[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian New Maintainer Guide 0.1

On Sun, Nov 15, 1998 at 05:51:45AM +0200, Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 14, 1998 at 09:19:59PM -0600, Lyno Sullivan wrote:
> > I would like to publicly apologize to Josip and then move on.  I
> > reviewed his article and recommended that he change "guy" to
> > "person".
> I cannot speak for Josip, but in general, comments are always
> appreciated within Debian.  We may not agree with you but we do
> respect your opinion and the fact that you took the time to voice your
> concern.

I heartily agree. As a trained linguist, in fact, the point and counter-point
were quite interesting to read. The use of "guy", in my opinion, is no worse
or better than the use of person, s/he, he/she, etc, ad nauseam. In fact,
I suspect it is a damn lot better since it is the choice of the writer's
idiolect. He knows English this way, and that is what he uses.

> > I merely wanted to mention that women who read Debian documents
> > might be upset by being refered to as "guy".
> Yes.  The suggestion to change from guy to person is a valid one IMHO.
> Using person does even give the text a more polished look, as "guy" is
> (one Dveloper's name but also) much more informal, which can be
> upsetting to men, too.  Not all men like being called guys...

Again, I concur. I don't like being called a "guy."  I don't like being
called "you," for that matter, as many other manuals do. I don't like being
called. Far more polite to use the passive voice. Of course, some of the
American manuals of style and usage consider passive voice the root of much
evil (more, possibly, than sex/gender differentiation).

> However, in general, I do not think that supposed sexism is a good
> reason for changing wording (unless the issue is inflammatory, of
> course): otherwise we'd be moving into an endless loop, replacing word
> after word until we are back at the beginning.

Ah, yes. My dear chap, I most strongle second that statement. Read the Coda
by Ray Bradbury (to his Fahrenheit 451) to see where this changing words
due to this or that consideration may lead.


Marc A. Volovic               | Comfort, n: A feeling one gets from
marc@bard.org.il              |   contemplating discomfort in another.
http://www.bard.org.il/~marc  |                   A. Bierce.

Reply to: