CNN may finally have reached peak CNN. A Saturday article for cnn.com by Scottie Andrew now seeks to turn words like “leaf,” “sun,” and “star” into pronouns. This is not satire.
Under a subheadline “An intro to nounself neoprouns”, Andrewwrites, “Leaf, sun, star — nounself pronouns are neopronouns that use nature and other inspirations as nonbinary or genderless descriptors. Linguist Jason D’Angelo told The New York Times that nounself pronouns were popularized on the social platform Tumblr around 2012 and 2013 and remain in use among members of fandoms who may take their nounself pronouns from the properties they enjoy.”
CNN’s provided link reroutes the reader to Western Washington University and the author would like the reader of this article to know not everybody who graduated from WWU is on board with this.
Andrew continues, “For someone who uses the nounself pronoun “leaf,” that may look like: “I hope leaf knows how proud we are that leaf is getting to know leafself better!” or “Leaf arrived at the coffee shop before me; I was mortified to have been late to meet leaf.”
If this all sounds ridiculous, CNN says to get over it, “[Emeritus professor of English and Linguistics Dennis] Baron noted, though, that all words, in any language, were ‘invented’ at one point.”
Other so-called “neopronouns” Andrew tried to turn into things earlier in the article include:
Again, Baron implored people to take this list seriously, “Neopronouns should be used and respected like any other pronoun, he told CNN. ‘People like to have a say in how they’re identified,” Baron said. “Refusing to let people self-identify is a way of excluding them.’”
No, refusing to identify a human being as a leaf is not “a way of excluding them.” That is simply incorrect.