs||I hugged Em||Eir heart warmed|
|LambdaMOO “spivak” (1991)||e laughs||I hugged em||eir heart warmed||that is eirs||e loves emself|
Famous quotes containing the words spivak and/or pronoun:
“The fall into the abyss of deconstruction inspires us with as much pleasure as fear. We are intoxicated with the prospect of never hitting bottom.”
—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (b. 1942)
“Would mankind be but contented without the continual use of that little but significant pronoun mine or my own, with what luxurious delight might they revel in the property of others!... But if envy makes me sicken at the sight of everything that is excellent out of my own possession, then will the sweetest food be sharp as vinegar, and every beauty will in my depraved eyes appear as deformity.”
—Sarah Fielding (17101768)