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Why was this question put on hold as unclear what you're asking by tchrist, Mysti Sinha, Hellion, medica, Barmar?

I think it's pretty clear what it's asking.

Examples of singular they referring to a specific person before the year 1960 https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/220767/examples-of-singular-they-referring-to-a-specific-person-before-the-year-1960

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I did not close-vote the original question, but reviewing it now I must confess that I had no idea what you were asking at first either.

I would suggest chopping/trimming the first few paragraphs about the 'generic singular they', as they are pretty tangential to your question and probably just muddy the waters. I also thought your comment about the murder suspect with the quote from Doyle really helped to illuminate what you were asking.

Having said that, asking for a shopping list of examples of this sort of 'specific singular they' usage strikes me as a question that would probably be closed as "too broad". You might want to rethink the question a little more before editing/reasking.

  • "I must confess that I had no idea what you were asking at first either." I'm asking for examples of singular they referring to a specific person before the year 1960. By a specific person, I mean the murderer of a certain murder case, the author of a letter/novel/academic paper, etc. Please explain what part of my question you don't understand. – ivanhoescott Feb 9 '15 at 23:06
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Lynn pretty much nailed my thought process; (a), I wasn't sure what you were asking for (although your later edit giving a specific example did help), and (b) "give me as many examples as you can find" is too broad, which I believe is what I selected as my close-vote reason.

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