From stuff.co.nz this morning:
The official who let the Malaysian Government believe New Zealand was comfortable with a diplomat accused of attempted rape going home, should consider their career options, the prime minister says.
I get pissed off when people incorrectly use the plural ‘their’ to substitute for the singular ‘him’ or ‘her’. For some reason they think gender-specific pronouns are sexist and objectionable. These mealy-mouthed people are usually in the public sector, though in this case the perpetrator seems to have been a journalist who should have known better.
If the writer hadn’t wanted to specify gender, what would have been wrong with ‘his or her’?
In this instance it was a her. Why not say that?
The English language needs a gender-neutral singular third person pronoun, but their ain’t the answer.