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Subject:Re: "they" and a bit of hyperbole? From:SuePStewrt -at- AOL -dot- COM Date:Wed, 1 Jun 1994 21:40:21 EDT
Okay, here's how I did the INFORMAL survey--I never claimed a scientific
sample, and you may recall I indicated my users might not be "average"--now
that I have writhed and twisted--I invited them to select their
preferences/comment on a list of sentences. I don't recall exactly what I
used, but it was something like this (yes, I KNOW I could easily avoid the
issue, here, but I don't have time to recall the more valid example I
The user must ensure that his password is correct.
The user must ensure that his/her password is correct.
The user must ensure that his or her password is correct.
The user must ensure that their password is correct.
There was no biasing of the question, y'see. (Yeah, I speak questionnaire.)
Without exception, all had something obnoxious to say about the final choice,
ranging from "Blech!" to "Poor grammar indicates bad documentation; I
wouldn't trust it."
So there you are. They didn't like it. (Their first choices were split
about evenly between "his/her" and "his or her.") And if I ever do another
poll, I will post it anonymously through someone else's address! ;-)
And if I had to read a lot of "they as singular" doc, it might well disturb
suepstewrt -at- aol -dot- com