Re: Political Correctness (Was Re: Master/Slave)

Subject: Re: Political Correctness (Was Re: Master/Slave)
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:31:42 -0700

So, to be sure that people accustomed to the old (politically incorrect) terminology
are not confused by the new technology, or who logically conclude that if
the old term is not being used, the new term must mean something different,
we'll have to start doing something like this:

blah, blah, blah Controller/Controllee (the term formerly (and offensively)
known as Master/Slave)


Create a special terminology mapping glossary at the back of each book
having the following structure:

New Politically Correct Term Equivalent Offensive Term
----------------------------------------- -------------------------------------
Controller/Controllee Master/Slave

To avoid the confusion and misunderstandings that would arise from each
writer arbitrarily adopting different PC terminology for commonly used technical
terms such as Master/Slave, there would have to be an adopted standard that
everyone would abide by. This standard would also have to be referenced in
all documents to which the standard is applied, so that the poor confused
reader could make the translation.

Those who believe as Tom Morrell does should agree to participate in
the process of developing, adopting, and widely disseminating such a
standard. Comedians on the late-night shows are sure to get hold of it,
and read excerpts on the air. This might have the positive effect of
discouraging any further PC silliness.
At 09:12 AM 5/15/00 -0700, Tom Murrell wrote:

As writers, I think it is our job to address the audience in a way that engages
them rather than in a way that causes them to disengage from the document. We
no longer blindly hold to the notion that only males are reading our documents.
So we adjust to make the female reader feel a part of the audience, too.

When someone asks, "Should I continue to use such-and-such a term," as the
writer who initiated the "Master/Slave" thread did, they are performing an
essential writing task. How will my audience react to the language I am using
(have used or intend to use)? This questioning is less a matter of being held
hostage to some nebulous conspiracy enforcing Political Correctness and more a
matter of writers maintaining an awareness of who their audience is and how
that audience will react to the language choices the writer makes.

Advocating for the audience, I remain sincerely yours,

| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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