Peter Carey Tipped To Take Literary Hat Trick
According to the Man Booker Prize website, ‘The Man Booker International Prize recognises one writer for their achievement in fiction.’ Arrgh!
Bizarre that such a horrible gramatical blunder should be sticking out on the front page of a website for a prize dedicated to quality in writing.
One writer cannot be ‘their’. ‘Their’ is plural.
It is an increasingly common error. I suspect because people want to avoid appearing to be sexist, as they would if they wrote ‘one writer for his achievement.’ And quite right – there are as many brilliant female writers as male.
So write ‘for his or her.’ It’s not rocket science.
I saw something similar recently in a newsletter from an expensive Queensland private boys’ school. ‘Your son must wear their hat…’ Not even the wanting to avoid sexism excuse applied in that case. A son could not be ‘her’ by definition. ‘Your son must wear his hat…’ could not have offended anyone.
The only other two time winner is also a Australian – J.M. Coetzee, who was born in South Africa but lives in Adelaide.
Carey is the bookies’ favourite this year. If chosen, he will be the first three-time winner. On ya mate!