Buck's English: 'Everyone' and 'their' don't go together
Gene Owens offers pointers for better grammar.
“Everyone showed up sporting their favorite team,” read a sentence in the Oilville Daily Gusher, describing a holiday party on a football theme.
Sentences such as this give Buck special problems. Miss Prunella Pincenez taught him in eighth-grade English that “everyone” is singular. So a pronoun referring to it should also be singular.
But the holiday party obviously included people of both genders.
So to be grammatical, you need a singular possessive pronoun that can be masculine or feminine or both. That's a tall order in English.
In the old days, one could write “Everyone showed up sporting his favorite team.”
(Buck assumes that what they were sporting were emblems of their favorite teams, but he'll let that slide.)
Today, the feminists would be swarming over you for saying that.
So Buck looks for other ways of putting it.
“All showed up sporting their favorite teams” is grammatical, though it could mean that everybody was for the same teams. “All showed up sporting their respective favorite teams” would be more precise, but more awkward, too.