Re: pronouns and portfolios

Subject: Re: pronouns and portfolios
From: Mike Stockman <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 13:01:52 -0400

At 09:54 AM 4/6/2001 -0700, jhamilton%XN_TECHNOLOGIES -at- xn-tech -dot- com wrote:

I'm a student (and a tech writer intern), and we had a discussion about
this in a grammar class where the teacher said using "they" as a pronoun
for an unidentified someone may eventually become common usage.
Personally, I think it's a great way to overcome the "s/he" conundrum,
although I avoid it in my papers. What do you think?

I think I've weighed in on this before, but using "they" with a singular verb has always bugged me, although I can see the need. For years now I've addressed this in my writing by alternating "he" examples with "she" examples throughout my doc, trusting my memory (always a shaky idea) to keep some balance. For the most part, it's worked well.

Another suggestion I'll put forth (freely, for anyone to use) is to use me in your examples, as in "For example, to set up a new account, Mike clicks the New Account button." It avoids any subject/verb disagreement, and it feeds my basic need to be the center of the universe, starting with the Tech Writing world.

Whichever option you go with, good luck...

----->Mike (having an unusual week, and choosing to inflict it on others)


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