CNN drew criticism and mockery after it published a nearly 2,000-word essay on the use and history of neopronouns on Saturday, including how to address a person who refers to themselves as a "leaf."
In the article titled "A guide to neopronouns from ae to ze," an expert on neopronouns and their histories and professor of English and Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told the outlet that “People like to have a say in how they’re identified."
"Refusing to let people self-identify is a way of excluding them,” he added.
Playing to its audience, CNN thought it necessary to explain what a pronoun is and how they are used daily. The article's author explained how neopronouns are most often "used by nonbinary, transgender, and gender nonconforming people because they offer more freedom of identity." It even had a guide on how to use neo-pronouns in a sentence.
CNN posted the article on X and at the time of writing the post has over 1.4 million views only 511 likes, over 4,000 comments, and over 750 quote tweets, with the vast majority making fun of the outlet.
Christina Buttons wrote, "Is this a serious news outlet for serious journalists or an activist rag?"
An editor for Quillette joked, "When the adults go on summer vacation at CNN, and toss the keys to the depressed intern from Oberlin." In a follow-up post he said, "No seriously, CNN actually published this."
Journalist Mia Ashton noted the use of "leaf" pronouns and said, "I like the nounself pronouns towards the end. Leaf/leafself, star/starself." She said sarcastically, "This is certainly indicative of a totally normal community without any mental health issues whatsoever."
At the end, the outlet introduced "nounself" neopronouns, and quoted linguist Ehm Hjorth Miltersen, who notes that the words sound "silly" or "make it harder for transgender and nonbinary people to be taken seriously."
So according to CNN, if you want to be a star you can just tell people to use "star" or starself" pronoun, because as Baron told the outlet, "Like it or not, lots of new words pop up every day."
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