Missing Language Pieces

You may have been quite happily dealing in an area for years when you discover that there is a piece missing.

I hit on one years ago which I covered in this week’s Odd Language #92: Was-and-Is.

There are other language pieces missing. I so wish that English also had a widely-used and agreed-upon third person pronoun that does not consider the sex of the person referred to and also a title that is the same way. The Japanese honorific “san” is like this. Tanaka-san may be any of Mr. Tanaka, Mrs. Tanaka, Ms. Tanaka, Miss Tanaka, etc.

In high school, I developed a private shorthand. I have experimented in it with various concepts over the years. I have a third-person pronoun “e”. It is derived from “he”, but it does not have any connotation as to the sex of the referent. I can add a flag which specifies the sex, but I rarely see the need to.

In English (and many other languages), one often has to know the sex of a person to refer to the person properly. To do it right, you have to know whether the person is male or female and then use the appropriate title. Often, one can guess correctly, but how Chris?

And so often, the sex of the referent does not matter. But because getting the title wrong would be rude, one has to find out the sex of the person.

What missing pieces would you add to English (or any other language that you use)?