Re: Pet Peeves

Subject: Re: Pet Peeves
From: Amy Gale <amyg -at- grammatech -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 11:04:47 -0400

Al Geist wrote:

> Amy Gale wrote:
> "I find "male" and "female"...not offensive, I guess, but definitely
> kind of tacky - industry standard or not."
>Hi Amy,
>I don't understand why you find the terms "male" and "female" tacky. It's a
>universal way to describing how one device is connected to another, be that
>device a cable into circuit board, or a spark plug into a car engine (male
>and female threads).

Because there's really nothing male or female about them. It's an
inaccurate metaphor that reads like it was invented by a bunch of 13
year old boys for a "joke".

>Thus if we follow Apple's logic, we can "Plug the ribbon connector's plug
>into the motherboard socket J1."
>If you find "male" and "female" uncomfortable, wouldn't the above be just as
(NB I don't find "male" and "female" uncomfortable, just stupid.)

The above sentence clearly describes a task to be performed. If you used
"male" and "female":
- would it be more concise?
- would a professional audience find it clearer and/or more "correct"?
- would a lay audience find it less clear and/or more jargon-ish?

I should reiterate for the record that I am under no illusions that this
terminology is going away any time soon, that it barely comes to my
notice (hardware is for Other People), and that my reaction is brief
disdain rather than sustained offence.


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output.

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help &amp; Manual:

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: Pet Peeves: From: Chris Borokowski
RE: Pet Peeves: From: john
RE: Pet Peeves: From: Al Geist

Previous by Author: Re: Pet Peeves
Next by Author: Re: Pet Peeves
Previous by Thread: RE: Pet Peeves
Next by Thread: Re: Pet Peeves

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads