RE: pronouns and portfolios

Subject: RE: pronouns and portfolios
From: Jeff Hanvey <techwriter -at- jewahe -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 11:58:35 -0700 (PDT)

--- bryan -dot- westbrook -at- amd -dot- com

> wrote:

>If people stop using them because there is an easier way, then we will lose

>the distinction.

This general, singual use of "they" has been around for centuries, but "he" and "she" haven't gone away - nor is there any hint that they will. It's a slippery slope argument to say that making the usuage in question a standard will necessarily strip "he" and "she" from our language.

>Just because the common use does eventually have a trend towards stripping

>our language of its specificity does not mean that those of us who make our

>living using the language should let it happen without putting up a fight.

Actually, common use isn't really an excerise in stripping the language of specificity, but making it managable and usable in our daily lives. In some cases, changes have given us much more specificity (our enormous vocabulary, for instance); in other cases, the specificity has diminished.

As writers and editors, we shouldn't fight with our language, but embrace it's nuances in order to communicate effectively.

Jeff Hanvey:


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