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I'm building an app that people can share the results of their calculations. I'm a bit stuck on wording, see below:

Andy would like to share their results from a pairing

Catherine would like to share their results from a pairing

Because I'm not capturing the person's gender, I would like to avoid his/her. But every time I read my examples above something doesn't seem right to me?

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    And you also reject "Andy would like to share its results from a pairing." ???
    – GEdgar
    Oct 23, 2016 at 19:49
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    the results from a pairing
    – Drew
    Oct 23, 2016 at 21:05
  • Good suggestions, I think I will use something like Andy would like to share the results from... Oct 23, 2016 at 21:06

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In both cases, use of their is likely to convey the impression that they are representing a larger group (thus, Andy is giving the results obtained from the work of several people). If the results are the work of Andy alone, and assuming that Andy is male, then his will not be persecuted by the gender-police, and will avoid the ambiguity around who obtained the results. Similarly, if Catherine alone obtained the results and is female, then her is appropriate.

And sharing their results sounds unnecessarily PC-ish. A word such as explaining, exposing, discussing, detailing, describing, ... would remedy this.

Edit In response to the comment by the OP and Andy Schweig, how about yy's results [...] will be described by their author (author may not be the best term).

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  • Thank you, however as the content is dynamically created and I have no way of knowing someone's gender (and can't assume off the name) I need a neutral way of structuring this sentence Oct 23, 2016 at 19:22
  • I suppose I could just go with {Name} would like to share the results of... ? Oct 23, 2016 at 19:25
  • I have seen "their" (as well as "they" and "them") used in this way online, but I agree that it sounds clumsy. We may be coming to the point where apps, web sites, etc. may have to ask for your preferred pronoun when asking for your name. If you can reword the sentence to avoid the problem, that's probably your best bet. Oct 23, 2016 at 19:31
  • Thanks for the info guys, I think I've got a direction to go down now :) Oct 23, 2016 at 21:07

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