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Re: Bits from the WNPP: RFH tag

On 02-Aug-04, 22:02 (CDT), Ben Burton <bab@debian.org> wrote: 
> > Does Debian have a specific policy about this? 'cause I don't
> > think either (s)he or his/her type replacements are nearly as
> > aesthetic...
> Well I tend to use "they" / "their" myself, which is in fairly common
> usage.  e.g.:
>   If a student falls asleep in class, they will probably absorb the
>   material at an inferior rate, and their exam results will suffer.

The trouble with that, of course, is that it's gramatically wrong. Yes,
I know current sloppy thinkers proclaim "they" is singular. Nuts to
them, says I.

If we're going to play the Political Correctness game, we should take the
commonly used[1] terms 'zie' and 'zer':

          Gender-neutral pronoun equivalent to "She or He" (Alternate
          spelling: "Sie")
          Gender-neutral pronoun equivalent to "Him or Her" or possessive
          pronoun equivalent to "His or Her" (Alternate spelling: "Hir")

(Taken from the soc.singles FAQ, without permission but believed to be
within the bounds of "fair use", for those of you who live in a country
that still believes in such a doctrine, e.g. not the USA.)

Unusual, yes, but it scans much better that "he/she" or "his or her",
and is without the jarring inconsistency of singular "they".


[1] Well, commonly used on soc.singles, anyway.

Steve Greenland
    The irony is that Bill Gates claims to be making a stable operating
    system and Linus Torvalds claims to be trying to take over the
    world.       -- seen on the net

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