Who Knows Why Kids Do Anything? 

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Speaking of grammar, it seems that some kids in Baltimore have started a trend with a new gender-neutral singular pronoun. Instead of using “he or she”, or “they”, they’re now using “yo”.

To test the theory, Stotko and Troyer showed kids a cartoon with a goofy-looking person, but the kids couldn’t tell whether the person was male or female. Then they asked the kids to write a slang caption for the cartoon. Some of the kids wrote, “Yo crazy,” instead of “He or she crazy,” or “They crazy.” Follow-up research showed that kids definitely intended yo to mean “he or she.” They used yo as a pronoun.

I suspect Grammar Girl is right in thinking this won’t catch on with more folks, but it will be fascinating if it does.

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