20 March 2014

How to Avoid Saying 'He, She or It'?

Han means He or She - or It
Han is Finnish for He or She
Han is a wonder word! Why? Gender in the English language gets in the way of what we want to say. Saying ‘he or she’ is clumsy and calling animals ‘it’ is demeaning. The Finnish language solves this problem with one word ‘han’ for both genders. ‘Han’ could also mean ‘it’.We could call people and animals han, one word for he or she or it.

Examples of han:
Han sat down to tea with scones.
Han is a thoughtful and independent cat.
The dog yawned and then han stretched.
I held out a banana and the monkey ate han.

Language influences attitudes. Would we treat each other and animals better expressing ourselves with han?

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