Can we stop pretending that anyone talks this way?

Grammarian Bryan Garner, in the pages of National Review, offered an anecdote that can be instructive here, recalling his own role updating the definition of marriage in a particular dictionary to account for the same-sex variety. Removing reference to gender, he had changed the definition to “the legal union of a couple as spouses.”

Consider his explanation of why: “What’s objectionable today isn’t a reference to a particular husband or wife. It’s the suggestion that husbands must have wives, and wives husbands.” He concluded, “Husbands and wives will be with us forever.”

Likewise, using the term “parents” instead of “mother and father” in the context of child-rearing makes sense for that reason. In the context of birth-giving, however, mothers will be with us forever.

The same assault on language, laudably resisted by the very people who own that language, is reflected in the term “Latinx.” A revealing Gallup poll in August found just 4 percent of Hispanic respondents preferred that gender-neutral term which happens to obliterate a charming feature of the Spanish language (and other Romance languages) — the sorting of words for objects as well as people into the masculine and feminine.