Re: Pet Peeves

Subject: Re: Pet Peeves
From: "David Neeley" <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 11:11:42 -0600

Ms. Green,

You say "If one person has said they don't like a phrase, I need to
remove it from my lexicon and not argue with them about the legitimacy
of their feelings."

I'm sorry, but that is a truly impossible standard and one that makes
a large portion of human communication either difficult or completely

Let me use a topical example: among the more radical Muslims, any
mention of female health problems by a male physician seems to be
highly offensive as against their religious convictions. Similarly, a
straightforward discussion of educating females is deemed likewise
offensive to them. Surely you do not find these to be instances where
you would exorcise this kind of reference from your use because these
individuals might feel offended?

I agree that no one should be deliberately insulting or offensive as a
general rule of behavior in society. However, *I* am insulted by
instances of political correctness run amok with little logic or
reason employed to set the proposed standard.

Still, it may be helpful to be mindful of the more likely potentials
for misunderstanding or offense in many circumstances related to
technical communications. If a document is to be localized, a review
of it in light of these sorts of cultural understandings would
certainly seem to be in order.


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