I’m not sure what to say about this AP story, except to point out the remarkable sentence I’ve bolded, in which “they” has a singular referent:
BRANSON, Mo. – A Branson man has put a face to the anonymous references people often make to “they” by changing his name to just that: “They.” The former Andrew Wilson, a 43-year-old self-employed inventor, was granted legal permission last week by a circuit judge to change his name. It’s just They, no surname. He also has changed his driver’s license to reflect his new name.
They said he did it for humor to address the common reference to “they.” “‘They do this,’ or ‘They’re to blame for that.’ Who is this ‘they’ everyone talks about? ‘They’ accomplish such great things. Somebody had to take responsibility,” he said.
Now, his friends are getting used to his new name. “They call up and say, ‘Is They there?'”
He acknowledged the name could drive grammarians crazy.
Well, I guess his friend Craig Erickson said it best: “Not only is he making a statement about his name, but he’s messing with the entire English language.”
(Thanks to Bonnie for the tip!)