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  is a website for personal pronoun usage examples

Table of Contents

For users

You can use any pronouns you like simply by filling them into the url path. For example,

That's pretty unwieldy! Fortunately you can also give it only the first pronoun or two: or

Automatically filling in the rest from only one or two forms only works for pronouns in the database. If the pronouns you or a friend uses aren't supported, please let us know and we'll add them. Alternatively you could add them yourself and submit a pull request (see the next section for details)

For developers

The database

The pronouns "database" is a tab-delimited file located in resources/ with fields and example values as follows:

subject object possessive-determiner possessive-pronoun reflexive
they them their theirs themselves

The top 6 pronouns are displayed on the front page. Please don't edit these without talking to me, they've been hand-curated based on usage frequency. Below the top 6, the remaining pronouns are sorted in alphabetical order by subject and then in roughly frequency order for sets that have the same subject pronoun. If you're adding a set that shares the same object pronoun as other set(s) already in the database, please insert it immediately below those ones.

If you edit the database with a text editor, make sure your editor inputs real tab characters in that file (a thing your editor might normally be configured not to do!) In Emacs, you can input real tabs by doing Ctrl+q . In Vi you can use Ctrl+v .

The code

The top-level logic for running the server lives in pronouns.web

Page rendering markup is in pronouns.pages, it uses hiccup for rendering HTML from Clojure datastructures.

pronouns.config is currently used only for loading the pronouns database

The unfortunately-named pronouns.util includes both actual utility functions used elsewhere in the code, but also what you might think of as "controllers" if you're used to the MVC model of web design - code that does the computations necessary for the pages (analogous to "views") to render themselves. We should probably break up util into (at least) two namespaces and be a little more deliberate about where everything currently in that namespace should live!


Run the suite with lein test

Test coverage is not great but getting better. Please run the tests and confirm that everything passes before merging changes, and please include tests with any new logic you introduce in a PR!

Goals for the future include setting up automated CI to run the tests for us on every PR branch

Running the app in a dev environment

First, install leiningen. Then you can launch the app on your own computer by running the following command:

$ lein ring server

This will launch a server running the app and open your default web browser to the index page. The server will automatically reload files as you edit them - with the unfortunate exception of, which is loaded as a resource and requires an app restart to reload.

The git repo

For most of this project's history we had separate master and develop branches but that's proven to be more trouble than it's worth. Going forward we'll be doing all development in feature branches off of master, and PRs should be issued against master.

Please follow this guide for writing good commit messages :)

Philosophy on pronoun inclusion aims foremost and exclusively to be a useful resource for people to communicate the personal pronoun they use for themselves.

It is possible to use these example sentences to demonstrate the usage of words that are not personal pronouns, or even cleverly insert an entire story! However, as a policy we will not include such entries in the database.


Can we translate into another language?

I'd love to see apps exist in the world for other languages. I'll answer any questions you need answered if you decide to fork the code to create a similar site for a different language, and I'll also entertain the idea of patching the codebase to support rending pages in different languages as long as it doesn't make the code substantially more complicated.

Even if we add I18N support to the code, other language versions of the site should have their own domains names (ideally with clever TLD puns like has for english!)

(This was discussed in issues #13, #14, and #66)

Can we change the example sentences?

Probably not, sorry, I really like these ones! Maybe in the future we can add multiple different example sentence sets, though.

Can we add pronunciation guides?

The short answer is, this is very hard! I'd love to have them if someone can come up with a design for how to do this that'd work (including the logistics of hosting media files and stuff).

(This was discussed in issues #43 and #80)

Can we add pluralization support (i.e. themself vs themselves)

All of the ways I can think of to do this are pretty ugly (both visually and in the code) so I'm pretty reluctant to do it. That's not an absolute no, but any proposed solution would need to keep the pronouns database simple enough that non-programmers can edit it and keep the URLs short, pretty, and readable to humans as a sentence if you take all the punctuation out.


Copyright © 2014-2018 Morgan Astra

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program. If not, see


Show people how to use pronouns!



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