“Pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number and gender”

… or so the rule goes. But while we hear the plural, inclusive “they” used often in speech for indefinite reference, how do we refer to specific individuals? And can we prescribe pronouns? A linguist from the University of Illinois is quoted as saying that prescribing usually doesn’t work.

Vancouver School Board’s genderless pronouns — xe, xem, xyr — not likely to stick, if history is any indication | National Post.