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Some of you are already aware that English is a ‘man’s’ language because it contains thousands of words that prefer men.

We like men; we also believe it’s time for the world’s most commonly used language to have some words for those of us who aren’t men, and we’ve come up with a simple way to do that.
We hope you’ll join us on our amazing journey to make English inclusive.



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Updated: Jan 4

In our last blog, we fixed tha most common ‘man’ word in English by a simple spelling change:

Spelling change #1 ‘the’ becomes ‘tha’.

We say ‘tha’ far more often than we say ‘thē’, so it makes sense. We also noted that dictionaries hold to ‘t-h-ē’ and will continue to do so unless we require a spelling change. For decades, dictionaries have used ‘ә’ (called a ‘schwa’) to symbolize the ‘a’ sound in ‘tha’ and other words. It’s always in parenthesis (after the formal spelling of ‘thē’), as if it’s not as important. Like an exception rather than our primary way of pronouncing ‘tha’.

Did You Know? Dictionaries add/change words constantly. Asking for a word to be spelled the way it sounds is not revolutionary. In WEnglish, we are working to brings conscious awareness to how poorly women are treated in English words. We hope you’re willing to join us in getting dictionaries to change how they spell ‘the’.

It’s the biggest, single-word fix in English!

Now, we add two more word change requests to make English more of a ‘WE’/inclusive language. Ready?


Both ‘SHE’ and ‘HER’ are very common in English; yet both are ‘man’ words by our WEnglish definition. S-HE; HE-R. One letter added to each ‘he’ word converts it to a word referring to those of us who aren’t men. Note: Other languages handle these words differently but run into trouble by making nouns follow masculine or feminine articles. OHHH. Be still my heart! We’re not going to do that. Don’t you wonder how those languages decided which nouns were boys and which were girls? UGH.

A WEnglish Solution

Spelling Change #2: S-H-E becomes SHI:

WEnglish uses ‘shi’ to disconnect from ‘he’. It’s not our favorite spelling change, but it signifies a break from tradition, and that’s important.

You’ll notice that there are very few spelling changes in WEnglish. We’re hitting key words right away to show you how easily we can convert English to WEnglish.

(Vivian’s latest four-book novel series is written in both English and WEnglish if you want to see what’s different. Trust us, it’s not scary at all.)

Spelling Change #3: HER becomes HIR:

WEnglish uses ‘hir’ to disconnect from ‘he’.

HER to ‘HIR’ is an easier transition because we already use ‘hir’ in existing words like ‘shirt’.

A Word about ‘ER’: ‘ER’ as used in expressions like ‘git ‘er done’ are not used in WEnglish because ‘er’ is a slangy way to say ‘her’. Do you agree? WEnglish does not use slang because most slang is derogatory to those of us who aren’t men–far more often than slang terms to degrade men. (Further information is available in two books: ‘Unspinning the Spin’ (referred to earlier in these blogs) and ‘WordSlut’ by Amanda Montell, who says on page 17, “Language is the next frontier of modern gender equality.”) I’d say ‘a-men’, but if you’ve read this far, you can see why a WEnglish speaker doesn’t use that word. Let’s just say YES!.

How are you feeling? So far, WEnglish is suggesting three word spelling changes. A couple more is all it takes to become a WEnglish pro!

In our next blog, we’ll finish up with those two additional words before we hit tha BIG TIME. Our greatest challenge? To stop using words that discredit women. Stay tuned for BLOG #7 as we wind up our WEnglish Word Collider!

Vivian Probst

Author, Linguist, Creator of WEnglish for WEquality™


Updated: Jan 4

In Blog #3, we discovered that ‘The’ is our most common English word. Once I realized it, I tried to write without using it as a word. IMPOSSIBLE! Look a page of any book and see how often we rely on it.

In the book ‘ The Bestseller Code’, it’s recommended that T-H-E be used as little as possible if writing fiction. In fact, Steven King is touted as the most successful non-user with T-H-E comprising only 10% of his words! Amazing!

THE is considered a dead word; suggesting that its use makes reading boring. I learned a lot from trying not to use it, although I found it impossible not to use at all, but I reduced how often I used it, until I stumbled across an amazing way to deal with it differently. Curious? Read on!


‘THE’ is an article in English—a specific one, meaning if we say ‘The Chicken’ we are referring to a specific one.

‘THE’ is also is a masculine word because of ‘he’ in its spelling. WEnglish for WEquality (WFW) therefore labels it as a ‘man’ word.


English has another article, which is spelled ‘A’ as in ‘A chicken’ or ‘AN’ as in ‘An egg’. It refers to non-specific items. In our example, any egg will do because we aren’t specifying which one. Got it?

How do English speakers know whether to use A or An?

It’s so easy we don’t even think about it. Here’s how it works:

If the next word begins with a consonant, we use A (as in A Chicken);

If the next word begins with a vowel, we use AN (as in AN Egg). Try it for yourself and see how consistent English is with this rule.


WEnglish for WEquality (WFW) applies our English ‘A/An’ rule to THE and spells it ‘T-H-A’ or ‘T-H-E’ as in ‘Tha chicken’ or ‘The egg’. Why ‘T-H-A’? Because that’s how we say it if the next word begins with a consonant. Try it hear and listen to how it sounds.

Tha dog. The apple.

You can hear tha difference!

All WFW is doing is following our English rule and taking hundreds of ‘MAN’ words out of English by spelling THA like we say it. So easy and even fun’ isn’t it? Saying those words out loud will prove to you that we say THA consistently when THA the next starts with a consonant. And since there are far more consonants than vowels in English, wouldn’t it be a good idea to use tha same A/AN rule with THE/THA? (By tha way, English dictionaries show a THE pronunciation first; in italics they show THA as an inverted ‘e’, like this: thƏ. Why not do it as linguistically correct?

Think about it. If ‘THE’ is our most common word, and if we choose to change how we spell it, we bring balance into English. How?

We are removing HE from our most common word whenever it’s followed by a consonant. That makes a big difference! Very simply, it removes a lot of HE words from English.

WEnglish wants to tip tha scales so that there are less ‘HE’ words in English. Adding THA as a word is a powerful change—tha biggest one we can think of.

There’s so much more we can do to balance English to make it inclusive.

Join us next time - we uncover two more key ‘man’ words that dishonor those of us who aren’t men*--and provide simple fixes again.

What if there’s a bedrock layer underneath English that denies women equality? What if it’s contained in our very words? Think about it.

*WEnglish defines ‘men’ as those who are male by birth, body parts, or choice. In other words, if you want to be a man, be a man. But pay attention to what ‘man words’ do to discredit those of us who aren’t.

To an inclusive English!

Vivian Probst

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