Re: Boss' gender?

Subject: Re: Boss' gender?
From: Bill Baker <bill -at- MEDIATRANSITIONS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 13:57:06 -0500

Which proves once again that the word Citadel can be worked into any
sentence or conversation.

Bill

----------
> From: Tim Covil <covil_t -at- wiztec-usa -dot- com>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
> Subject: Re: Boss' gender?
> Date: Wednesday, August 13, 1997 1:40 PM
>
> Geoff wrote:
> >By the way, "they" has a long tradition of being used as a singular, so
it's
> not "wrong".
>
> My reply:
> I can't argue with your premise. However, I can argue that your premise
> fails to lead to your conclusion. You don't really believe that "a long
> tradition" lends a practice justification, I'm sure. If so, we'd still
> be hazing cadets at the Citadel here in S.C., and we damn sure wouldn't
> be admitting women. It may be true that "they" isn't wrong, but not
> BECAUSE it has a long tradition.
>
> What does "wrong" mean, anyway? You said that "they" looks wrong to the
> reader. If it "looks wrong" and is therefore inadvisable to use, then
> what is the differentiation between it and something that is "REALLY
> wrong"?
>
> >----------
> >From: geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca[SMTP:geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca]
> >Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 1997 8:57 AM
> >To: Tim Covil; techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu
> >Subject: Boss' gender?
> >
> >
> > Tim Covil posed the problematic sentence <<I think you
> > should go to the boss and see what they think>> as a
> > hideous example of the singular "they". (By the way, "they"
> > has a long tradition of being used as a singular, so it's
> > not "wrong"; it _is_ sufficiently unfamiliar to modern
> > readers that you're usually well advised to avoid using it;
> > unfamiliar constructions look wrong and thereby distract
> > readers.)
> >
> > The problem sentence is easy to reword in any of several
> > ways, to whit:
> > 1. I think you should ask what the boss thinks.
> > 2. I think you should go to ask the boss's opinion
> > 3. I think you should go ask the boss about this.
> > There are more, but you get the point. And I haven't even
> > tried to reword this in the imperative or use the specific
> > sex of a known boss. (Terminology alert: "People have sex,
> > words have gender."--Miriam Bloom)
> >
> > --Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
> > Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.
> >
>
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