RE: he/she redux

Subject: RE: he/she redux
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 15:12:24 -0000

>>The question on the floor was how to refer to the baby. "Baby this" and
"Baby that" and "Baby the other thing" gets tedious and does not aid
readability. The pediatrician's simplifying convention of always referring
to mother as she and baby as he, which is fine for professional literature,
does not work when you are addressing the mother of a girl. <snip> The
solution? Two versions of every handout, one for boys, one for girls. <<

The problem there (as I see it) is that with mothers of girls you still have
the same problem of two identical pronouns referring to two different
people. I envisage two solutions to this (one of which you have probably
already thought of, one of which I bet you haven't).

1. Write the worksheet for mothers of girls first. This ensures you will
have to write around the problem of pronouns to ensure that you do not write
"She changes her nappy". <g>

2. Do a full role-reversal: worksheets for mothers of boys and for fathers
of girls. This ensures two things - first, approximately 50% of mothers in
the paediatrician's catchment area will be able to sigh with relief and hand
everything over to the father "See, dear? The doctor says *you* have to do
it." - and second, automatically avoids pronoun confusion.

Jane Carnall, happily childfree
Apologies for the long additional sig: it is added automatically and outwith
my control.


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he/she redux: From: Dick Margulis

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