Naperville incorporated in 1831 and it took 190 years for someone, (Naperville councilwoman Theresa Sullivan) to uncover a huge problem, that no one else knew existed. It’s not crime or drug addiction, it’s not related to the city budget, it’s not even how the mayor decorates his office. The huge problem is pronouns. Yes, pronouns! Not ‘she’ or ‘her’, it’s ‘he, him and his’.
Sullivan, with a little too much time on her hands, confirmed with the help of Pam Gallahue, Community Services Director, that the 14 chapters of Title One of the Naperville administrative code has 71 references to “he” and 164 references to “his”. Sullivan sees these as “mistakes” while most folks see these as pronouns.
How is it that nobody noticed this during the Civil War or during one of the World Wars. Does this travesty of the English language qualify Joe Naper as an idiot for not calling this out. Recently the Naperville city council had an associate professor of English on the dais for what seemed like 30 years and she never noticed the ‘mistakes’.
Current councilman Ian Holzhauer took it a step further by saying “this is a significant issue in our community”. Since when are pronouns considered a “significant issue” in Naperville.
Holzhauer then punctuated his comment with a profound bit of wisdom by saying, ‘women have been in the World for a long time’. That was very astute on his part.
We can’t find fault with Sullivan for lobbing out a politically correct, hand-grenade as a so-called problem. However, we can find fault with council members (Kelly, Chirico, and Holzhauer) for actively picking-up the grenade and tossing it around. The only council member attempting to “call out” Sullivan was councilwoman Patty Gustin when she questioned the logic and timing of focusing on pronouns rather than the current budget preparation.
It’s interesting, that if you listen to Sullivan’s comments during meetings, the words ‘he’ and ‘his’ present themselves often. It would seem that Sullivan would be more consistent. The same is true for Kelly, Chirico, and Holzhauer. It will be interesting to see how council members vote regarding the use of pronouns.
If Sullivan wants to be part of the solution, rather than being part of the ‘problem’, she can take the extra time she has available, to tackle correcting the 235 pronoun mistakes and presenting the politically correct version to the council for approval, thereby freeing staff time to focus on the important, rather than the frivolous.