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Subject:Re: Hey, take it easy! From:Vicki Rosenzweig <murphy!acmcr!vr -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET> Date:Thu, 17 Nov 1994 14:22:14 EST
I think "chair" is one that can be used for either an office that
hasn't been filled (or that has been filled by someone of an
unspecified sex) or for a person, of either sex, doing the job:
I have no problem with "Jane Smith chaired the meeting" or "Bill
Jones is the chair of the committee" (although I also have no
problem with chairman or chairwoman for a person of known sex).
I'd tend to avoid "-person" as an ending when we know what sex we're
dealing with (in part because it winds up being used, almost
euphemistically, for women only: I've seen "spokesman" and
"spokesperson" used as matched labels for men and women, thus
(a) suggesting that "woman" is a dirty word, and (b) once again
leaving us without a non-gendered term).
I don't find singular "they" particularly awkward, but this is (I
think) a matter of individual ear, probably affected by, among
other things, age, geography, politics, and quite possibly barometric
My only comment on "womyn" is that it's a convenient marker of the
politics of the user.
vr%acmcr -dot- uucp -at- murphy -dot- com
New York, NY