Re: Gender Reference

Subject: Re: Gender Reference
From: Mike Pope <mikep -at- ASYMETRIX -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 12:57:00 PDT

>I use "you" in places where I can't comfortably leave out a reference to a
>human. I used to use "the operator" and phrases like it, but I thought it
>depersonalized the document. I avoid the (s)he, s/he, and alternating he
>she structures because I find them distracting.

This doesn't work in all instances. For what I document, our users
are programmers, but they in turn are creating software for "real" users.
When we
address the developer/programmer, we say "you". However, we occasionally
to refer to that ultimate consumer, the user, and in those instances are
obliged to
go 3rd person. For example, we have a utility that allows developers to
create an
installation program, so you might see text like this: "If you click xxxxx,
the user will see a list of yyyyy" or something like that. Gets confusing
in addition to being awkward.

-- Mike Pope
mikep -at- asymetrix -dot- com

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