On 22/09/15 21:33, Geoff Winkless wrote:
On 22 September 2015 at 09:28, Albe Laurenz <laurenz.a...@wien.gv.at <mailto:laurenz.a...@wien.gv.at>>wrote:

    Peter Geoghegan wrote:
    > On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 9:32 PM, Erik Rijkers <e...@xs4all.nl
    <mailto:e...@xs4all.nl>> wrote:
    >> 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
    that use:

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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