Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Swedes adopt a gender neutral pronoun...


I was way ahead of them though - I call everyone 'hon'.  My dad did too - and he was Swedish.  Although I just found out that 'hon' is the word for 'she' in Swedish.  Who knew?  My dad didn't, he only knew Norwegian.  Don't ask.

So here's the deal:
Swedes are shaking up their language with a new gender-neutral pronoun. The pronoun, “hen,” allows speakers and writers to refer to a person without including reference to a person’s gender. This month, the pronoun made a big leap toward mainstream usage when it was added to the country’s National Encyclopedia.
“Hen” (pronounced like the English word for chicken) is a modified version of the Swedish words “han” and “hon,” which mean “he” and “she” respectively. The pronoun first emerged as a suggestion from Swedish linguists back to the 1960s. Though it has taken a while for the word to catch on, some Swedish magazines and even a children’s book have now adopted it in their texts. - Read more here.
I think I'll keep going with 'hon' and 'poodle' - it makes people feel special.


  1. You know I love Sweden. It's a beautiful country. It has a deep Catholic spiritual past think of the mystic St Birgitta. Some beautiful medieval architecture. The people are friendly. It's immaculately clean. Interestingly, the majority of converts of Swedish descent are traditionalists. The majority of Catholics in Sweden are from immigrant communities above all Poles. However, I would surmise that many negative things that have affected the church had their origins in the Swedish Lutheran state Church: women's ordination, ordaining active homosexual clergy etc. The reformation took on a "moderate" tone in Sweden. There has always been a "high church" element in the Church of Sweden. The Eucharist is still called the Mass and they never had ministers but "priests". They also believe they retained apostolic succession.

  2. Great! So now everyone can be a hen-pecker...

    ...uhhh, that sounds kinda bad, doesn't it?


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