RE: His/Her v. Their

Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: Ben Davies <bdavies -at- imris -dot- com>, "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, Becca <becca -at- di -dot- org>, tech2wr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:30:46 +0000

Dear Ben:

I said that--sometimes--you can't reasonably avoid gender. And you started (what I took as) bantering by suggesting that any writer who uses gender (a class to which I obviously belong) is unskilled, wanting in professionalism, and lazy. You said, "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."

But as you saw, it isn't always easy to eschew gender--unless you are willing to distort meaning (albeit slightly in some instances). It took you two revisions (and footnotes) to approximate the meaning of some of the sentences. And in spite of your claim that writing in a gender neutral manner is "easy", Lauren is the one who actually came up with accurate interpretations. When you are working against a very tight deadline on a suite of 12 documents comprising 2000+ pages, that needs to be revised to deal with extensive changes in a new release of an instrument, you don't always have the time it takes to write perfectly gender-neutral prose. You do your best, but sometimes you hit wall mentally, and you use "her" (since the use of gender in writing is a women's rights related issue, and when writing for a product you don't want to offend anyone).

Having said all of that, I am sorry, Ben, that I got your ire up. Until you started going off on me in your last few emails, I thought we were merely engaging in friendly banter (perhaps in a very weak imitation of the style of G.K. Chesterton). I did not intent to be inflammatory. Please accept my apology.

Sincerely,
Leonard



-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Davies [mailto:bdavies -at- imris -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 2:06 PM
To: Combs, Richard; Porrello, Leonard; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

Are you serious?

I made a simple claim: Clear instructions do not need gender. Writing gender neutral is a professional standard (at least at my company and in my circles), and if you insist on using gender, I think you are just being lazy.

Leonard attacked me on this by calling me inexperienced.

I defended myself, and even showed people how his gender biased sentences could be changed to gender neutral.

And now I'm being attacked by the whole group for standing up for myself?




-----Original Message-----
From: Combs, Richard [mailto:richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com]
Sent: October-26-12 4:02 PM
To: Ben Davies; Porrello, Leonard; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

Ben Davies wrote:

> -Should the janitor should respect all employers or just his own?
> People should respect everyone. Moot point.

Yet clearly has only contempt for Leonard.

Wasn't it just a couple of days ago that Leonard commented on some enjoyable irony?

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-903-6372
------







_______________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the IMRIS Email Security System.

This email has been scanned by the IMRIS Email Security System
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Writer Tip: You have more time to author content with Doc-To-Help, because your project can be up and running in 3 steps.

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

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-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


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
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: Combs, Richard
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Ben Davies

Previous by Author: RE: His/Her v. Their
Next by Author: RE: His/Her v. Their
Previous by Thread: Re: His/Her v. Their
Next by Thread: RE: His/Her v. Their


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

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads