AP Style

AP style rules for they, them and their

After much debate, the AP has finally ruled that in limited cases, the plural pronouns “they,” them” and “their” may be used as singular and/or gender-neutral pronouns when alternative wording of a sentence is awkward, though still prefers rewording if possible.

Other gender-neutral pronouns like “xe” or “ze” are still not used.

An example of when “they” might be used would be when an anonymous source’s gender is being shielded or in stories about people who do not identify as male or female or ask not to be referred to as “he,” “she,” “him” or “her.”

In the case of a person wishing to avoid gendered pronouns, it is preferable that the subject’s name is used in place of a pronoun, if possible.

  • You should clarify if a person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun for unfamiliar readers.

 

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