The ‘singular they’ has arrived!

As anyone knows, referring in the third person about some one whose gender you do not know was a problem even in the days when gender was seen in purely binary terms. Repeatedly writing ‘he or she’ or ‘his or her’ gets tedious very quickly. The growing recognition and acceptance that gender was not binary but fluid initially seemed to compound the problem of the third person singular pronoun.

But as often happens, it is when a problem gets acute that people start looking for new ways to address it and the suggestion that rather than inventing a third term, we use ‘they’ in singular as well as plural form was an idea brilliant in its simplicity.
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Avoiding plagiarism

Former New York Times editor Jill Abramson is being accused of plagiarism in her latest book, the latest in a string of high profile authors who have been accused of such things. It always baffles me when experienced writers are accused of plagiarism. If deliberate, you would think that they would be smart enough to realize that they would be caught, given their fame and the wide readership their works will have, and the fact that they have usually not quoted from obscure archival material but contemporary ones. My guess is that at least for some of these people, the plagiarism is inadvertent, when they have internalized someone’s words to the extent that they have forgotten where it came from and think it is their own.
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Can we stop ‘going forward’?

I have noticed in public discourse an increased use of the phrase ‘going forward’ or alternatively ‘moving forward’. It is used usually in sentences such as “This is what we should we do going forward” and what is noticeable is that the phrase almost never serves any useful function and can be dropped without any loss of meaning, since the rest of the sentence already implies some future action. It seems to be there purely as a filler.
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Misattributed quotes

I like to insert quotes in my writings because it spices things up. But I have learned from bitter experience that one needs to check carefully the sourcing of a quote because some of them, especially well-known ones, are fake in that the alleged authors never actually said them, though in blog posts that are rushed I sometimes forget to practice the required due diligence.
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What’s wrong with this essay?

Read this short essay and see if you notice anything.

My fellow countrymen, I speak to you as coequals, knowing you are deserving of the honest truth. And let me warn you in advance, my subject matter concerns a serious crisis caused by an event in my past history: the execution-style killing of a security guard on a delivery truck. At that particular point in time, I found myself in a deep depression, making mental errors which seemed as though they might threaten my future plans. I am not over-exaggerating.
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