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Re: Debian New Maintainer Guide 0.1

Hello Lyno Sullivan <lynosull@freedomain.org>,

> Writing is something I like to do so I can provide small feedback
> there.  I recommend you change "guy" to "person".  

Of course, you realize that "person" is *not* an equivalent
replacement for "guy"? It has a totally different colouring.

I agree that gratuitous sexism should be avoided, but I refuse to
mar my penmanship for it.

Also note that while "he" has a gender-neutral meaning, the same
thing cannot be said for "she". So if you take the advice of
switching pronouns chapter-by-chapter, not only is it very jarring
for the reader, it's also *more* sexist than using "he" throughout.

> See <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/Files/26.html> for a nice little
> how-to on avoiding sexist language.

So, how do you say "man-made" about something that is neither
synthetic, nor manufactured, nor machine-made? (Say, something
hand-carved out of wood.) Eg: "man-made tools have re-made man".

> I don't know the best way to handle it, but I think a paragraph in
> your Guide and a URL, on "Non-sexist Language" would be very
> appropriate. 

I'd avoid that title entirely. Perhaps mention it in a generic "don't
assume cultural assumptions" paragraph, of the kind you see in usenet
FAQs (eg, avoid local idioms such as "he's dreaming").

If you want to know *why* I'd avoid it, just watch this thread.

Jiri <jiri@baum.com.au>

We'll know the future has arrived when every mailer transparently
quotes lines that begin with "From ", but no-one remembers why.

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