Re: His/Her v. Their

Subject: Re: His/Her v. Their
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 14:46:04 -0700

On 10/26/2012 2:14 PM, Ben Davies wrote:

"Nice work, but the lack of qualifiers for some of these phrases can lead to ambiguity or awkwardness. Like, whose homework?"

The students' homework. It is a logical implication.

Which student's. Your use of the plural possessive only adds to the ambiguity. You changed the phrase to suit your theory, rather than rewrite the phrase to maintain its original message without gender.

"The context of the secretary phrase change a bit in the rewrite and now raises the question, secretaries should remain calm, when?"

Remain calm at all times. How is that confusing?

Your phrase is not confusing, but it is also not a rewrite of Leonard's phrase. Leonard referred to the secretary's temper (subjective construct), while you are referring to the secretary's behavior (objective construct).

Leonard's original sentence did not clarify when secretaries should remain calm.

No. Leonard did not refer to being calm at all, you did.

Leonard's original sentence said secretaries should keep their tempers in check... I could say the same thing... when?

You do not understand the construction of the sentence. A temper is a specific thing that is controlled and Leonard explained what control is required. Remaining calm is a general condition that requires qualification for the subject of when a secretary may need to be calm.

"When the phrase referred to "his temper" it was clear what the sentence was discussing."

So staying calm has nothing to do with controlling your temper?

Why would it? A person with a temper in check (ironies being what they are) is a person who is outwardly calm while possibly being internally aggravated (there go those ironies). Remaining calm does nothing to address temper.

My sentence has the same meaning with different words.

Nope. Not at all. Leonard's is specific and subjective to the subject (secretaries), while yours is general and objective to how the subject is perceived in the world.


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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: Lauren
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Ben Davies

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