Escaping gender usage (was RE: Pet Peeves)

Subject: Escaping gender usage (was RE: Pet Peeves)
From: Chris Borokowski <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 08:11:26 -0700 (PDT)

I've been breaking the first-grade diction rule and
writing it in the first person.

"When a user formats a hard disk, all of his data will
be gone."

"When you format your hard disk, all of your data will
be gone."

Can't please everyone, and don't like the witch-hunt
mentality (not all witches are female), but also want
my users to get the point without them worrying about
these boring issues.

I can't tell you that you'll burn in hell for being
insensitive, since not only do I not believe it, but
"hell" isn't shared among all religions. I know I'm
going to burn in some religiously neutral symbolic
place of all suffering, so I'd welcome the company.

--- "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -dot- Brierley -at- ipc -dot- com> wrote:
> Actually, it doesn't bother me, personally, that
> when the gender is
> unknown, English defaults to the masculine. However,
> I understand that's
> an issue. Similarly, assuming gender roles, like
> nurse being female, is
> also apparently insulting. I guess I'm insensitive.

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RE: Pet Peeves: From: Brierley, Sean

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