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Ask Amy: Partner and dog should roam free

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

However, she and I have been using the English language for a collective 100-plus years and are having a hard time making this linguistic transition.

Our daughter (not them) gently corrects us, and there seems to be an indeterminate grace period for us to get it right consistently.

On a recent visit, I was corrected, and yet made the same mistake within a minute.

I don't think I'll ever get the hang of this language-bending.

I found myself (normally chatty and jokey) shutting down and saying less out of concern I'll use the wrong pronoun again.

I am trying but feel burdened by constant awareness of one person's gender identity and having to choose my words so carefully.

 

– Struggling with Them

Dear Struggling: You both love your daughter, and she loves all of you. Always start with that.

You will adjust.

One way to do this is to use the person’s chosen name, versus referring to them by a pronoun, certainly if they are present, i.e.: “Chas, what’s your take on that?”

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