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Subject:Re: Re: Killer Language From:"Karl A. Hakkarainen" <karlh -at- AUGGIE -dot- AUGMENT-SYSTEMS -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 14 Nov 1996 08:41:30 -0500
My objection to the terms male and female is that they ascribe human gender
qualities to inanimate objects. I know that the terms are widely used and
understood. I also know some people are embarrassed by the terms. So, if we
can use other terms as valid and unambiguous alternatives, I prefer to do
so. If we cannot, then we should use male and female to describe the
The Style Guide issue comes up from two reasons:
1. Some writers are obliged, by company or department policy, to use
certain style guides.
2. That Apple would specifically call this out is an indicator that a
different word choice is appropriate in some circumstances.
At 01:10 PM 11/14/96 GMT, Iain Harrison wrote:
>Karl Hakkarainen responds:
> There are many terms that, over time, fall from favor and
> from preferred usage. As long as there is no ambiguity with
> terms such as plug and socket, it seems to be a helpful
>But Karl, your reply does not address the issues I raised at
>Not all plugs are 'male' and not all sockets are 'female'.
>It is entirely immaterial what the Apple Publications Style
>Guide says if the net result is that there is no clear
>distinction between a male and a female plug and a female and a
>It isn't a matter of preferred usage, it is a matter of making a
>distinction between different configurations.
>How would you suggest the distinction could be described
>What is your objection to the terms 'male' and 'female' in this
>iharrison -at- sct -dot- co -dot- uk
Karl A. Hakkarainen Technical Documentation Manager
Augment Systems, Inc. 508 392-8626 (voice)
Westford MA 01886 508 392-8636 (fax) http://www.augment-systems.com/