On 22/09/15 21:33, Geoff Winkless wrote:
On 22 September 2015 at 09:28, Albe Laurenz <laurenz.a...@wien.gv.at
Peter Geoghegan wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 9:32 PM, Erik Rijkers <e...@xs4all.nl
>> I think this compulsive 'he'-avoiding is making the text worse.
>> - environment variable); any user can make such a change
for his session.
>> + environment variable); any user can make such a change
for their session.
> -1. It seems fine to me.
(Disclaimer: I am not a native speaker.)
Using the pronoun of the third person plural as a replacement for
"his or her"
has become widely used, at least in the U.S., and the OED condones
Without wanting to get into a grammar war, I'm not so sure I agree
that it "condones" it. Dictionaries reflect the current state of
usage, they don't act as arbiters of correctness. The abuse of
"literally" as an emphasiser (which usage is now listed in the OED) is
a prime example.
As an Englishman I would prefer "his or her" over "their". Perhaps
our American cousins might disagree though.
WRT the second, it probably doesn't help that "might not be the same
as the database user that is to be connect as" is incorrect anyway -
it should perhaps be "that is to be connect*ed *as" (although I still
find the construction clumsy).
I am an Englishman.
I prefer "their" rather than "his or her", it is less clumsy & there is
no point in specifying gender unless it is relevant!
Besides, some people are neither, or their biological gender is
ambiguous - so a few people fit into neither the male nor the female
category (depending on precise definitions, about 0.5%)!
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