RE: His/Her v. Their

Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Ben Davies <bdavies -at- imris -dot- com>, "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 14:49:42 -0700

Virtual group hug? :-)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ben Davies [mailto:bdavies -at- imris -dot- com]
> Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 3:48 PM
> To: Porrello, Leonard; Combs, Richard; Becca; tech2wr-l
> Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their
>
> Leonard,
>
> I should have responded to your comments with more professionalism -
> something I implied you were lacking (now I'm a hypocrite too!).
>
> I think we agree with each other on the topic of gender neutral
> writing. You have convinced me that you cannot ALWAYS remove gender
> from sentences written in the third person, and I'm happy to know that
> you are not advocating for gender bias. :)
>
> I'm sorry for dragging this on, and I'm sorry for insulting you.
>
> Let's move on.
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Porrello, Leonard [mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com]
> Sent: October-26-12 4:31 PM
> To: Ben Davies; Combs, Richard; Becca; tech2wr-l
> Subject: RE: His/Her v. Their
>
> 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
> ------
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> _______________________________________________
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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
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: Porrello, Leonard
RE: His/Her v. Their: From: Ben Davies

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