Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Is "themself" actually a word? Why is it so common?

"Them" is plural and "self" is singular. Shouldn't it be "themselves" (if talking about a group) or himself/herself if talking about an individual? 

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    No.  You're right.  The word is "themselves,"  the singular forms  being "himself" and "herself."

    • E1 month agoReport

      This answer is wrong. The user is notorious for not knowing what she's talking about.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I think not.

    It follows English speech patterns.

    Himself or herself is the right word when their sex is known.

    One's self is likely the suitable replacement for an unknown sex person.

    There is also itself, for sexless objects.

    I partially feel Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and Middle English, and know that many important words were lost in the modernizing (simplification) of those archaic versions of whence Modern English came.

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  • 1 month ago

    The use of 'they' as a singular pronoun instead of the cumbersome 'he or she' is becoming more and more common and acceptable.

    'Themself' is the logical extension of this usage, avoiding the cumbersome 'himself or herself'.

    Obviously it's singular. For 'they' in the plural we continue to use 'themselves'.

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    • E1 month agoReport

      @Chi girl (whatever that's supposed to mean) – Half of your answers are usually wrong. Judging by bluebellbkk's answers, she's far more literate and qualified to answer questions about English than you could ever hope to be. Thanks for the laugh indeed! 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    "them" is not always plural, it can be singular. It's used when you don't know the gender of a person.

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  • 1 month ago

    It is used for what you call "singular they".

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/themself

    They, their, them can be used as a singular pronoun these days in order to avoid gender problems.

    e.g.

    "Everyone" "someone" "anyone" and "no one"  are singular pronouns.  Therefore, in the traditional English grammar, you say.

    "Every student has to do his homework by himself."

    However, using he, his, him can be protested because "every student" must include both genders.

    So, to avoid such protest, people started to say

    "Every student has to do his or her homework by himself or herself."

    But this is too long and sounds stupid.

    Then, we started to use "they" as a singular pronoun. i.e.

    "Every student has to do their homework by themself."

    This is singular they and how you use themself.

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  • Bob
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    I’ve never seen or heard of the word Themself. It doesn’t exist and nobody uses it. Apart from maybe 5 year olds

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    • M.
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      It may be used, and it may be acceptable to/by those who use it, but it's not right. Everybody does not talk like that. Even if everybody did, it still wouldn't be right. I even hear people use "theirself". It's no better or worse than "themself", and it is also wrong. Ain't it?

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