"His or her" or "their"? Your opinion?

General forum

Posted on Jan. 22, 2017, 6:21 p.m. by Lord.of.Innistrad

What do you all think the reaction would be, or how would you react, if Wizards of the Coast changed the printing "his or her" (like in Pick the Brain or literally a million other cards) to "their"?

It would save them printing 3 letters, which after hundreds of cards may add up to savings, and also it would be different politically. I think some parties would like it and some parties would not.

What would be your opinion and reaction?

DarkMagician says... #2

Personally I'm indifferent. From a political standpoint however there's only two genders so his or her is all inclusive.

January 22, 2017 6:53 p.m.

Their implies multiple people, I would not be in favour.

January 22, 2017 7:29 p.m.

TheDevicer says... #4

Shorter text is better. Simple as that. Bringing political correctness into this is just...

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January 22, 2017 7:29 p.m.

As much as I'd like shorter text I can't get passed the fact that it implies more than one person.

January 22, 2017 7:31 p.m.

TheDevicer says... #6

Singular they is still correct.

January 22, 2017 7:42 p.m.

"Their" does not always imply multiple people.

Oxford Definition of Their.

See 1.1.

It can be contextually interpreted as multiple people. But to say it always does is just not grammatically correct.

January 22, 2017 7:45 p.m.

As TheDuggernaught said, it doesn't always mean multiple. If it says "All players reveal THEIR hands...", then obviously it's plural. If it's "Target player", player is one person, and therefore singular.

January 22, 2017 8:15 p.m.

And DarkMagician, some people would say otherwise. That might me reason for Wizards to change it. But if no ones wants it there wouldn't be as much need.

January 22, 2017 8:15 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #10

Imagine if Head Games read as "Target opponent puts the cards from their hand on top of their library. Search that player's library for that many cards. The player puts those cards into their hand, then shuffles their library." You save 8 syllables! And WotC is known to change wordings to shave off syllables, like with the recent change to "create" being used for tokens.

January 22, 2017 8:28 p.m.

Maringam says... #11

How about "opponent's"

January 22, 2017 8:59 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #12

Maringam, that would make the wording longer in text and in speech.

January 22, 2017 9:12 p.m.

I suspect the main reason may be that translating the same amount of text could be an issue. If it could not significantly save text between all languages they print in, it would not be worth the confusion.

January 22, 2017 10:28 p.m.

kanokarob says... #14

Yu-Gi-Oh! already does this, and always has, to no confusion over plurality or not.

Target opponent reveals their hand. That player shuffles their library afterwards. Each player chooses a creature they control, then sacrifices the rest. It's not hard.

I know most of my playgroup simply replaces "his or her" with "their" when explaining card function aloud. Further, it would be more inclusive. Inclusive of Aetherborn, and of Ashiok, whose gender identities Wizards have been very adamant about for the purposes of inclusiveness. It isn't about being "politically correct," it's about acknowledging communities and offering them a bone.

But, regardless of that, other card games already do it; it's grammatically logical, and more concise.

January 23, 2017 7:37 a.m.

Yeah, I'd be in favor of it for simplicity's sake. I've never met a player irl that doesn't use "they/their" when explaining an effect aloud. While I don't see why Wizards should or needs to cater to specific communities or political correctness, it seems logical to condense card text with such a simple change. There are quite a few cards that are insanely wordy because they include so many instances of "he or she/his or her" in them. The Oracle text for Chains of Mephistopheles springs to mind. If Wizards was to reprint that card today, it would be so excessively wordy it'd be hard to even read such tiny text. Use of "they/their" over "he or she/his or her" would save that card 10 words, easily at least a whole line of text.

It doesn't much matter in the grand scheme of things, but I'd be for it.

January 23, 2017 3:22 p.m.

iAzire says... #16

I wish they would just do this already. It legitimately annoys me that it says "his or her" and I've always thought it should say "their" because it's cleaner and it says the same thing.

I obviously prefer the words "player" and "opponent" as well. It just seems to me that somebody at Wizards wants to be super ultra politically correct so they say "his or her" on the cards.

You know what, I should sue Wizards for saying "his or her" and I will claim I identify with neither and have thus been excluded from the text. Or I have Shroud when it comes to those cards.

February 7, 2017 2:56 a.m.

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