Pronoun madness has progressed to the point where even innocuous ones like us and we have been reshaped beyond analysis. Consider the following sentence from a New York Times article about bird flu published on April 23, 2023. The second sentence of the fourth paragraph reads as follows: “The Book of Matthew may assert that not one sparrow falls to earth without the knowledge and consent of God, but us mere humans can’t count how many raptors, waterfowl, shorebirds, ravens, parrots and other wild birds may be dying in places beyond notice.”
Error is ubiquitous as I know from repeated exposure. But I don’t have the editing support that the Times provides. I can only surmise that all the mixing of singular gender specific pronouns with gender neutral plurals has boggled the minds of the copy editors such that they’ve lost the distinction between an object pronoun and a subject pronoun. All the editor needed to do to find the right pronoun was to look at the above sentence after removing mere humans. Of course anyone who’s graduated from Junior High School should spot the error without recourse to dropping words.
Perhaps we (not us) should in the name of simplicity remove all pronouns from the English language.
Is this “error” a function of ignorance or ideology? Frankly, I’m not sure which would be worse, although I am quite convinced that the hegemony of the regnant ideology is both cause and effect of ignorance, or more to the point, stupidity.