That is my flash fiction challenge for the 1st National / International Flash Fiction Day, this May 16th. For the unprisencolinensinainciusolified, I will explain. Prisencolinensinainciusol is officially recognized as “the greatest song ever,” and its accompanying video is officially recognized as “the all-time greatest artifact of human culture.”

The super sex-ay Italian responsible for this prompt is the insanely brilliant singer, songwriter, comedian, actor, film director, and TV host Adriano Celentano. He’s also unofficially recognized as the first internationally famous rapper.

See and hear for yourself:

Prisencolinensinainciusol original

Prisencolinensinainciusol transcripted

Now that you’ve been prisencolinensinainciusolified, care to join me in the challenge? Write a flash fiction story inspired by prisencolinensinainciusolification, post it on your blog, and link back in the comments of this post. I will put my own tale in this post on the 16th. All right!


This story is PG.


Giocherellona Misty

“Buona sera, Signorina Misty.”

“Buona sera, Signor Celentano. Grazie per me tutoraggio per l’ultima volta.”

“Molto buono, Misty! Il tuo italiano sta migliorando,” Adriano says. “I almost decided to skip your last tutoring lesson.” He looks over his shoulder. “The snow is really coming down. But I wanted to say goodbye to you and your parents.” He stomps his shoes and shakes the snow from his coat.

Misty smiles and steps aside. Adriano walks into the house and hangs his coat on the coat rack.

Clicking across the floor in her high heels, Misty quickly checks her nail polish and plops down on the loveseat. She props her heels on the coffee table, smoothes the hem of her miniskirt, and adjusts the strap of her halter top.

“My mom and dad aren’t here,” she says, smiling.

“Will they be back soon?”

“They’re in America, looking for a house.” She bends her knees and flexes her calf muscles. “We have the whole house to ourselves, Adriano.” She leans back folds her arms behind her head, her blonde curls haloing her face.

“Oh. Well, maybe I should leave. I mean . . the snow. Don’t wanna get snowed in, you know.” Adriano shoves his hands in his pants pockets.

“And skip my last lesson? I believe my parents paid you to tutor me all semester.”

“But you’re graduating early, aren’t you?”

“Yes. My marks are high enough that Signor Stan gave me permission to finish my senior year early. He already signed the waiver.”

Misty jumps up. “So let’s dance.” She turns on the DVD player, grabs Adriano’s arms, and gyrates to the beat.

“Ah, but I already have a girlfriend.” Adriano breaks away and crosses his arms.

“Where is she? In your pocket?” Misty laughs.

Adriano grins. “Well, we should get started on our lesson.”

“I changed my mind. I’m through with lessons.”

“I thought you wanted to become fluent in Italian.”

“Sono in grado di parlare italiano cosi come si puo.” Misty winks.

“Da quando?” Adriano shakes his head.

“Dato che sempre.” She turns off the DVD player.

“Then why am I being paid to tutor you in Italian?”

Misty looks at the ceiling. “My parents think you’ve been tutoring me in calculus. Funny thing, I’m not even taking calculus.”

“Ah-ha. Very funny. Well, tell your parents I said good-bye.” He grabs his coat and the door knob. “Good luck in America, Misty. I wish you well.”

“I see the snow is really piling up. Look.” Misty points to the window.

Adriano takes a step toward the window and lets out a low whistle. He turns back to Misty. “Looks dangerous.”

“Looks like nearly ten centimeters so far,” Misty says. “And icy. You should stay here until you can at least see the road. My parents would kill me if they thought I sent you home in a blizzard. And I would just die if you slid off the road.” She scoots to the side of the loveseat. “It looks so cold out there. Come here and sit by me.”

Adriano hangs his coat back on the rack and sits on a chair across from Misty.

“It’s so cold in this house.” Misty gives an exaggerated shiver. “Could you hand me that blanket on your chair?”

Adriano turns and grabs the blanket. He gives her the blanket, and she grabs his hand, pulling him toward her. “We might have to bundle up tonight. But don’t worry, I don’t bite.” She bites her lip and giggles.

