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 21:38:20 +0000

Yes, , I agree with you (granted the qualifiers of my last email, in which I apologized for pissing you off). Having said that, I would remind you of the context of my original comments. In the original examples, the author had used "he/she" or "their" as a singular pronoun. It is in these types of cases, where art is sacrificed to political correctness, that political correctness becomes a "veritable turd in the melting pot".

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Davies [mailto:bdavies -at- imris -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 2:30 PM
To: Combs, Richard; Porrello, Leonard; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

Let's recap.

Leonard originally said:

I too am uncomfortable with "their", and unless there is a need to specifically call out one gender instead of another, I tend to use "his"--and I would expect writers who are women to tend to use "hers". I see nothing wrong with this, and I am comfortable enough in my masculinity to not feel threatened when I read "her" instead of "his". I get it; the text is talking about a hypothetical person who could be either male or female.

He also said this (which was in response to my very first message):

"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.

Note: The statement in quotes is something he made up, not my original message.

And finally we get this as his last message:

Nice. Your rewrites instruct and delight. I "lay down my sword." I was really having hard time seeing how to rewrite those sentences. For the record, I support writing in a gender neutral manner whenever possible.

***

Leonard, you went from implying that gender neutral writing (political correctness) is a "veritable turd in the melting pot" to claiming that you support writing in a gender neutral manner whenever possible..

***

So you agree with me then?


-----Original Message-----
From: Combs, Richard [mailto:richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com]
Sent: October-26-12 4:15 PM
To: Ben Davies; Porrello, Leonard; Becca; tech2wr-l
Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their

Ben Davies

> 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?

Let me try rephrasing your position: "I merely said he was lazy and lacked professionalism, and then for no reason he attacked me as being inexperienced." Yeah, that's about the gist of it.

A slight variation on: "He started it -- he hit me back first!"

Most amusing.

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






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

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