Re: Evolving language or laziness?

Subject: Re: Evolving language or laziness?
From: Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 08:34:20 +0000

Colleen Dancer wrote:
> >I don't consider myself an angry feminist, nor a particularly ardent one.
> >however I do find that I don't relate the pronoun His to me.

And Tim Alton wrote:
> Sorry, Colleen, but I'm always suspicious of a proposed change to a
> language's basic structure that's endured since at least the days of William
> the Conquerer and quite probably as far back as the birth of Christ. It's
> not because I'm male and feel superior. It's because I don't trust studied,
> deliberate attempts to change the way a language has developed of expressing
> a thought. It smacks of revisionism. Language evolves, and if English
> speakers eventually drop the indeterminate pronoun "he" or the indeterminate
> possessive "his" then so be it.

And I agree with both Colleen and Tim. Language *is* evolving, for
good reasons (such as the ones Colleen brought up), and we have no
control over it. People *are* using "them" where it wouldn't have
been appropriate before (i.e., to indicate gender neutrality). Who are we
to try and stop it?

Tracy


==========================================================
Tracy Boyington
Technical Communication Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma

I never express opinions, but if one slips out, it belongs
to me and not ODVTE.

"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out
with nothing but a bunch of blank paper."
-- Steve Martin
==========================================================


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