He breaks free and sits back down in his chair. The blanket falls to the floor. “Maybe you should put on a sweater. Put on some sweatpants.”

“I don’t have any. Besides, I- yikes! I felt something crawling on me!” She jumps up. “Get it off! Get it off!”

“What? What is it?”

“It’s an ant. We have ants in this house.” She lifts her skirt over her hips and stomps on the floor.

“There are no ants in the middle of winter.”

“Oh. Silly me.” She giggles again.

Adriano shakes his head and puts his hand over his face. “Misty, I’m too old for you. All right?”

She sticks out her lip. “How old are you?”

“I’m twenty-eight.”

“Well I’m eighteen.”

Adriano looks at the floor.

“I just turned eighteen. My birthday is today. That’s only ten years difference.”

Adriano looks up. “Happy birthday.”

“Thank you. Aren’t you gonna ask me what I want for my birthday?”

He sighs. “I’m afraid to.”

“I want you to slip your shoes off.”


“You always slip your shoes off when you tutor me. Why don’t you slip your shoes off tonight?”

“I don’t know.”

Misty slides down onto the floor and crawls to Adriano’s feet. She unties his shoe laces and pulls his shoes off. She ties the laces together, climbs onto the table, and throws his shoes over the chandelier. They swing and twirl as the chandelier crystals clink.

“You may as well make yourself comfortable.” She jumps down. “You hungry? I’m starving. I hope you like store-bought pizza,” she calls from the kitchen. “It’s the only thing I know how to make.”

She turns on the oven, puts a frozen pizza in, and sets the timer. Back in the front room, she leans over the back of Adriano’s chair and lays her hand on his forehead. “You’re hot. It must be me. But if you pass out, I know mouth-to-mouth.”

Adriano pulls her hand away. “Misty, you can have any guy you want,” he says.

Misty sits on his lap and wraps her arm around his neck. “I want you.”

Adriano gently pushes her off, leans forward, and cradles his head in his hands.

“All right,” Misty says. “I get it. Wanna watch a movie?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“How about L’uomo che Guarda?”

“I’ve seen that one.”

“You like it?”

“Yes. But it’s mature.”

“You keep forgetting I’m eighteen.”

She turns off the lights, starts the movie, and sprawls out on the floor. Half an hour later, the timer rings, and she runs to the kitchen. She returns with the pizza, two wine glasses, and a bottle of Seghesio Dolcetto d’Alba Pajana. Adriano joins Misty on the floor, and she hands him the bottle.

“Open it please?”

Adriano pops the cork and pours the wine. “A giocherellona Misty,” he says, raising his glass.

“E afrodisiaci,” Misty adds.

“What are these leaves on the pizza?”

“Questi sono gli afrodisiaci,” she says, plucking a leaf and putting it in his mouth. “Basil.”

Misty licks her fingers and they take turns watching each other eat, and watching the people on the screen engage in flagrante delicto. An hour later, the movie is over, the pizza is gone, and the bottle is empty. Adriano lies on his back, his first few shirt buttons unbuttoned. Misty straddles his chest, her skirt hiked around her hips.

“The wine and the basil did me in, Misty. Perbacco, I don’t think I can sit up.”

Misty intertwines her fingers with Adriano’s. She leans forward, and her lips brush his ear.

“If you think I’m a virgin, I’m not,” she whispers. “You’re not my first.”

“I didn’t think that.”

“And if you think I can get pregnant, I can’t. I’ve been on the pill since I was sixteen. My parents are very permissive. So am I.” She kisses his neck, then his lips. “Bene?”

“Misty, you’re only eighteen. You’ll forget all about me. You’ll go to America and find yourself a nice American boyfriend. You’ll find yourself lots of American boyfriends. You won’t remember me.”

She trails her fingers over his face, down his neck, and down his chest. “So what’s stopping you? I’ll be on the other side of the world next week. You’ll never have to see me again. And now I think you would prefer that.”

He sits up. “That’s not true, Misty.” He cradles Misty’s head in his hands. “You don’t understand.” He kisses the top of her head and inhales deeply. “You smell so good. Like fresh, warm sugar cookies. With cinnamon.”

