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Subject:Re: use of he/she/they From:Tim Covil <covil_t -at- WIZTEC-USA -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 12 Aug 1997 16:16:39 -0400
While we're debating this, I challenge anyone to post a pronoun-laden
technical document that CAN'T be re-worded to avoid the use of pronouns.
>From: Sella Rush[SMTP:SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM]
>Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 1997 4:11 PM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: Re: use of he/she/they
>I want to get my vote in early because I bet there are gonna be some
>interesting differences of opinion on this one.
>Yes, there is a rule out there that pronouns should match the
>antecedents. There's also a rule out there (still used, still pushed)
>that "man" means both men and women and "he" means he or she. There
>used to be a rule out there that the male of anything went before the
>female because that was the "natural position" of man (that's why it now
>*seems* more natural to say "brother and sister", "man and wife", "Mr.
>But as we've discussed before, english is changing (rules are relaxing?)
>and some of those changes have to do with gender awareness. Personally,
>I like using "they", rather than "he or she" or some random
>switching--or just one (I don't like to see all "he"s so I don't want to
>use all "she"s--and I really don't like having to reword to avoid if it
>results in really nasty constructions or something that doesn't fit the
>rest of the text.
>When I took a grammar class as part of a TC program about 18 months ago,
>we discussed the use of "they". The instructor (Jan Spiradakis at UW)
>mentioned that a number of people were beginning to use this alternative
>and thought that there might be a future for it, but that it was a bit
>too radical for her. Heck, I always wanted to be a radical at
>something, so here I am.
>For the record, I
>*never use "he or she", "she or he", "she/he"--too awkward, slows the
>*will first look for a painless way to reword
>*happily use a plural pronoun with a singular antecedent
>mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
>Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
>Bremerton, Washington USA
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