Hu, Me?

A brief his/herstory of gender-neutral pronouns

DeAnn DeLuna, a writing instructor at Johns Hopkins University, is the latest in a long line of grammatical idealists trying to eradicate English’s gender-specific pronouns. Her alternative is hu (pronounced “huh”). “I think hu is superior to yo,” she says, referring to the gender-neutral pronoun born on the nearby mean streets of Baltimore. “It’s easier on the tongue.” Maybe, but if his/herstory’s any guide, hu has hu work cut out for hu.