VINDICATION FOR “THEY” AS A GENDER-NEUTRAL SINGULAR PRONOUN. In 2010, I posted an apology to Annalisa and Nick for having given them a hard time when they were in school about being careful not to use “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. The linguist John McWhorter had changed my mind.
I said in the apology that I had been “sure that this was the kind of usage that English teachers and copy editors had their knives out for.” Now on March 17, 2017, this article by Gerri Berendzen on the website of the American Copy Editors Society says: “The Associated Press Stylebook says it is ‘opening the door’ to use of the singular they. A new stylebook entry, which was announced Thursday as part of the AP’s session at the 21st national conference of ACES: The Society for Editing in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the first time allows use of they as a singular pronoun or gender-neutral pronoun.”