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As for offending others, I am more offended by people who use obscenities
and then apologize for it, as if they couldn't help themselves. As a
female engineer in a predominantly male manufacturing firm, I received
many apologies for foul language
I am offended by this also, because it is sexist and is intended to be. I
always say something like:
"If you are apologizing because I am female, don't fucking bother."
in a tone of sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek (but obviously slightly pissed off*)
humour**, with a direct smile. The magnitude of the sarcasm in the humour is
scaleable*** to suit the situation.
I have (long) experience working with a male-dominated engineering crowd, also.
Only the really, truly, intending-to-be sexists continue to apologize, or
they _pointedly_ refrain from swearing in front of me. The latter behaviour****
is kind of a revenge thing, I think.
All part of getting respect from your developers (the male ones, anyway) so
they'll let you into their little boys' club and give you the information you
need to document the software they are developing!
Take care, and may your dog go with you,
Gwen (ggall -at- ca -dot- oracle -dot- com)
* Pissed off: Canadian for "pissed", meaning angry. Note: In Canada, "pissed"
** Humour: Canadian/British spelling.
*** Scaleable: Canadian/British spelling. Note: "Scaleable" is a commonly used
word in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to describe text, or a feature
on an electronic map that will/can be scaled according to either real world
scale or display scale. It is also used in typography (from whence it came to
GIS) to describe a font that can be scaled up or down (changed in size) and
maintain its correct proportions (I think.)
My (American) Interleaf Glossary says:
"Scalable Font: A font for which you can specify any size from 2 to
200 points, in 0.1-point increments."
My WordPerfect glossary (To the guys at WordPerfect--yes, I use the glossary):
"Scalable Font: A font that can be printed in virtually any point size,
depending on the limits of the software and printer used."
(I was surprised at the number of people on a technical writing list that
questioned the validity of the word itself, regardless of spelling.)