I admit I’m a bit of a stickler on grammar. But more than that, I care about language and I understand the power that it has. The way we speak and write affects the way we think. Some languages have words with no equivalents in any other language – and those who speak that language think just a bit differently than people who don’t.
Which brings me to ne of my biggest peeves: they versus it.
Have you noticed the disconcerting trend in our language to refer to entities as “them” rather than “it”?
And have you noticed how this trend began to really take off after the US Supreme Court ruled in the infamous Citizens United that corporations are people? People are “they” not “it”.
For instance: Wal-Mart decided not to give health care benefits to their employees. You’ve probably seen sentences like this often enough now that you have become inured.
Stop! Pay attention! This is grossly grammatically incorrect.
Correct: Wal-Mart decided not to give health care benefits to its employees.
This is correct for two reasons. One because Wal-Mart is not a person – it’s a thing.
Two – Wal-Mart is singular – so give it a singular pronoun for heaven’s sake!
You would never say, “Wal-Mart are hiring.” You would say, “Wal-Mart is hiring.” So if you say it when you use the proper name, please use the proper pronoun.
And enough of this nonsense of calling entities people.