You've probably heard the following:
At first I didn't want to get an X but now that I have it, I can't imagine life without one.
X could be telegraph, radio, TV, color TV, VCR, CD player, streaming, Netflix, Amazon prime, an uber account, Washer and Dryer, Car Phones (remember those), Cell Phones. If you go back in history wrist watches or sun dials (or wrist-sun-dials!).
This has happened to me recently though not with an object. I read an article someplace saying that ze can be used instead of he or she. It was referring to nonbinaries (using `they' never quite sounded right) but actually it would be great if this was a general genderless pronoun. I am not making a political statement here (although I doubt I have any readers who are against genderless pronouns).
Once I came across the term ze I found places to use it and now I can't imagine not using it.
In a recent article I wrote I needed to say that someone was probably confused, but I did not know their gender. I used
Ze was probably confused
which is much better than
S/he was probably confused
He or she was probably confused
The student was probably confused
They were probably confused.
Note that the first two leave out nonbinaries.
0) In the article I put in a footnote saying what ze meant. In the future I may not have to.
1) Will ze catch on? This blog post is an attempt to hasten the practice.
2) Is there a term for his/her that is non-gendered? If not then maybe zer.
3) Will there be political pushback on this usage? If its phrased as a way to include nonbinaries than unfortunately yes. If its phrased as above as when you don't know the gender, what do you do, then no.
4) Is nonbinary the correct term? If not then please politely correct me in the comments.
5) Has Ms replaced Miss and Mrs?
I have used the term ze several times since then- often when I get email from a student such that I can't tell from the first name what their gender is, and I need to forward the email, such as
Ze wants to take honors discrete math but does not have the prerequisite, but
since ze placed in the top five in the math olympiad, we'll let zer take it.