Re: The HE/ Thing

Subject: Re: The HE/ Thing
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 15:49:10 EDT

Richard Sobocinski <"Richard_G_Sobocinski%~WHC207"> writes:

> What if you KNOW that your audience is exclusively (or almost
> so) male?

If the audience is exclusively male or female, go ahead and use
the appropriate pronoun. For example, if you're writing a book
about pregnant women, by all means use "she."

However, if "almost so" applies, I think you do your audience
a disservice to use gender-specific pronouns. What does
"almost so" mean? 95%? 99%? Why take the risk of pissing off
the other 5% or 1%?

In fact, I'd argue that you should be even *more* careful in the
"almost so" situation -- that 5% or 1% is likely to be very sensitive
to gender issues, so you're even more likely to irritate those readers.

Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

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