Misty pulls away and looks into his eyes. She grabs his hand and presses it against her breast. “And what do I feel like, Adriano?”

“Misty, per favore.”

“What do I feel like?”

“You feel . . Sento il tuo battito cardiaco.”

She presses her hand on his chest. “Just like yours.”

“Misty . . ”

“Just like yours, Adriano.”

She puts her hands on his shoulders, gently pushes him to the floor, and runs her fingers through his hair.

He slides his hands around her hips. “Misty. Ti amo. I’ve loved you from the first day I saw you. I just thought it was wrong. Avevo paura. I’m still afraid that you might still see me as your teacher. Then you would regret this.”

“I’m not a student anymore. Quit making excuses. Show me how much you’ll miss me.”

Misty slips off her shirt, then her bra.

“I need you to be the one to . . to initiate.”  He closes his eyes. “I have to be sure you want this. That I’m not pressuring you. Misty, Io ve desiderare. Si prega di fare l’amore con me.”

Outside, a faint rumbling. A couple minutes later, the rumbling grows louder.

Misty jumps up and peeks out the window. A wall of snow and ice plows onto the lawn. Blushing, she grabs her clothes and turns to Adriano.

“What is it?” Adriano says.

“Rapidamente, il tuo scarpe!”


“Snotrunningly”- a Flash Fiction Tale

A flash fiction tale of 1000 words, with thanks to Chuck Wendig for the writing prompt, and Christine Bell and Margeanne Mitchell for the word: 





Shackleton stands steadfast on the South Polar Plateau. Wild, on his back, lies panting at Shackleton’s feet. Ice crystals grow and trail out of Wild’s nostrils.

“Looks like you could use a bit of whisky,” Shackleton says.

“Eh?” Wild grunts.

“Whisky. For your nose frost. You’re building a frozen waterfall on your upper lip. A bit of whisky, and your nose-breath will melt the frost.”

“What if I’m a mouth-breather?”

“You shouldn’t be breathing through your mouth. But whisky breath will melt your nose-icles either way. In the meantime, you look like Frosticles himself.”

Shackleton walks past Marshall and the Mate. He crouches over one of the crates labeled “SPIRITS.”

Marshall, the Mate, and Shackleton take turns cutting the crate straps and lifting the lids.

“Scotch whisky!” Shackleton says. “Hallelujah. I had forgotten what we packed. The Antarctic will do that, you know. Make you forget.”

The three of them open the remaining “SPIRITS” crates and find more whiskey and brandy.

Marshall reaches into a crate. “Hunter Valley Distillery, Limited. Fine brandy, indeed.”

“Charles Mackinlay and Company. It’s about time we opened this shit,” the Mate says, lifting a brandy bottle to the sun.

Shackleton grabs a couple whisky bottles, opens them, and stoops beside Wild. “Drink up, Wild man. It’ll snotrunningly cure what ails you.”

Wild struggles upright. “A toast . . to our Great Southern Journey.” He coughs and wheezes. He taps his frozen snot-encrusted mustache with a stiff finger and sips.

“A toast to the Nimrods.” Shackleton stands and salutes his comrades.

“Shackleton. Will we make it?” Wild says.

“We’ve already made it.” Shackleton raises his bottle. “Today- January 16, 1909- will be inscribed in history books as the day Wild, Marshall, Adams- er, the Mate- and Shackleton reached the South Magnetic Pole.” He sips his whisky. “And last week- on January 9, to be exact- will be inscribed in the history books as the day Wild, Marshall, the Mate, and Shackleton reached the new farthest southern point. Er, what’s that latitude, Marshall?”

Marshall grabs his notepad from his belt and flips it open. “88°23’S, sir.”

Wild grimaces. “But the geographical pole- still over one hundred miles away.” He puts his hand over his eyes. “Shackleton. I don’t want to ruin it. I’m weak. Go on. Touch the pole. Please take my rations.” Wild cries, rubbing his tears on his red, raw face. Marshall and the Mate bow their heads.

