Understand what pronouns are and why you might want to set them

In Grammar, pronouns are words that can be substituted for nouns. For example, if Exercism's co-founder, Jeremy, was to declare their love for Exercism, rather than saying "Jeremy loves Exercism", Jeremy might say "I love you". Both "I" and "you" are pronouns, that replace the nouns "Jeremy" and "Exercism".

Many languages have gendered pronouns. For example, Jeremy is a man and prefers masculine pronouns, so, we might say he loves Exercism. If Jeremy was a woman, we might say she loves Exercism.

Some people prefer not to use masculine or feminine pronouns on Exercism. There are many reasons for this, including: some people may want to avoid discrimination based on their gender; some are non-binary or genderqueer; some highly value their privacy. In these situations people sometimes specify a gender-neutral pronoun such as they (e.g. "they love Exercism"), or ze (e.g. "ze loves Exercism").

For many people, being addressed by the wrong pronouns can be extremely annoying, and often offensive. We therefore allow people to specify the pronouns they'd like to be addressed by, and then show these pronouns in situations where interaction occurs (e.g. when writing a testimonial).

You can set your pronouns by filling in the blanks in a sample sentence on your settings page. We provide some common options for you to use, but you can write whatever you like.

  • If you choose "Use handle", we'll suggest people always use your handle, rather than pronouns when referring to you.
  • If you choose "Leave blank", we won't show any pronouns or suggestions at all.

If you see people's pronouns listed, please respect them.