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Swedish dictionary officially adds gender-neutral pronoun

Naith Payton March 25, 2015
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The official dictionary of the Swedish language has added the gender-neutral pronoun “hen” for the first.

The pronoun was first used in the 1960s to avoid using the male pronoun “han” as the default. It is a combination of “han” and the female pronoun “hon”. However, it never gained widespread use until recently.

The Swedish trans community began using it, and pushing for its wider use, in the early 2000s. It now can be found in use in educational and legal documents.

The Swedish Academy’s dictionary, due to published in April, is updated every 10 years, with words added based on how popular and useful they. This edition has 13,000 new words.

Editor Sture Berg said: “For those who use the pronoun, it’s obviously a strength that it is now in the dictionary.”

Sweden’s recently-chosen Eurovision entry has caused controversy with anti-gay statements.

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