“No. Leaving a man behind is a coward’s deed. I’d rather waste away in the laughingstocks than be tarred and feathered for murder.” He crouches beside Wild and looks into his eyes. “Besides, four live donkeys are better than a pride of dead lions.”

Wild looks up at Shackleton and smiles. Then his face clouds over.

“What is it? Something else troubling you?” Shackleton asks.

Wild squints at Shackleton, then blinks hard and wipes his eyes. He smacks his palms against his eyes, rubs hard, then looks up again.

“You alright, Wild man?”

“Ah . . yes. Just my eyes playing tricks on me.”

“That’s a symptom of snow blindness. And it’s getting late. Have some more whisky and sleep. Tomorrow we’ll break camp.”

Shackleton helps Wild to his feet and they stagger to the hut. Marshall and the Mate follow. The icy wind whips frost through the door, and Wild shivers as he unbuttons his coat.

Wild breathes into his cupped hands. “I think I’ve got the fever. It smells like a barn in here.”

“Damn it to hell, man, we’ve all got the fever,” the Mate says. “We put off the spirits too long, and now we’re paying for it.”

Marshall slips into his sleeping bag. “Speak for yourself, Mate. Had we partaken on day one, we’d all be frozen dead by now.”

“Liar. Nothing motivates a man like spirits,” the Mate says.

“Nothing makes a man sluggish like spirits,” Marshall replies before flipping his blanket over his head.

That night, the temperature plummets and Wild awakens. He reads the thermometer. Negative 129 degrees. The others are shivering and chattering in their sleep. He opens another bottle of whisky and finishes it before daybreak. Shackleton awakes and sees Wild passed out upright.

“You snotrunningly drank it ahead of schedule!” he yells, shaking Wild by the shoulders. Wild sneezes a snot spray and vomits on the floor. Marshall and the Mate jump out of their bags. The snot and vomit have already frozen. They break camp and partake in spirits before their trek.

The next day, rations running low, Shackleton allots three biscuit per day per man. Shackleton, Marshall, and the Mate surge ahead while Wild trails. Each afternoon, they wait for Wild to catch up.

At Cape Royds- the last camp before the end of the journey- Shackleton gathers the men together. “We’ve four biscuits left, and two days- if we’re lucky- to Hut Point and our ship out of here. Wild, you eat my biscuit. I’m feeling strong as a donkey.”

“Bless you, donkey,” Wild whispers. He nibbles the biscuit and sips his whisky. An hour later the biscuit is gone and his bottle is empty.

The next night, Wild decides to sleep outside.

“Keep away from me, you beasts! I will not bed down with donkeys!” Wild flails at the others as they try to drag him into the tent.

The next evening, Shackleton, Marshall, and the Mate bury the remaining spirits under the floorboards at Hut Point. The three bed down for the night, and Wild sleeps outside again, wrapped in the others’ blankets. At daybreak, Shackleton crawls out of the hut and scans the horizon.

“Wild, wake up. I see the ship! Look!”

Wild moans and opens his blood-shot eyes.

“The ship- look! Over there!” Shackleton point at the horizon.

Wild follows Shackleton’s finger and gasps. He jumps up, runs, then stumbles to all fours. “The lion!” he cries. “Lion’s come to eat donkeys! Hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw!” he brays, kicking his back legs out as he gallops back to Cape Royds.



Note- I decided, post-writing, the genre is surrealism.

Feel free to leave a comment, yea, nay, or otherwise.


Odd, Bookish, and Popular Social Networking Websites

Here’s a list of social networking websites which I personally think are either odd (in a fun, gawkish sort of way) or bookish (great for writerly types). I also threw in ones I know are popular enough (or advertised enough [<-there’s a lesson to be learned from that, I’ll figure it out later]) to warrant a mention. I’ve only used a few of these, (I won’t tell you which ones) nevertheless, I can personally guarantee that all of them are major time-sucks.

Now back to that lesson thing. Advertising. Social networking. Selling books.

