A few years back, we got in BIG trouble for parodying the boss’s decree that our very first question to clients should be about their gender identity. Our point, complicated as it may seem, was that such personal questions are NOYB unless the client wants to bring it up.
Nevertheless, we were investigated and sharply interrogated about our views on transgenders and cisgenders. “Cis,” in case you missed the compulsory training, means on this side, as opposed to “trans,” meaning on that side. We’d never heard it used before except in geography, as in Trans-Alpine and Cis-Alpine. But hey, English is an ever-growing language. If transportation means being taken somewhere, why not call it cisportation when Uber doesn’t show up?
We thought all this was a passing fad. But that’s what we thought about cutting holes in your jeans, and here we are, still looking at hairy knees on the subway.
And now, life overtakes parody. In “Three Little Pronouns Go to Court,” lawyer-blogger Yassine Meskhout, waiting for his client to be brought for an arraignment interview, couldn’t help hearing the interviewer in the booth next door. Having duly kicked off the interview with gender identity questions, she was desperately trying to explain to the client what a pronoun is:
“No, no, I don’t mean your name. I mean your pronoun.”
“No, I already know your name. I’m asking about your pronouns.”
“So for example, my pronouns are sheehurr, so yours would be. . . ?”
Sadly, Attorney Meskhout didn’t get to hear how it came out because his own client arrived. No doubt Meskhout passed the time with his client chitchatting about fiddle-faddle such as what he was charged with, what the offer was, whether he should take a plea, whether he had a place to go if he were released. . . and never asked for his pronouns. Tut, tut, how very delinquent.
Moral: Never go to court without your Strunk & White.