If you look at the bio of a not edited profile on SE, you will find this:

Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them.

Why did they use "them" instead of "himself"?

  • Is your question why a reflexive wasn't used, or why a gender-neutral pronoun was used, or both?
    – rjpond
    Sep 13 '17 at 22:51
  • I never heard about "gender-neutral pronouns" Sep 13 '17 at 23:00
  • Are you asking why a reflexive "themself"/"themselves" form wasn't used, or are you asking why "them" was used rather than "him", or both?
    – rjpond
    Sep 13 '17 at 23:01
  • I tought that "them" was wrong at all in grammar, i just learned that this is an acceptable form by @Jasper's answer Sep 13 '17 at 23:03
  • Ah, I see. :) Since the original has a non-reflexive ("them") and you suggested a reflexive ("himself" rather than "him"), I thought you might be asking why the reflexive wasn't used. FWIW I think the reflexive is optional here.
    – rjpond
    Sep 13 '17 at 23:20

Them here is used as a gender-neutral pronoun in place of him or her. Similarly, they is used as a gender-neutral pronoun in place of he or she.

  • Thank you, i didn't know that, i tought it was an error Sep 13 '17 at 23:03
  • @MarcoSalerno prescriptively, it's an error. But it's completely idiomatic.
    – user178049
    Sep 13 '17 at 23:23

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