Re: use of he/she/they

Subject: Re: use of he/she/they
From: Scott Herron <sherr19 -at- IDT -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 23:08:26 -0400

John F Renish wrote:

> Scott Herron pointed us to a web site that discusses this issue. The article
> suggests several clumsy rewrites of a rather straw example, none of which is
> truly satisfactory because they are all wordy. Its heart is in the right place;
> its head isn't.

Yes, I am not happy with the examples, myself. The article is a draft
and a work in progress. Perhaps I should have pointed that out.

The eventual intended audience of the piece is non-writers. [I did point
that out.] I suppose I shoulda known better than to offer it to 2500+
TWs. However, it was recently uploaded, hence on my mind, and it
addressed the issue at hand [avoiding gender specific pronouns], showing
a _variety_ of strategies applied to the same text. So into the stew it
went. The point is, a variety of strategies _do_ exist_.

John F Renish also wrote:

> Geoff Hart says correctly that one can always write around the problem
> elegantly without violating the rules of grammar, including avoiding the odious
> singular "they". Hear him.

I agree with all of this except the word "always." And "odious."

You find singular "they" odious. Some people find the traditional
wording to be more odious. Both are widely held, but far from universal
opinions. Doubtless we will be seeing a lot both constructions in

Finally, John F Renish quoted:

> "A gentleman never unintentionally gives offense."
> --John Paul Jones

Interesting choice.

Scott Herron | sherr19 -at- idt -dot- net

"O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as ithers see us."
-- R. Burns

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