Are there any writers or authors reading this? Good! I’ve figured it out and I’m sure you have too:

aNobii– Find, shelve, and share books.

aSmallWorldLa di da. This is for the European jet set and world-wide social élitists. BTW, it’s invitation only. In your face, jet set and social élite wannabes!

blauk– Anonymously let others know what you thought of that anonymous stranger. Confess your secret crush. Insult your friends and neighbors. The Jersey Shore of social networking websites, except it’s anonymous (Snooki’s ghost writer hones her writing skills here). Age 10+ only, please.

Care2– Get your green living and social activism on at this petition-heavy network. For tree-huggers and left-leaners.– Connect with former or current institutionalees and institutionalizers. Share your stories of institutionalization. Age 18+ only, please.

dailybooth– Obsessed with your appearance? Like to take pics of yourself? Go here.

Daily Strength– Lean on me, I’ll lean on you. Mental and physical health support community.

delicious– Discover, share, and store your favorite websites on this website.

disaboom– Disabled? Find support and friendship within an online disabled community.

facebook– Get bombarded with endless game and quiz invites, and get your personal info put on display against your will at the same time. For mental masochists. Age 13+ only, please.

flickr– Photo-hosting and networking. Age 13+ only, please.

foursquare– Make a game of location-based networking. Mobile.

früehstü (frühstückstreff)- What?? Yoüe’re not on früehstü (frühstückstreff)?? That früehcking süecks. Müest live in Eüerope or Aüestralia, and müest be a hüengry morning person.

G+– Share info and read info via circles (segregated groups). You can’t stop the Google. Must have a Google account. Age 13+ or 18+ only, please (you choose).– Get your gay on. Network with other LGBTs. Review and read about the LGBT scene.

goodreads– Looking for a good book? Have a good book? Check-out here.– Share, learn, and practice over 100 languages, including Yucatec Maya, Luxembourgish, and Esperanto!

Jaiku– Microblogging. Google-owned. You can’t stop the Google. Age 13+ only, please.

Jammer Direct– Share your art. Or bitch and moan about being an unsigned artist. Or laugh and jeer at unsigned artists bitching and moaning.

LibraryThing– Gotta thing for libraries? Gotta thing for book lists? Swoon here. Age 13+ only, please.

LinkedIn– For yawning, business networking, and yawning. Also for yawning. Did I mention yawning? Yawn. Age 18+ only, please.

Livemocha– Learn 38 languages in an interactive community.

Meetup– Plan offline hookups meetups for various kinks activities. If you live in the UK, you may get lucky and hook-up meetup with this guy. Age 18+ only, please.

Myspace– View the fake profiles created by pedos, and the kids they cyber-stalk. Try to guess which is which. Age 13+ only, please.

Ning– Make your own websites and networks here. Age 13+ only, please.

OUTeverywhere– Come OUTy, come OUTy, where every you are! LGBT

ReverbNation– Socialize with musicians, managers, and groupies. Age 16+ only, please.

ScienceStage– Multi-media science platforming and networking. Video streaming.

Scispace– For scientists, by scientists. Invitation only. But don’t despair, you may request an invitation.

ShareTheMusic– Free and legal music listening and sharing.

Shelfari– e-shelve your books here.

SocialVibe– Network for charity.

Stickam– Get your chat on while you ogle and be ogled via video streaming.

StumbleUpon– Stumble your way through interesting websites.

Tumblr– Microblog. Real time- or auto-post.

Twitter– Microblog. 40% pointless babble.

Wattpad– Authors and readers unite! Also e-book sharing.

WAYN– Plan traveling rendezvous with fellow travelers. Age 18+ only, please.

weRead– We read books and talk about books.

WiserEarth– Organization-based social and environmental justice network. Age 16+ only, please.

ZOOPPA– Artists, work for free and sell-out at the same time here. Age 14+ only, please.

Here’s a longer list.

Do you have a strong opinion of a particular social networking site?

