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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2020 > THE WORLD OF WRITING


Bad sex, zeitgeisty pronouns and publishers going in for the chop are all part for the course in the wide world of writing

They triumphs… yes, they does

Arriving slightly late to the ‘word of the year’ party (see last month’s Miscellany), US dictionary publishers Merriam-Webster have announced their word of the year, the initially surprising ‘they’. The humble pronoun gets to rub shoulders with showier zeitgeisty like climate strike and brextension thanks to an upsurge of readers looking it up in the context of evolving use and increasing public profile.

‘English famously lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun to correspond neatly with singular pronouns like “everyone” or “someone”, and as a consequence “they” has been used for this purpose for over 600 years,’ said Merriam- Webster. ‘More recently, though, “they” has also been used to refer to one person whose gender identity is non-binary, a sense that is increasingly common in published, edited text, as well as social media and in daily personal interactions between English speakers.’

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About Writing Magazine

In 2020’s first issue of Writing Magazine, we’ve rounded up publishing experts to predict the biggest trends for the year ahead. There are articles on how to open doors to new writing opportunities and give your publicity a push. Read and learn from the advice for a reader on getting their runaway manuscript under control, and find out how our star interview, historical crime author Abir Mukherjee, creates novels that are both rip-roaring and thought-provoking. We’ve rounded up all the latest writing competitions and opportunities to get published to get you off to a good start. We’re here to help you make this the year you achieve your writing ambitions – so don’t miss out on the chance to get your writing out there!