Generic they, singular they, or whatever you want to call it --is necessary for our language. He, he/she and other constructions are awkward. The English language doesn't have an official singular personal pronoun which applies to either gender. From what I've read the following have all used the word 'they' as a singular generic personal pronoun : Shakespeare, Chaucer, Jane Austin, Anthony Trollope, Walt Whitman and George Bernard Shaw among many others. so it has a distinguished history. But by the late 1700s it was deemed unfit. Well, the reality is that it is here and it is not going to go away anytime soon. I have been discussing this off and on since 2009 on the BB. And I've gotten some flack for it. Yet despite the objections of grammar prescriptionists, I will plow on anyway. The following is a snip from the preface of the 2011 NIV : "[The] generic use of the indefinite or 'singular' 'they/them/their' has a venerable place in English idiom and has quickly become established as standard English, spoken and written, all over the world. Where an individual emphasis is deemed to be present, 'anyone' or 'everyone' or some othe requivalent is generally used as the antecedent of such pronounds." So there has been a shift in language, a "move away from using the third-person masculine singular pronouns --'he/him/his' to refer to men and women equally...In recognition of this shift in language and in an effort to translate into the 'common' English that people are actually using, this revision of the NIV generally uses other constructions when the biblical text is plainly addressed to men and women equally. The reader will frequently encounter a 'they', 'them' or 'their' to express a generic singular idea."