On 22/09/15 22:17, Geoff Winkless wrote:
On 22 September 2015 at 10:52, Gavin Flower
To me, the key things is NOT to specify gender, unless it is relevant -
and I don't think gender is relevant in describing how to use a database.
On 22/09/15 21:33, Geoff Winkless wrote:
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.
I would prefer "his or her" over "their". Perhaps our American
cousins might disagree though.
I prefer "their" rather than "his or her", it is less clumsy &
there is no point in specifying gender unless it is relevant!
I agree in that I prefer "their" in informal speech; however in a
formal document I would find it sloppy. I don't think "his or her" is
inherently clumsy; m
aybe I'm just showing my age.
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%)!
My understanding is that most intersex (and certainly all trans)
people would identify with one or the other, and even those who don't
select exclusively identify with a mix of both (and would therefore
still be covered by "his or her", no?) although I don't pretend to be
Perhaps it would be easier to avoid the controversy by actually
rewording into the plural, where possible?
"any user can make such a change for his session."
"Users can make such a change for their individual sessions"
I was using "Gender Appropriate" language long before the Politically
Correct craze started (over 50 years ago)! I was told references to
"he" in rules included females, which I thought was daft!
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