RE: His/Her v. Their

Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their
From: Ben Davies <bdavies -at- imris -dot- com>
To: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>, Becca <becca -at- di -dot- org>, tech2wr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 20:16:37 +0000

-A good student always does homework.
-If someone asks you for help, give it.
-When a customer argues, always agree.
-A secretary should remain calm.
-A janitor should respect employers.
-Every plumber has tools.
-A nurse should always be kind to patients.



-----Original Message-----
From: Porrello, Leonard [mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com]
Sent: October-26-12 3:11 PM
To: Ben Davies; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

Sorry, while I deeply respect your preference to adhere to the strictest prescriptions of political correctness, your claim speak to me of inexperience. Sometimes you can't avoid a gendered pronoun unless you are willing to sacrifice clarity or grammatical correctness for political correctness. But amuse me. Show me how you would rewrite the following sentences so that your revisions are equally grammatically correct, grammatically complete, and as strait forward as the original:

-A good student always does his homework.
-If someone asks you for help, give it to him.
-When a customer argues, always agree with him.
-A secretary should keep his temper in check.
-A janitor should respect her employers.
-Every plumber has her own tools.
-A nurse should always be kind to his patients.




-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Davies [mailto:bdavies -at- imris -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:32 PM
To: Porrello, Leonard; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

Sorry, while I deeply respect your desire to continue using "his" and "her", I feel that a skilled writer should easily be able to remove any reference to gender and still make the content easy to understand for the end user. I also feel that using "his" and "her" shows a lack of professionalism, and makes me think the writer was too lazy to come up with something that is gender neutral.



-----Original Message-----
From: Porrello, Leonard [mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com]
Sent: October-26-12 2:21 PM
To: Ben Davies; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

"Aw, man, I thought the user guide would tell me how to frip the quibble on my carbledywoop, but these instruction are written only for women! I wonder if the manufacturer has a version written for men."

Sorry, while I deeply respect individuality and diversity, I find dogmatic political correctness offensive, a veritable turd in the melting pot.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Ben Davies
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:07 PM
To: Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

I don't think it is acceptable to say "his" or "her". Using either of those shows gender discrimination, unless it is an absolute that everyone reading your document will be of a specific gender.

If the text is third person, I suggest trying to completely remove the possessiveness from the text.

For example

(third person with possessiveness)
To begin, cross-stitchers create a list of all the items they need from the pattern instructions. Next, they will search through the little floss bins that correspond to the required colors at the nearest craft store, such as Michael's.

(third person with no possessiveness)
To begin, cross-stitchers create a list of all the items needed, from the pattern instructions. Next, the stitchers will search through the little floss bins that correspond to the required colors at the nearest craft store, such as Michael's.

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See the &#8220;Getting Started with Doc-To-Help&#8221; blog post. http://bit.ly/doc-to-help-3-steps
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Follow-Ups:

References:
His/Her v. Their: From: Becca
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Ben Davies
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Ben Davies
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Porrello, Leonard

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