Their Naughty Bits Thwack Together Like Really Strong Magnets

A couple weeks ago, while outlining my new ROW80 novel, I realized I would have to write a couple sex scenes. Now I’ve written for most of my life, but the majority of my writing has been poetry and non-fiction, and sex scenes were something I simply didn’t consider for those works. I wrote my first fiction novel a few years ago, and didn’t include a sex scene for the same reason I didn’t include a bank-heist scene or a car-chase scene. They just didn’t fit into the story. I wrote my second novel last year, and while that didn’t have any sex scenes per se, it did have a fair amount of double entendres and sexual innuendo. Now, at the start of my third novel, one of my main characters has conspicuously popped up- pun intended. He is a sex addict and he told me I would be writing about what he loves to do the most.

I really have no clue how to describe a sex scene without it sounding medical. Sure, I can substitute slang for the proper names of body parts, but beyond that is where I need a little helpful suggestion. Years ago I did actually read a romance novel, written by Fabio. Yes, THAT Fabio. Around the same time I toyed with the idea of attempting to write a romance novel myself. Why? Well, because out of nowhere (or maybe through Fabmosis) I thought of the perfect romance novel title: “Loins of Fire.” That title was, and still is, too perfect to not have a book behind it! Try saying it out loud, and draw out the “ire” part of “Fire”- Loins of Fiiirrre . . are you hot yet? I am!

So, now that I’m “in the mood” with “Loins of Fiiirrre” raging in my mind, here I go with the sex scene thing . .

Her gluteus maximus fits neatly into the bucket seat of his very expensive sports car. He leans over her, and his man-scented perspiration drips from his manly nose onto her exposed womanly bosoms.

“Your gear shifter is in the way,” she whispers.

“Not yet,” he replies.

He shifts his proud pleasure stick with the skill of a seasoned NASCAR driver, putting it in 1st.

“I’m in gear now,” he revs.

“Oh . . do donuts!” she gasps. Her heaving bosoms jut conspicuously.


Yes? No?



She runs across the flowered field, her well-muscled legs pumping, giving chase to her adoring compadre.

“The longer you run, the more submissive you’ll be, my naughty filly!” she yells.

A glowing pink mist flows over the Earth and envelopes the pursuant pair.

“It is a sign from She-Ra, she has proclaimed I shall drink of your sweet nectar!” the princess warrior bellows.

As the Sun slips away and the Moon rises, the womyn snatches the grrrl, and they embrace and twirl in a femme-domme dance.

“And now I will revel in your poontang,” the powerful she-beast smirks.

“Giddy-up!” her breathless side-kick giggles.


Too specific?


He cups her heaving bosoms and spies two crescent-moons of milky-white woman-flesh underneath her otherwise orangey pendulous orbs. “Self-tanner,” he muses, his hungry nostrils flaring with each chemical inhalation.


What do you think? Too many adjectives?


On second thought, I think I’ll just write out the scenes just like I would write out any other scene- focus on character, the senses, and moving the plot forward. My “Loins of Fire” title is up for grabs. I’m not an erotica / bodice ripper writer. I’m a general fiction writer.


Do you struggle when writing sexually graphic scenes, or any other specific type of scene?


p.s. Swoon-filled thanks to Margeanne Mitchell who let me borrow her “pleasure stick” for this post.

p.p.s. And here are some sex scene tips which actually work!


Banning the “A” Word, “B” Word, “C” Word, “D” Word

“Knowledge is power.”- Francis Bacon

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”- Alexander Pope

Every year in the USA, hundreds of books are reported as challenged or banned. The actual number is undoubtedly higher, as the American Library Association estimates only 20-25% of book challenges are reported. (2009)

The latest book censorship to make national news is NewSouth Books’ version of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

NewSouth Books censors the “N” Word to “slave” and the “I” Word to “Native American.”

I believe censoring and banning books and words is morally wrong. It doesn’t matter what the book is. It doesn’t matter what the word is. The removal of a word from a published book without the author’s permission is a cousin of plagiarism. Banning a book from a library compromises the intellectual integrity of the library community.

Banning books is dangerous. Without many years of intensive education, most people are simply not smart enough to figure out how to live in harmony with others. This is where “freedom of speech” and “freedom of press” is helpful. People who are exposed to more ideas are more likely to figure out which ideas are good and which ideas are bad. This comparative reasoning is the basis of all informed decision-making.

