Re: use of he/she/they

Subject: Re: use of he/she/they
From: Tim Covil <covil_t -at- WIZTEC-USA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 17:03:27 -0400

Sella wrote:
>BTW, your sample sentence has so much going on that it is confusing
>(there's an I, an us, and a he/she/them); also, your "boss" seems to be
>a specific person, and so would presumably have a specific gender.
Okay, I'll re-word. "I think you should go to the boss and see what they
think." Whether there is a lot or a little going on, it still sticks in
the craw. And MY boss IS a specific person, but you don't know the
gender, do you? This is the dilemma of the TW writing to an unseen

A wise person once taught me that you should write as you would speak.
Most people would not consciously do what you've suggested in normal
conversation. So why do it with the written word, when you have ample
opportunity to figure out a better way but still be concise?

Sorry, I just don't think there can be a situation where it "isn't
possible" to avoid pronouns.

Let me ask you this. If you applied for another TW job and you were
asked to submit a writing sample, would you send one in that features
the scenario we've discussed? If your answer is No, then my point is

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: use of he/she/they
Next by Author: Re: use of he/she/they
Previous by Thread: Re: use of he/she/they
Next by Thread: Re: use of he/she/they

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads