Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

//If anyone wants to replace the non-tv examples please do so. These were just the most obvious.

Ununnilium: Dammit, "they" is a perfectly adequate gender-neutral version of "he" or "she". u.u

Duckluck: Not really Un. Sure it's used this way colloquially, but word is strictly singular. The proper thing to say when referring to an individual is, as I'm sure you know, "he or she." So there.

Nezumi: Actually, Duck, that's only true in the most incredibly formal of written material, as evidenced by... http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/They

To cite specific explanation From dictionary.com unabridged and American Heritage Dictionary respectively...

"—Usage note Long before the use of generic he was condemned as sexist, the pronouns they, their, and them were used in educated speech and in all but the most formal writing to refer to indefinite pronouns and to singular nouns of general personal reference, probably because such nouns are often not felt to be exclusively singular: If anyone calls, tell them I'll be back at six. Everyone began looking for their books at once. Such use is not a recent development, nor is it a mark of ignorance. Shakespeare, Swift, Shelley, Scott, and Dickens, as well as many other English and American writers, have used they and its forms to refer to singular antecedents. Already widespread in the language (though still rejected as ungrammatical by some), this use of they, their, and them is increasing in all but the most conservatively edited American English. This increased use is at least partly impelled by the desire to avoid the sexist implications of he as a pronoun of general reference. See also he1."

"Usage Note: The use of the third-person plural pronoun they to refer to a singular noun or pronoun is attested as early as 1300, and many admired writers have used they, them, themselves, and their to refer to singular nouns such as one, a person, an individual, and each. W.M. Thackeray, for example, wrote in Vanity Fair in 1848, "A person can't help their birth," and more recent writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Anne Morrow Lindbergh have also used this construction, in sentences such as "To do a person in means to kill them," and "When you love someone you do not love them all the time." The practice is widespread and can be found in such mainstream publications as the Christian Science Monitor, Discover, and the Washington Post. The usage is so common in speech that it generally passes unnoticed. · However, despite the convenience of third-person plural forms as substitutes for generic he and for structurally awkward coordinate forms like his/her, many people avoid using they to refer to a singular antecedent out of respect for the traditional grammatical rule concerning pronoun agreement. Most of the Usage Panelists reject the use of they with singular antecedents. Eighty-two percent find the sentence The typical student in the program takes about six years to complete their course work unacceptable. Thus, the writer who chooses to use they in similar contexts in writing should do so only if assured that the usage will be read as a conscious choice rather than an error. · Interestingly, Panel members do seem to distinguish between singular nouns, such as the typical student, and pronouns that are grammatically singular but semantically plural, such as anyone and everyone. Sixty-four percent of panel members accept the sentence No one is willing to work for those wages anymore, are they? in informal speech. See Usage Notes at any, anyone, he1, she."

Ununnilium: What he said.

Scrounge: Removed my earlier addition,

Large Ham as Big Bad Magnificent Bastard -- Any number of truly delightful animated villains, and even some live-action ones, all larger than life, often larger-than-life on purpose. The audience wishes they had that kind of chutzpah and panache. Megatron of Transformers: Beast Wars is a truly beautiful example, a class act indeed, yessss....

since it's more mixed tropes than Mixed Archetypes.
Lale: About "Heroic Messiah with Oedipal issues" -- having father issues is actually part of the original, basic heroic archetype, according to Joseph Campbell. Nothing getting mixed.
Kilyle: Wait a minute... except for the Messianic Anti-Hero, every single example is "Archetype X Plus Buttkicking." (And no, I'm not rooting for a title that involves the word "buttkicking.") Can't we have a better set of examples here?