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Subject:Sex specific pronnouns From:Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 25 May 1994 13:29:57 CDT
|} In writing technical documentation it has been generally taboo to use any
|} form of gender reference, such as he or she. Alternatives I have seen have
|} ranged from using the third person plural to the new form; (s)he.
|} I ... am not happy with
|} simply stating that gender reference should not be used.
|} I would like to be able to provide examples/alternatives.
You all probably remember my tirade against the current use of the
word gender to mean sex, where I announced that I was a man with
two X chromosones (I'm never very accurate when I'm foaming at the
mouth) so I'll spare you a repeat. We aren't allowed to use sex specific
pronouns. I won't repeat the passage from the guideline that states
the policy, because it uses that `G' word that I hate so much. Suffice
to say that we are allowed to use sex specific pronouns only for specific
people whose sex we are pretty certain about. The examples are good
From the ``Writing Style Guidelines for SC Technical Documentation,''
(C) 1990 Texas Instruments Inc.
DO NOT USE:
An engineer can use the simulator to debug his program.
An engineer can use the simulator to debug her program.
An engineer can use the simulator to debug their program.
Engineers can use the simulator to debug their programs.
An engineer can use the simulator to debug a program.
You can use the simulator to debug your program.
Now if the wires example that I thought up on the spur of the moment is
any indication, you'll all have jolly fun with these. The preferred use,
according to the guideline is the last. I tend to agree.
/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper,
but _minds_ alive on the shelves." -- Gilbert Highet