The quote which you will see shortly is from Cross Roads - Creative Writing Exercises in Four Genres by Daine Thiel.
Meet Diane Thiel, an Associate Professor of English at the University of New Mexico.
Preface to the Instructor
As teachers of creative writing,..... We must spark each student's creativity and help him or her develop the skills...give each student the means to express his or her ideas effectively. The teacher of creative writing faces ... the needs of his or her students.
Glaringly absent in the English language are gender neutral third person singular nouns, hence Professor Thiel's repeated usage of the phrase "him or her" which aims to be inclusive of both genders.
I have seen other workarounds to overcome this particular linguistic dilemma. Occasionally people use "they" even though it is plural as in How to tell someone they have bad breath, which is a name of a website that one can use to anonymously and discreetly inform his or her friend that his or her breath smells like an exploded septic tank by sending a "BadBreathOGram" to him or her.
Of course it is grammatically incorrect to use "someone" in conjunction with "they" in such manner because the former is singular and the latter plural.
What I find quite ironic is that most English nouns are gender neutral while none of the third person singular pronouns are. I am aware of a few feminine nouns such as "ship" even though I will not be calling a woman a ship anytime soon. So why are narrative attempts from a gender neutral third person perspective always doomed to awkward or grammatically butchered clauses? Isn't it about time for us to come up with gender neutral third person singular pronouns for future generations of English speakers?
My suggestion - Hoh, which is an acronym for "him or her." So the name for the website becomes "How to Tell Someone that Hoh has Bad Breath."
Don't you knock it unless you have an idea of your own.
Okay, so I am taking a course in Creative Writing at a city college in the area, and the class text is the aforementioned book by Diane Thiel. Let's have a look at her again.
She lives and works in New Mexico.
I take it that the residents of New Mexico call themselves "New Mexicans." If you were a person of Mexican descent, would you feel a sense of camaraderie with New Mexicans regardless of their national origin?
I have always wanted to ask a Mexican person that question.
Speaking for myself, if you called yourself a "New Korean," I could tell you that you and I would become the best of friends instantly regardless of how you felt about it.
Just imagine the endless possibilities for profoundly lame pickup lines to impress blonde New Korean girls. A few autrocious ones are going through my head for which I deserve to get flogged in public as we speak. Truuust me. You don't wanna know.
I am so sorry about the lack of focus in this entry. Chuck it up to my feeble attempt to write creatively.