Re: gender issues and using 'you'

Subject: Re: gender issues and using 'you'
From: Esther Wheeler <ewheeler -at- AZURE-TECH -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 09:12:00 -0500

Greg Cento asked:

<<Now for my technical writing question to the list: Do you make much use
"you" in your technical documentation? Have you run into limitations?
would those limitations be?>>

I use both "you" and the imperative "Open the File window and select
New," which
neatly avoids most pronoun problems. I also think it's less fussy when
writing procedures. However, I have gotten feedback from Our Friends
The Pond that both forms (and especially the imperative form) are
impolite in
British usage. In the worst case, they edit my stuff back to the
passive. Ack!

Has anyone else run across this? I assure you, I strive to be polite in
all my
writing. For example I never, ever use the word "weenie," except perhaps
casual conversation. With very close friends.

Esther Wheeler
ewheeler -at- azure-tech -dot- com

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