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Before I begin, I'd like to point out that my primary interests aren't actually in literature/linguistics, but within the domain of music. However, I have come accross a problem I feel is of much concern and is in essence a problem with the (English) language, in part that is, not as a whole.
Anyway, I am writing a song about a person who is climbing a mountain, but they are doing so both physically, and then metaphorically. This is a song that is supposed to represent human weakness and strength, and so naturally that includes both men and women.
The lyrics go something like this:
2-3 Will he...
4-5 and climb this
5-6 Mounta…ain ?
5.2-6 He will do
6.2-7 Of only two things
7.2 - 8 Will fail and fall into the dark
The lyrics presented are not meant to be grammatically correct, to me they just need to represent the words to fit the song. Also, the numbers are just units of time, but that doesn't matter here.
So, as you can see, I used what I think is a pronoun, the word 'he', to generalise the term to both males and females. Now, whilst this is common practise, I do not think it is good practice, so I was wondering if there may be another, ideally single syllable word, that one could use to describe both males and females.
I feel that such a word really should be integrated into the English language, as it would be much more effective than s/he, or even worse, just he.