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Themself actually has been in standard use for a while now. It's a gender-neutral version of himsef/herself. >Now that we can use the singular they, sometimes themselves seems wrong. For example, consider this sentence: Tell the next caller they can redeem the winning code themselves. That sounds wrong since we know it's just one person. This makes more sense: Tell the next caller they can redeem the winning code themself. [More on this] (http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/themself-or-themselves)
"Them" is pleural and "self" is singular; "selves" is pleural. It seems that the modern educational system has been so "dumbed down" that an Ivy League college education is the equivalent of a grade school education in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For example, Abraham Lincoln had only a few years of formal education but was a better lawyer, speech writer, public speaker, thinker and leader than most liberal arts PhDs and lawyers with recently granted degrees!
I agree education has become dumbed down. Most of my friends finished university and I dropped out of high school. Yet I'm the only one among us who is able to spell!
But "themself" has nothing to do with this dumbing down. It was consciously and deliberately invented to fill a specific need. In any case, "they" and "them" are about us plural in actual current use as "you", which was a "dumbed down" singular when we already had the perfectly good singular "thou". In fact people have used singular "they" for longer than singular "you". People used to decry the degradation of the language when the word "people" started being abused as the plural of "person". We got used to the change and now it's standard.
Hippie, that is a good point; however, there are multiple examples in the Duolingo courses that suggest an alternate reason - "man's husband", etc.; I suggest students read, "Nudge" and "Rules for Radicals" to help understand much of what we are seeing play out daily before us in the United States of America and the Western World as we are gradually being nudged into the modern utopias like Venezuela, etc.
Well, doesn't it supposed to be "the child saw himself in the mirror"?
"It" has a very strong implication of inanimacy, and using it for an adult human is insulting. Sometimes you can get away with it for a child or baby, but even then it's a little weird. On the other hand, English has had singular "they" longer than it's had singular "you".