Of course, not all books are appropriate for all people. For example, few would argue against segregating erotica away from the children’s reading room of a library. Segregation is not banning. Segregation will move a book to an age-appropriate area, while banning will remove a book from an entire community.

Behold the All-Powerful “N” Word

In modern western culture, no other word is more feared and worshipped than the “N” word. Since stripped of its trailing letters, it’s become even more looming and poisonous. Civilized people don’t say the “N” word, it’s just too raw and violent. And the more it’s worshipped and feared, the more powerful it becomes. The “N” word is even more powerful than the “G-d” word. Most people are allowed to say the “G-d” word, but relatively few are allowed the “N” word. The only people still saying the all-powerful “N” word in its entirety without repercussion are “B R” and “B C.” They are rewarded for spitting the “N” word to their “N”-immune minions, who devour it like a pack of profanity-starved sailors. But what about those of “M R”? Can you say the “N” word if you are 50% “B,” but not if you are 25% “B”? What if you are a “N-B” person raised in an otherwise “A-B” family? Is your family allowed to say the “N” word while you are not?

Let’s own ALL our words, and not let our words own us.

List of government-banned books.

For more information, visit the ALA.

Words and books can be controversial for any reason.

What is your opinion of censoring or banning words and books? Is it appropriate or necessary in specific instances?

She, He, Other


The English language (and most other languages) reflects a superfluous focus on gender through gender-specific personal pronouns. This is one reason so many people fixate on gender, and are unsure of how to relate to a person whose gender is unknown. Some people go so far as to assign a gender to a person regardless of mixed gender identification or non-gender identification. This obsessive gender-assignment also applies to non-living objects such as vehicles and weather phenomena. Planes, trains, automobiles, and ships are often feminized with the personal pronouns “she,” “her,” and “hers.” Tornadoes, tsunamis, and the like are either feminized or masculinized depending on their assigned anthropomorphizing personal names. Perhaps most nonsensical gender-philic habit is using “he,” “him,” and “his” as default personal pronouns. Part of the solution would be using gender-neutral pronouns

Consider the following scenario-

Pat asks Robin. Robin answers Pat.

Now we have personal pronoun combinations to consider-

She thinks her answer is good.

He thinks his answer is good.

He thinks her answer is good.

She thinks his answer is good.

Assuming the “answer” in the sentences could either belong the the answerer or the answeree:

“She” and “her” could both refer to Pat, or could both refer to Robin. Likewise, “he” and “his” could both refer to Pat, or could both refer to Robin. Or the feminine and masculine pronoun groups could be bisected between Pat and Robin.

Without additional information about Pat and Robin, it is impossible to assign gender-specific pronouns without possibly getting it wrong. And this isn’t even considering Chris, who is intersexed, and Bobbie, who is genderqueer, and Tracy, who is a genderless AI.

So what the heck do we do? If we use gender-neutral pronouns to refer to Pat, Robin, Chris, and Morgan, we eliminate the risk of getting their genders- or lack of genders- wrong. Without context, we still don’t who is doing the asking and who is doing the thinking, but we won’t miss-assign genders. Using gender-neutral language will eliminate gender faux pas.

South Asian hijras.

Why is this so important? People tend to be influenced by their environments, and language is a specific environment of the mind. If an environment you are experiencing and using is supporting faulty gender assignments, you will tend to adapt the faulty assignments as valid within your environment. This linguistic relativity may perpetuate sexism

Obviously, the use of gender-neutral language is not yet widely accepted. People find gender-neutral pronouns clumsy and dismissible because they aren’t taught in enough schools with enough consistency.

So in the meantime, I see nothing wrong with “they” as an all-inclusive personal pronoun, though assigning a plural pronoun to a singular noun may seem awkward at first. I also see nothing wrong with “it” as an all-inclusive personal pronoun, but most people, including transhuman Zinnia Jones, do:



What is your opinion of gender-neutral language?